Saturday, January 17, 2009

Confessions of a Renegade Christian

I love Jesus.  I love the Holy Spirit.  I love God.  

I didn't like "The Shack."

I realize that this will probably make me quite insane to so many people, but the book had far too many holes in it to be a good read.  Sorry.  I still feel a tad bit guilty about not liking a book about the being I love the most, but I believe the problem isn't Him, so I'm probably not in too much trouble.

First of all, the book was preachy.  I can't even imagine trying to take so many theological issues and even begin to think I could explain them all away in one quickly written book.   While I understand that the book was suppose to focus on Mack's pain and  healing,  it felt like Papa (so, in consequence, the author) just had all the instant answers.  

Another issue I had was why Mack?  With all the stories of pain in the world, what was so special about Mack that God would appear to him and not others?  Was God "especially especially fond of him?" 

In addition to that, with God so active in the world today, why do we read fiction stories about what He could do rather than real stories about what he is doing? 

Moving on, why in the world was the story being told by Willie?  That made no sense to me whatsoever.  Now, I have to admit that I did end up skimming big chunks of the book so I may have missed a part, but the book would have been immeasurably better if it had been told by Mack's daughter or even the man who killed his daughter.  Could God have closure there as well?

All the dialogue was forced and felt  fake.  I found myself skimming and saying, "yada yada yada" through much of the book.  And, while there were a few unique analogies and creative sections, the descriptions were by and far dry and bland.   

I appreciated the message of the book, and the depiction of the Trinity as a relationship between the God-heads.  I appreciated that the female aspects of God were revealed.  I also appreciated the way love was obviously portrayed as the most important thing.  Perhaps if these were things I hadn't read about, or thought about before, I would have found the book more eye opening and exciting. 

I just don't understand why the book wasn't more polished, with more effort put into thinking through the plot and the explanations.  As I read the book, I had the feeling that it needed one or two more revisions to be a really great read.  

It saddens me that what could have been a great book ended up being a mediocre book because no one took the time to really make it shine. 

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