My friend Dave suggested I read The Shack. Another friend gave me a copy. So, I took the book on vacation. While there, I had just started reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. This is one of Oprah’s book club books. I love Oprah, but this book is such gnostic garbage, I actually threw it in the trash after reading 6 pages. So…. I was not a happy friar when I started reading The Shack. Well, what an experience! It’s a pretty powerful story that leads to an amazing encounter between a man (Mack) and God. The author, Paul Young, plays with our images of God and especially of the Trinity. He also challenges our understanding of human freedom and forgiveness. Remember now, that I was cranky reading this book and looking for theological errors. The more I read the book the happier I became.
Now, don’t get me wrong; this book does not replace revelation, the bible or Walter Kasper’s writings on the Trinity… but you know, this book does help understand all of the above. It’s not perfect… but it’s pretty good. There’s a bit of an anti-organized religion bit… which actually makes some sense in that even religion can become an “idol” if we allow it to replace “faith”.
I was inspired by this book. I knew this was a blessing from God when the author ended with my favourite poem, “Earth’s Crammed with Heaven” by Elizabeth Barret Browning.
William Paul Young, the author, was recently at our McNaly Robinson bookstore here in Don Mills. He’s also been on the CBC’s The Hour (which is really a pretty good show). Check it out here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.