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The Shack

Because of the problem of pain and evil that raises disturbing questions about the God of the Bible, I thought it might be a good time to talk about “The Shack”.

Finally read the 248 page paperback that so many are talking about. In the meantime I’ve been seeing reviews that go from likening it to a “Pilgrim’s Progress for our generation” to claims that “you can’t accept the ideas in this book without rejecting the Bible.”

Without a doubt the hot selling fiction takes a lot of risks in telling the story of a numbed and embittered Mackenzie Phillips as he tries to survive The Great Sadness of the terrible murder of his little girl.

But I’ll tell you up front. Even though this book is being called everything from “liberating” to “blasphemous,” I found The Shack to be a surprising shelter–not only from the controversy swirling around it–but also as a place to confront some of our most inexpressible doubts and fears.

Can’t imagine how many of us are living with memories of loss, and secret doubts about God–thoughts and questions that are quietly driving us mad inside– even as we try to maintain an exterior of normalcy.

Yes, any number of passages in this book can be cited as theologically speculative, provocative, or suspect– especially if they are taken out of context. But, in retrospect, I found so many fresh perspectives that I believe are radically biblical, and Christ-centered.

Without question, I came away with a renewed appetite for the Bible and with a deepened thirst for a healthier and warmer relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. Although some have concluded that this book reveals a God who is too small to be taken seriously, I found here a Father who is big enough to show us that he can be as tender as the most gentle, endearing, and heart-warming mother. At the same time this same Father lets us know that there is infinitely and eternally more of him than we are now able to bear or absorb. Most importantly, he is a Father who is, in heart and personality, just like the Son through whom he has revealed himself to us.

Some have called the book inherently subversive. I tend to agree. But I’m inclined to think that it was written to subvert shallow views of the Fatherhood of God, the Bible, the Church, authority-based relationships, and the problem of evil.

Here are a few excerpts from the many sections that caught my attention as I read the book…

On the weight of Mack’s personal loss, “Little distractions… were a welcome though brief respite from the haunting presence of his constant companion: The Great Sadness.”

On the freedom of the will, when Mack finds himself wondering how free he is in the presence of a God who frightens him, “Papa” says, “Just because I know you are too curious to go, does that reduce your freedom to leave?”

On why “Papa” was revealing himself to Mack as an African American Woman, “Hasn’t it always been a problem for you to embrace me as a father? After what you’ve been through (abused as a child and now struggling with the senseless murder of his daughter), you couldn’t very well handle a father right now could you?”

On why God reveals himself in the Bible as a Father, Papa says, “”There are many reasons for that, and some of them go very deep. Let me say for now that we knew once the Creation was broken, true fathering would be much more lacking than mothering. Don’t misunderstand me, both are needed– but an emphasis on fathering is necessary because of the enormity of its absence.”

On Mack’s cynicism, Papa says, “When all you can see is your pain, then maybe you lose sight of me.”

On Mack’s struggle to understand the hard ways of God, Papa says, “I am not like you Mack”

In response to Mack’s struggle, “If you let me Mack, I’ll be the Papa you never had.”

On why God was pushing Mack to get beyond superficial understandings of the Bible, church, and authority based relationships, Sarayu (The Holy Spirit) says, “We carefully respect your choices, so we work within your systems even while we seek to free you from them.”

On the lies people tell themselves, “You see, Sarayu says, “broken humans center their lives around things that seem good to them, but that will never fill them or free them. They are addicted to power or the illusion of security that power offers.”

On the truth, “Mackenzie, the Truth shall set you free and the Truth has a name; he’s over in the woodshop right now covered in sawdust. Everything is about him. And freedom is a process that happens inside a relationship with him.”

On human response to tragedy, “In their disappointment, they either become softer toward me or bolder in their independence.”

On the problem of evil, “Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies.”

And on the indefensible nature of evil, Mack says, “I just can’t imagine any final outcome that would justify all of this (the murder of his daughter).” “Mackenzie,” Papa rose out of her chair and walked around the table to give him a big squeeze. “We’re not justifying it. We are redeeming it.”

(The picture of the shack at the beginning of this post is one I took on a hog-hunting trip to Oklahoma with a friend a few years ago. It was just down the road from this pathetic site of what was left of a deer that had gotten hung up trying to jump over a barbed wire fence. Both came to mind again as I read this book.)


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58 Responses to “The Shack”

  1. BruceC says:

    Liked the section on the understanding of evil. Many folks tend to blame God after seeing so much evil in the world or wonder why God doesn’t “do” something about it. He does make good out of it in His time and in His way; but the cause is our sin as humanity falls into the traps the evil one placed before it.
    I may get the book sometime; it sounds curious.

