Finding God in the Shack: Seeking Truth in a Story of Evil and Redemption  -     By: Roger E. Olson
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Finding God in the Shack: Seeking Truth in a Story of Evil and Redemption

Inter-Varsity Press / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

The Shack has touched millions of readers with its portrayal of a compassionate God in the face of great evil. Many have identified with the main character's Great Sadness, the terrible burden of grief that often accompanies and follows a deep loss, for the Great Sadness is part of the human condition. And it compels us to ask, Where is God? Who is God? Roger Olson, who has faced his own Great Sadness, finds a good deal of comfort in this much beloved story, as have so many others. Some may ask, however, Is God really like that? Is that really how God responds to evil? Can God be trusted? Olson also views The Shack with a theologian's eye and finds much sound truth. He delves into many of the significant issues raised by the book, such as forgiving those who have done us great evil, how God acts in the world, how God is three persons in one and what difference this makes to us. While he offers his own criticisms of the book, he largely finds the truth about God in The Shack.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 168
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830837086
ISBN-13: 9780830837083
Availability: Available to ship on or about 07/31/14.
Email me when this product is available.

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Publisher's Description

The Shack has touched millions of readers with its portrayal of a compassionate God in the face of great evil. Many have identified with the main character's Great Sadness, the terrible burden of grief that often accompanies and follows a deep loss, for the Great Sadness is part of the human condition. And it compels us to ask, Where is God? Who is God? Roger Olson, who has faced his own Great Sadness, finds a good deal of comfort in this much beloved, story as have so many others. Some may ask, however, Is God really like that? Is that really how God responds to evil? Can God be trusted? Olson also views The Shack with a theologian's eye and finds much sound truth. He delves into many of the significant issues raised by the book such as forgiving those who have done us great evil, how God acts in the world, how God is three persons in one and what difference this makes to us. While he offers his own criticisms of the book, he largely finds the truth about God in The Shack.

Author Bio

Roger E. Olson (Ph.D., Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of (both InterVarsity Press) and (Westminster John Knox). He is also coauthor of and (both with Stanley J. Grenz, InterVarsity Press), and of (with Christopher A. Hall, Eerdmans).

ChristianBookPreviews

Finding God in the Shack, written by Roger E. Olson, is a readers’ guide to the recent hit novel The Shack by William P. Young. Though the writing is succinct, the materials and subject matter are heavy and aimed toward readers of greater spiritual maturity. Reader alert: Within the first chapter Olson reveals and begins explaining the story in its entirety, including the ending, so those who have not read The Shack may want to set this book aside until after reading the original.

Olson, also author of Questions to All Your Answers and Who Needs Theology?, tackles not only the positive spiritual impact of The Shack, but also the conflicting theologies that may confuse Christians. For example, in Chapter 4, titled, “Is God in Charge but Not in Control?,” Olson says Young “is over the top” in a passage describing God’s submission, but later in the same paragraph he writes, “There is some truth in it, but surely it could be expressed in a better way.” His style allows for both negative and positive aspects of the book to come to light, providing a neutral, yet informational, look at the spiritual elements of The Shack.

The most valued aspect of Olson’s guide remains his unwavering honesty and bravery in trying to tackle meaty and mysterious Christian questions, including why bad things happen to good people, why there is evil in the world, whether Jesus is more Jew than Christian, and how God can be comprised of a Trinity. Olson does not back away from making a valiant attempt to provide explanations for these difficult topics and rarely falls back on the stereotypical answer of “God works in mysterious ways.” He also makes a point to analyze the praise and problems that The Shack presents to theology and its sometimes vague representations of God. Olson takes into account that The Shack is a work of fiction and, therefore, he allows for a certain range of creative license, while simultaneously making an imaginative work applicable to furthering walks of faith.

Finding God in the Shack contains complex and heavy themes, yet explains them in a simple manner that readers will appreciate. It is the perfect reading companion to The Shack and is highly recommended to the Christian community. – Nan Johnson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

"If you have questions about The Shack, and if your questions are theological, and if some have suggested that this book is full of heresy and you are wondering about the book, then you need to read Roger Olson. The reason this book is the one you need is because Roger Olson is a very good theologian and Roger Olson has read the book (some critics haven't) and Roger Olson is not on some defense of the book or 'out to attack' the book. It is one of the only discussions of the novel that is both theologically alert and fair minded."
"Written by theology professor Roger Olson at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, the book attempts to defuse concerns over The Shack's unorthodox depictions of God and the Trinity. Dr. Olson correctly points out that much of Mr. Young's novel is actually quite biblical."
"Author Roger Olson takes the reader on a play by play of William Young's The Shack as he explores the book's many complex and controversial issues. The discussion is illuminating as well as intriguing."

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