Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Thoughts on The Shack

I was asked recently about my thoughts on The Shack, both the book and the movie.

Actually, I've never read the book and I have no plans to see the movie. I guess Christian fiction has never appealed to me personally.

What I do know is that there is a lot of controversy and dialog about both the book and the movie, and I have to confess it befuddles me a bit. But consider me befuddled on two fronts:

First off I'm befuddled by the anger of Christians toward the book and movie. I hear them saying that it's unbiblical and therefore dangerous. From what I've learned of The Shack I have no doubt that those claims are true, but then IT'S A NOVEL, after all. I guess I just don't have the expectation that a novel which includes concepts and imagery about God is going to be biblical. I pretty much expect them to be rife with inaccuracies and fanciful inventions. (The 2014 film Noah starring Russell Crowe is a classic example.)

What's interesting is that those why cry the loudest about the inaccuracies (read: heresies) of The Shack are the very ones who obviously know better. I mean, they believe it's inaccurate because they KNOW what the Bible really says. That means The Shack isn't a danger to them personally. I assume, therefore, they must be concerned about others who possess less discernment and understanding than themselves. If that's the case, wouldn't these folks be better served spending their time actually TEACHING the Bible so that others are better equipped to spot inaccuracies when they see them?

The second thing that befuddles me is how genuine followers of Jesus become enamored and flock to such books and movies like The Shack. One of the hallmarks of our Christian faith is that we embrace the Bible as the unique and authoritative written Word of God. As such, it provides the only standard of determining truth and discerning error. And yet, I would venture to say that the majority of believers have yet to even scratch the surface of the things God has communicated to us through His Word. That being the case, what in the world are we doing looking to novels and movies for truth and spiritual insight?

What would the prophet Isaiah say about this discussion? Probably something like this:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)

And that pretty much sums it up. After the book and movie version of The Shack is long forgotten, the Word of God will continue to provide the only real light and truth we will ever need.

3 comments:

  1. Paul, you have delivered a very well-thought-out and fact-based commentary on the subject matter in this controversial movie/book. Your understanding of and your knowledge of the content of The Word is always evident in your responses to questions about and with regard to situations of the times. Thank you for this thought-provoking information.

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  2. Thank you Pastor Paul. I read the book and watched the movie. I agree with others about the inaccuracies towards the Word, but what I took out of both is God's never ceasing love for us. Maybe I didn't look deep enough, but i left with a smile that even in our darkest times, He is always with us.

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