On the good side, it was well written and held my attention. On the bad side I am not sure I would recommend it to people of weak faith or limited knowledge of the Bible.
If you are not familiar with it, Mackenzie has a tragedy in his life. His daughter is kidnaped and it does not end well. Years later he gets a note from “Papa” to meet at the shack where the girl was killed. He goes and meets Papa who turns out to be the Father in the trinity. He proceeds to interact with all three persons of the trinity and finds release from the depression of his loss. Once I got past the setting of the scene with its depressing desperation, it was an easy read. Like I said, it was well written.
Some of the things that I remember hearing were troubling didn’t bother me at all. God the Father was portrayed as a black woman named Elousia. The Holy Spirit was an Arab woman called Sarayu. Jesus was a homely Jewish carpenter. No problem; allow the guy some artistic license. He explained why it was more effective that way. When Mackenzie, or Mack, the protagonist, had a hard time with it, Papa explained it this way:
"She picked up the wooden spoon again, dripping with some sort of batter. ‘Mackenzie, I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature. If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you. For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.’And a few pages later He shared it this way,
“She leaned forward as if to share a secret. ‘To reveal myself to you as a very large, white grandfather figure with flowing beard, like Gandalf, would simply reinforce your religious stereotypes, and this weekend is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes.’” p. 93
“‘I’m not who your think I am, Mackenzie’”, p. 96I get the point and since it is a man-made story, I can go with that even if it sidesteps the entire politically correct nature of the choice.
Young, William P. The Shack. Los Angeles: Windblown Media, 2007.
To be continued...
homo unius libri