Sunday, February 1, 2009

: thoughtful commentary on controversial shack :


... over the last few months I've heard all kinds of comments, ideas, questions, endorsements and slams regarding the Shack, which apparently just reached the milestone ( of sorts, I guess? ) of #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List for the 36th straight week. Seems there are 3 categories of response: love it, hate it, undecided.

It actually took me two, maybe three tries to get into it, and then to finish it. Not sure why. But I did manage to read it all. Mind you, I think I was sitting at the end of the dock on Shawnigan Lake with a pitcher of lemonaid beside me, and the waverunners zipping across the narrows 150 m out.

Stephen Shields is a 'blogger I respect, who has done a lot of things in ministry and career, and he has posted this review . Might be one of the saner of the handful I've read. Maybe this will help you help one of the many people reading, and asking, about it?

dlc

6 comments:

ron cole said...

Whoa, Don you're takin' the easy way out. Inquisitive readers want to know what you thought of the book??? Come on bare your soul brother.

dlc said...

... well, as I said, it took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was OK. Not particularly well-written, but that wasn't the point. This guy was telling a story more than writing a novel, making a point more than doing theology, giving his readers a different kind of perspective on the God-head, and the characters, which I enjoyed btw, and really seemed to get people's attention. So? overall? it made me think differently about God, the Trinity especially, and their roles and how they might relate ... to each other, and to the human race. I am a pretty visual learner, so the mental pictures my brain created were sort of odd ( think some Eddie Murphy female character ) but overall, helpful for what he wanted to accomplish, just not earth-shattering or 'rah-rah' as some people were about it. To be honest, once I read it I put it aside and didn;t think too much about the book itself until all the buzz started. For me a book like Greg Paul's 'God in the Alley' is more helpful as it is more real. I guess I only tend to read fiction for holiday escape reading, so maybe 'le Shaque' ended up in that compartment of my mind ( without really meaning to, or thinking about it? ). How's that for a 6 am run-on paragraph response? off to see ChrisP @ MSeed this morning.

dlc

ps. and, I was in the middle of a really crazy full week when I ran across Stephen's review, so I just tossed it up there, not really thinking about commenting. My apologies :) ... now you know ... sort of!

The Renegade Librarian said...

The writing is s**t and I fully have found the entire thing painful to read. The only reason I've gone as far into as I have is that I promised someone I care about that I would finish it. It brought up some interesting thoughts, granted, but the whole thing is just SO incredibly cheesy that I can't handle it. I know you're saying, "hey MB, tell me what you really think!" I can't help it, I'm a man of strong convictions/opinions.

The Renegade Librarian said...

Also, you should read Davidson's review of it--very interesting!

dlc said...

Matty ... you KNOW that I rely on your unfettered and straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter opines ... thx!

Sadly, maybe much of the buzz indicates dissatisfaction with the institutional church, but also a lack of critical reading? or just western christianity's tendency towards trendiness jumping-on-a-bandwagon tendency?

In the take-it or leave-it camp, I'd leave it. No big deal.

By the way ... Matthew's post/review is over at ... http://travellingeast.blogspot.com/

ron cole said...

Hey Don, thanks, here's a review I wrote in May 08', after Gail Bones bought me a copy when I ended up in the hospital...

http://thewearypilgrim.typepad.com/the_weary_pilgrim/2008/05/i-got-a-copy-of.html

It was certainly not a literary masterpiece. I think I enjoyed it mostly because it stirred up a lot of conversation from both camps. I don't think there has been a book written by a christian in quite awhile that has done that. Most theological veterans avoid talking about the trinity, if they do it's like a physicist talking about the inter-molecular forces that hold reality together.If anything it was refreshing. It seems there was no middle ground, you either liked it...or you hated it. Peace...Ron+