  2. hal.fshr says:

    Mart:

    Thanks for the thoughtful article on the controversial bestseller, The Shack. Not along ago, I read this book as well. I found myself emotionally moved (a few times I got tears in my eyes) and really felt connected to many things the author had to say about the mystery of the problem of evil. Whereas the novel’s relational insights are very significant, I do have concerns about its theology. I have heard it said that The Shack should be a springboard for discussion. But I have a slightly different approach. The novel should be a launch point to examine the text of the Bible when it speaks on the Persons, nature, relationships of the Triune God. Classic Bible passages to start with would be the Gospel of John Chapters 13-17. By comparing insights from The Shack with biblical material, it will help us to filter and cross check truth in the novel. The danger is that someone with little biblical background could end up building their own understanding of the Trinity on a novel instead of God’s inspired revelation on the subject. Someone has said of certain books they are a little like watermelon. You need to take a bite and spit out the seeds. In the case of The Shack we want to filter out nonbiblical ideas and affirm those that are biblical. Thanks for taking the risk of addressing this influential novel.

  3. Your Love Inspires says:

    My friend was excited as he gave me this book a few months ago. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on one’s perspective, I have not had the time to read it and really do not have the desire to. It is my belief that we have become sidetracked by movies and books that are supposed to deepen our thoughts (while making the authors piles of money) on faith while actually watering down the message with human interpretations and “salt that has lost it’s flavor.” Read the author’s note on the back of the paperback edition where he talks about living in a state of “wasteful grace” in the Pacific Northwest, whatever that means. Just take a look around in our media driven society and see how Christianity has been affected. I believe God wants to see excitement and gratitude accompanied by “loving another as ourselves” as a testament to the sacrifice of His Son for our redemption. It is as the speculation of the events that follow after we “pass away from this life” that has been addressed in books like the Left Behind series. I have met many who have read and acclaimed these these types of writings but show no more Christ likeness for the effort. It is my hope that more people will get back to the roots ouf our faith so we can give comfort to the suffering as the hurting women’s post addressed yesterday. Our love and compassion through Jesus and His teachings is the only answer to the world in the “fictional state” it is in today.

  4. Every Thought Captive says:

    It saddens me that Christians feel a need to look beyond the Scriptures to find a god who comforts them, to ascribe to him qualities and personality traits that the Scriptures do not reveal in order to feel good about God. The God revealed to us in Scripture (and Young questions the value of the written Word when he talks about its gilt, or is it guilt, edges [my paraphrase])is a comforting, loving, and merciful God; we know this first because He tells us in His Word (Isaiah 51:12). But from personal experience, having lost both a sister at age 20 and a husband at age 35, I can personally testify that I did not need God to appear to me in a form that appealed to me to work through my grief. I needed to come to understand who He was, as He reveals Himself in His Word. It was only then that I could come to a place of peace and healing. There can be no authentic relationship with God if we don’t truly understand who He is, and we can only understand who He is from His Word to us. “I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word” (Psalm 119:107). I would encourage Young and those who find “truth” in his theologizing (cloaked in fiction) to take seriously the words of warning in Revelation 22:18.

  5. poohpity says:

    I have to chuckle here because the term “wasted Grace” seems to be the norm in church of America. Many it seems who even read the scriptures from cover to cover miss the depth of love that is revealed in them because they confuse what our God’s revelation of Himself and His desire is for us and what is our own thoughts and desires.

    Bear with me here because I may get long winded because of the ignorance I see in our culture and knowledge of God. Although I do not know nor will I ever know the full extent of who our God is until that day I am with Him in His kingdom.

    God used every medium that was available to me to get my attention. He used cartoons, because I had little children. He used music because I listened all the time and it was secular. Everything I read even though it was not the bible to get me to focus on my captivity to the things of this world. One day someone bought me a Bible and I have never put it down, I read everyday before everything else this has been my daily desire for over 18 years. Last year I threw hundreds of dollars with of books in the trash and shaved my mid back length of hair in mourning over the fact that so many never even open the pages of the bible but leave it to teachers, authors and everything else to teach them what God has revealed through the bible. I believe with all my heart that each of us would be very well educated by what is written in those pages.

    With that being said I know now that God uses whomever and whatever He chooses to get someone to the place where He can reach them so who am I to condemn an author of a written fiction book if it even attempts to direct someone to the word of God because He uses us and we are so very imperfect. I do believe that the Bible and only the Bible has to be the basis of our beliefs but watch how you use it because you may be displaying “wasted Grace” in legalism. After reading the word of God your eyes will be open to the fact that God does reveal himself through some very strange means and you know that if you know the Bible.

