Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Shack

Gerald Hiestand at Harvest Bible Fellowship's blog Straight Up has posted a review of William Young's The Shack. Here's his conclusion:

It’s obvious Young’s book has struck a chord with the culture at large, and the evangelical culture not least. It’s clear the people in our churches crave an immanent God—one who understands our needs, our weaknesses, and who is able to identify with us in our fragile human existence. And indeed the Word Incarnate is the Father’s way of whispering tenderly in our ear. In Christ, the transcendent God draws near to us in flesh and bone. He walks our paths and feels our pain. Young’s desire for a God of compassion and tenderness is legitimate, and we do well to ask why such a deficit might exist in our churches. Have we failed to communicate properly the deep love that God has for his children? Perhaps. But if we have, Young’s book is not the best corrective. Young, in an attempt to wipe the blood off of God’s hands, ends up diminishing the transcendence and power of God. The best way to correct an unbalanced view of God is not by introducing an opposing unbalanced view of God.

I have no doubt that The Shack is Young’s sincere attempt to sort out some rather troubling issues. The question of how a good God can allow suffering and evil is difficult, no matter how you slice it. But this is not a book I can recommend. For those who need a theodicy wrapped in a narrative, a work such as Lewis’ Till We Have Faces is the better, even if more difficult, way forward.

Read the whole review here.

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