I really enjoyed this book. I found it very uplifting and very thought provoking. I spent many an hour researching & rereading my Bible to get down to what I truly believed vs. what I had been taught by denominations and traditions. After all we alone will stand before our God, so work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Know what you believe and why you believe it and don't be afraid of things that might make you question your beliefs, they only work to make you stronger, dig deeper and put down better fed roots.
Something I do believe & enjoyed in this book is GOD will not be placed in a box and stay there so that He doesn't offend you. HE IS.
Although there is some value to the elements of this book which deal with the personal nature of God, the power of forgiveness and the need to express one's pain honestly - it is deceiving in that there are many unscriptural views woven into the story which readers who are unfamiliar with the Bible will not realize. I had to read this book because it was sweeping through my congregation. I recommend that if you choose to read it, read carefully and prayerfully in order to enjoy what is good while protecting yourself from the lies.
I was led to "The Shack" by a relative who considers herself to be a Christian. She highly praised this book. I found the audio version at our library and listened for days while home cooking and cleaning.
Initially, I was excited by this unconventional depiction of God. What if everything that I had been told about God was a lie and the Holy Bible isn't the true word of God? I began to wonder if Christianity itself was just a mere construction to control the masses and to comfort the weak. Had I become nothing more than an indentured servant tied to a home and children-a virtual slave to my husband? What if instead of being saved out of living a homosexual lifestyle in my youth, I was merely misunderstood?
If the bible isn't the inerrant word of God, maybe God is female as well as male, so maybe I was really born that way instead of being in rebellion to God's word. Why should I struggle with conquering "sin" in my flesh when there is no wrong for me to repent of? What if salvation itself is not necessary, because there is no judgement by an all-powerful God, and a sentence to burn in everlasting hellfire?
The shack abandons the world of absolutes in favor of foolishness that chips away at a Christian's foundation-his/her belief in the God of the bible. Instead, God becomes a black woman, an Asian woman and a Latino carpenter-those 3 in one. If a Christian is defined as being Christ-centered, then this is not it.
I regret ever taking the advice to let "the Shack" into my consciousness. I left my home and my husband and tried to return to my old ways, but God loved me enough not to let me get too far with that. He closed off every door and lovingly showed me the truth (in his word, the KJV, for myself). It was a hard road back, I thank God for everyday that he has restored to our family.
If it was only to keep someone from a similar fate-please don't take that first step into The Shack's "alternate world." I wish I could give negative stars...Please be warned, this can really ruin your life.
It is sad when I read the negative comments made towards this book. Too many people have stern ideals about who God should be in their attempt to give God His due credit of Holiness and in that way make themselves feel like they stood up for God. Let me say that God doesn't need you to stick up for Him. God can handle that on His own.
God meets each person where they need to be met and nothing you perceive can contain God in a box. He becomes all things to all people and nothing we can say or do surprises God. It's your heart He wants, not your self-discipline or self-measured righteousness.
This book has allowed millions to realize there's a down to earth God who will do anything to reach your heart, so down to earth he came to earth to prove it.
Yet, the box is where some prefer to put him just like the Pharisee's did in Jesus's time. It's not who you are, it's who He is. It's not your sacrifice of obedience, it's what His sacrifice was. Open your hearts.
The conversations between Mack and each member of the Trinity are profound and uplifting. The Author puts a new perspective on the table about God's loving character towards each one of us and the lengths He will go to to reveal Himself.
If we all had an encounter with God on this level, we would be broken by our own misconseptions.