    Hey if I am way off base here I am open to response before I lay naked in the street and eat my food cooked over my own dung. :)

  6. crosspatch says:

    “…what was left of a deer that had gotten hung up trying to jump over a barbed wire fence.” Could be a (albeit graphic) picture of us when we were dead in trespasses and sins. I am glad God chose to lift “what was left” and breathe life into us through Jesus. Gives renewed meaning to Ps. 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
    The book sounds interesting.

  7. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, I appreciate so much your perspective on this. I agree completely that the Bible is the basis and measure of the faith that pleases God. Nothing will feed our soul like the Word and words of God.

    If “The Shack” has any value it is because it falls in line with and illustrates the truths of the Scriptures.

  8. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, Thank You for sharing such valuable precepts from “The Shack”! Because of the problem of pain and evil that raises disturbing questions about the God of the Bible, don’t you feel it might be a good time to talk about “The Bible”? I do not intend to preach a sermon here let alone hurt any of your feelings…but this is all so sad…

    Illiterate people living in deprived parts of the world, with no clean water to drink, no proper houses to live, whose children go without food for days, who succumb to death for simple reasons like diarrhea and fever due to no health care, who don’t even have a written dialect of their own, but are ardently reading and learning “The Truth” from the KJV to show us what it means: to follow Christ joyfully…to deny ourselves (Physically, mentally, emotionally)…to suffer and silently endure sorrow and pain to live (Spiritually) like Jesus lived!

    And here, in spite of all the abundance and affluence, people are sad, depressed and do not want pain (Tylenol is sufficient testimony to that). There is a whole generation sitting in utter darkness that cannot tell their right hand from their left… its time God’s people did something to teach “The Word”…at least it will raise a succeeding Godly generation who will learn to walk in the ways of the Lord. Much burdened and praying for you all with a heavy heart…

  9. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr,
    You make a very important point and certainly give us another way of thinking about the importance of the Bible. But is it possible that you have done what the author of The Shack does?

    You eloquently provided another perspective (from outside of the Bible– to help us appreciate the life-changing truths and perspectives of the Bible).

    In post after post and conversation after conversation we are trying to encourage one another to see the life-changing wisdom of the living and written Word of God.

    But sometimes I’m convinced we need to do what Nathan did with David (2Samuel 12).

    Nathan told David a story– probably fiction– about a mean landowner who killed a poor man’s pet sheep– to feed a guest– to help David see how David had sinned against his God– and against the house of Uriah and Bath Sheba.

  10. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, Nathan did use an illustration to convict David, who was himself not ignorant about God or the scriptures which he meditated upon day and night. IMHO, no amount of examples (fictional or factual) will help see the truth if one does not even know the Truth in the first place. Anyway, you are the expert… and if you are convinced that everything is alright then maybe it is!

  11. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, I’m not claiming to be an expert on this :-). And I think you make a good point about someone who has no biblical background by which to evaluate the imagery.

  12. solace says:

    Great timing Mart! Just grabbed this book last week and am reading it now. I agree that the book has given me (to quote you) ‘renewed appetite’ for the Bible. Lots of good insights in the book that made me want to read and study the Bible even more. It also gave a fresh perspective on God and the concept of the Trinity that has boggled my mind for sometime now.

  13. poohpity says:

    I guess this illustrates the difference between being feed milk and meat. If there was never the written word which would have been the case in the days before Moses received the Law, THERE WAS GOD and He made His self known to the patriarchs of faith in a more one on one kinda way but still today He makes His self known through creation and many others ways. I hope to always remember His ways are not our ways and we can never put God in a box because there is not one to contain Him or even a book. :)

  14. cwilson0209 says:

    I’m in the middle of reading The Shack right now and I agree with everything you said, Mart.

    The Word of God is powerful and transforms lives and there is no subsitute. But I find that God speaks to me in many ways and through many things if I am open to Him – always measuring everything against the Bible, of course. In fact, sometimes other things (nature, things other people write, etc.) illluminate a point of Scripture for me and allow me to see a facet of God or His workings that I might not have seen otherwise.

    Jesus told truths through parables – it is sometimes easier to grasp a new concept (or an old one not completely understood) if there is an element in it that can be compared to something we already know.

    I agree with poohpity, too, that we can’t limit God – He is so far beyond our limited comprehension of Him.

    Storytelling to convey a message is a wonderful gift of God, in my humble opinion.

