My pleasure from reading doesn’t come from the act of reading, itself. It comes from the excitement of the story. That’s what draws me in, pins me down, and won’t let me up until I’m done. A little masochistic, wouldn’t you say?
Speaking of masochism, I do a fair amount of reading for the purpose of research or learning. That type of reading is not “fun” for me, but necessary, none the less. My satisfaction from this type of reading results from the expansion of knowledge.
I’ve got some mixed feelings about “The Shack”. The first 20% of the book tells an interesting story of a broken man who is experiencing a deep sadness following the kidnapping and violent death of his beloved little daughter.
The remainder of the book is a dialogue between this man and the authors unusual portrayal of God. In this dialogue, “God” guides the character to work through his feelings and to overcome his deep sadness as he wades through his understanding of God.
The story is set in nearby Oregon. Though the main character lives in Portland, most of the story occurs in the northeastern part of the state in the Wallowa Lake area. There is even some reference to the Multnomah Falls throughout the book.
Controversy of “The Shack”
I’m certainly no theologian, but I can usually recognize when a person’s religious views have come from a source other than the Word of God. In the case of “The Shack”, there are to many strange twists to be completely scriptural. Much of the ideas that the author represents seem to come from his inner thoughts and deductive reasoning, rather than from the truth of the Word.
Pastor Michael Sandberg gives a thorough analysis at Summit Christian Fellowship. There, he identifies many of my personal sentiments in a very detailed manner.
Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries is much more critical in his attack of the book.
Tim Challies put together a review of “The Shack” that is about as clear an organized as any that I’ve seen.
If I took anything positive from the reading of the book, I would have to say that it may have helped me to think of Jesus Christ on a more personal level.
I would only recommend this book be read by mature Christian readers who have already established their understanding of God through the reading of the bible.