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"Mack" Philips took his three children on a family camping trip while his wife visited her sister. Just as they were about to leave the campsite, the two older kids decided to take a last canoe ride before heading home. As their canoe overturned, and Mack went to help them, his back was turned and the unspeakable happened. Mack's youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted by a known child predator. After a massive search, evidence of Missy showed up at an abandoned cabin. Although they never found her body, everyone knew the worst had happened. For the next four years "a great sadness" fell over Mack and his family, until a note from God showed up in his mailbox. What happens next will move you to a greater understanding of God's unfailing love for us all.
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Windblown Media
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.25 (inches)|
The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's FutureJonathan CahnFrontline / 2012 / Trade Paperback$8.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 679 Reviews Video
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lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5solid novelMarch 29, 2017lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Shack, a novel by Wm. Paul Young, is a story about Mack, a man who is suffering over the loss of his youngest daughter and the guilt that haunts him. Apparently, God has invited Mack to the very place where his daughter died a tragic death. Mack wonders if the invitation is a cruel joke or if God really did send the invitation. Mack cautiously accepts, and heads into the woods where the shack is located, and he finds a world that is both familiar and, at the same time, strange.
Essentially, Mack has an encounter with God, who manifests as a theophany of three individuals. There have been some books and reviews written that question the theology portrayed in the novel; however, the focus of the story is not on theology. The focus is on relationship between God and one particular man who needs his soul to be healed from guilt and loss. Some might find it blasphemous that God the Father, known informally in the story as Papa, appears as a woman. The dialogue clearly states that God is neither male nor female, and Papa appears to Mack as a woman because that is more comforting to Mack and what he is going through. In addition, the story alludes to Mack having a very broken relationship with his earthly father, so it makes sense that God would appear as a women to help Mack feel more comfortable. Papa later appears as an elderly man because at the time, Mack needs a father figure. Jesus appears as authentically Jewish in appearance, and the Holy Spirit appears as a female who seems to flutter around just as the wind would do. This appearance is also consistent with the Spirit being compared to the wind. Although there is much speculation on how God might appear physically and communicate to a human being in this tale, I dont see any contradiction to how he has revealed himself in Scripture, which must be the standard that we judge theological positions. Critics also need to remember that this is a work of fiction and not a theological dissertation.
Overall, The Shack is a wonderful story of Gods loving relationship within the three persons of the Trinity as well as love for individuals. The storys focus on relationship, love, loss, grief, forgiveness, brokenness, and healing make this novel one of the best Christian novels that I have read in several months. I highly recommend the book, and I look forward to seeing the movie.
Mark1 Stars Out Of 5heresyJanuary 28, 2017MarkQuality: 1Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1Well, I have finally done it. I have read the "life-changing" book that everyone is raving about. Surprisingly, I have to say the book had some good in it, but don't think I would recommend it to anyone. I promised a review, so here it is. I will try not to be too long or wordy, and to make my ideas as brief as possible.
A brief synopsis: Mack, the main character, loses his youngest daughter, Missy, in a kidnapping by a man whose victims are never found, just proof that he has killed them. Proof of her death is found in an abandoned shack. A few years after the incident, Mack received a note in his mailbox from Someone called "Papa" that He wants to meet him in the shack.
First the bad. :-) God is represented by a poor-grammar speaking black woman named Elouisa. God is referred to interchangeably as He or She. In the Bible, God never takes on the form of a woman, and always refers to Himself in masculine pronouns, so I take issue with this. There are people who don't want to call God He, mainly brainless feminists, and there is even a gender-neutral Bible, but when God always refers to Himself as masculine, I don't think we should mess with that.
Mack is also surprised that God has a "questionable sense of humor" - the author's words. This comment is made after God says to Mack "don't stand there gawkin' with your mouth open like your pants are full!"
Next up: The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a somewhat flighty Asian woman named Sarayu. Again, this rubbed me the wrong way- no I am not anti-woman, but God has His reasons for portraying Himself as masculine, not feminine.
Jesus was portrayed surprisingly as male, and somewhat like you would expect Jesus to be like, though the author carried that a bit too far also: Rough type, country bumpkin, even clumsy - would the Son of God be clumsy? What really bothered me about the Jesus in the book, the author portrayed Him as 100% human while on earth, and even in the book as 100% human. In the book, Mack was told that Jesus had no power except what He drew from God - just like we would have had to do. I totally disagree - if Jesus is God, then He had His own power.
The human part was portrayed so strongly, that at one point, Jesus drops a bowl of food, breaks the bowl, and makes a mess. God and the Holy Spirit laugh uproariously and comment "you humans are so clumsy!"
Another thing I didn't agree with: God, as the black woman of course, had scars on His/Her wrists also. Not exactly Biblical. Jesus hung on the cross, God the Father did not.
The author gives the idea that since we are under grace, we don't have to obey the rules anymore, cited especially in reference to the 10 commandments.
In my opinion, and in my friend Kimmy's (we have been emailing back and forth now that we both have read it) - the author bashes the church, quite a bit, and even knocks the idea of being a Christian - does say afterward that we are to become children of God.
Another weird thing: Mack goes into a cave, and there is a woman names Sophia talks to him. Not sure what the author's deal is with God as a woman, but this woman is an aspect, or something along that line, of the Holy Spirit.
Outside of bad theology, there are a few occasions of cursing in the book, which you may agree with me or not, does not belong in a Christian book, especially when the main character is talking to God. A couple uses of the "d-word", and a use of "son of a b....".
Overall, I don't feel the book was that well-written, and was not the riveting page turner that it has been hailed as. I read it in a few settings, as opposed to one setting for a really good book of that size.
I did say I had some good to say about it. The author did come across pretty well of why God lets us suffer. He also brought out a new idea to me: that when we are struggling with issues of God loving us, and feeling He is out to hurt us, and things along that line, we are judging Him.
This book has raving review everywhere you go, with the exception of a few sane people. I would not buy this book. I would not recommend it to anyone. I definitely don't think anyone not firmly grounded in their theology and relationship with God should read it - it could confuse some people and lead them wrong.
If I could sum up in one idea why I don't like the book, it is that the author humanizes all 3 parts of the Trinity, and goes way to far in doing so. God is way beyond our understanding. He wouldn't have poor grammar, He wouldn't have questionable humor. I believe the author treated the whole idea and character of God with irreverence in the book, and I found it offensive.
So, is the book heresy, or life-changing? I have to say it leans all too much toward at least being Biblically and theologically incorrect. The idea of the book was good, and were several things done differently in the book, I would have loved it and highly recommended it. It is sad that so many Christians are raving about the book, and overlooking its many flaws.