  15. bareheart says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog although I have been a long time reader of the Oswald Chambers devotional. I recently read The Shack and agree with your observations. It was another way to look at the relationship man has with God and I believe that our Lord would appreciate any effort that helped to bring people to relationship with Him. My favorite part of the the book was the author’s exploration of living in relationship and how we have veered away from this through our desire to be independent. Balancing life in the world of man and keeping a relationship with God and one another as God would have us can be a tall order. Any help I can get is appreciated and I found this book to be helpful.
    Thank you for your ministry and this web site.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, Thank You, for understanding what I was trying to express! However, we know very well that this is not about proving your point or mine…the underlying issue is much deeper and graver than what appears to the eye. “…even as we try to maintain an exterior of normalcy” we cannot ignore or afford to not address it.

    The way I always seem to be disagreeing is not something that I am proud about …in fact I have started to loathe myself and wished I was just as normal like the others who have commented with a positive affirmation of “The Shack”. I haven’t read that book but going by what you have highlighted above, all I can say is- Well, it is all good and there is nothing new…this is what “The Bible” has been saying all along, actually it explains God’s “Fatherly love” more clearly by claiming that “the most gentle, endearing, and heart-warming (nursing) mother may forget her child and fail to show compassion to the fruit of her womb but never will He leave nor forsake us.

    When one knows the genuine diamond every other glitter will pale in comparison, when one has tasted real food we’ll not hunger and thirst for the junk, if one has been satiated with real love, peace and joy that comes from above we will not yearn for a secondary “substitute”, when the real light shines into our lives there is no more darkness that needs to be illuminated and we readily recognize and shun the angel of light, when we have experienced the healing of His Word we’ll rest comforted in pain for the rest of our lives…

    That’s the way David responded when confronted with a parable…he readily acknowledged his sin and repented…yes, he did cry out for mercy and fasted for seven days but humbly accepted the mercy shown in the death of his son. Grief turned into joy when he understood that the Lord gives and He also takes away what belongs to Him… death was replaced by the hope of resurrection when he said surely one day he will go and be with his child forever.

    Please, do not get mad at me…I have been reading the ODB devotional since the day I was born…as my family sits down to read the Bible every evening before going to bed we also use the devotional as a supplement. I wouldn’t be hanging around here if the posts and conversations were not being beneficial to my Christian walk…so I have nothing against rather appreciation and gratitude for all of this…

    Jesus did teach in parables to maintain His anonymity, and nobody understood it, not even his own disciples who wondered why He was referring to ‘meat’ as doing His Father’s will when it was past lunch time and their stomachs were rumbling or why He was saying hard things that were difficult to digest. Even today, none of us will be able to grasp Spiritual concepts unless the Spirit reveals it to us, though we may try to apply all kinds of logical reasoning or use our best intellectual abilities.

    My humble question (no offence meant, just a dying curiosity) to people who have claimed to have understood everything with the help of parables, stories, commentaries, devotionals and other writings is- Where were you when one of us was rending his heart out here in pain and anguish? If you have experienced the “limitless” God why didn’t you lend your limiting shoulder to the broken-hearted? As I clearly recall, one of you even hesitated to get into this and simply wondered “Where is the body of Christ in this?”…are you not the Body of Christ? Why then did you not comfort your sorrowing brother…at least you could have shared something from “Pilgrims Progress”. If we are all about “me and my house” then I have nothing more to say….Sorry!

  17. poohpity says:

    Hey daisymarygoldr,

    I for one sometimes feel confused by some of your posts but all in all they make me think. I am thankful for your words and thoughts because they express who you are and it has been very nice to get to know you. I see your concern for those the Lord would have us minister to and the love you have for the word of God. So keep up with the posts because the name of this blog is “beenthinking” and that is exactly what you prompt me to do.

  18. Your Love Inspires says:

    Feeling like a hypocrite, I have to admit a secret sin. (not so secret to those who know me) Riding home from a meeting, I had Black Flag playing on the radio and flashed back to this blog and my response as well as the other responses. Black Flag is old school punk rock which can be kind of anti social as well as socially conscious in it’s message. Sometimes during certain songs regaurding the worship of money, I think about Jesus turning over tables in the temple! Have to admit that I can find a Christian message in things that are even of this world,,, but I still won’t read the book! Kind of “damaged goods” I guess… : )

  19. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, Thank You, for seeing and sharing the concern about the lack of knowledge due to which God’s people are perishing!

  20. Mart De Haan says:

    Abigail, I agree so much of what you have said, and also had a lot of questions before reading “the fiction” in question. I heard the rumors and “general” outright claims about bad theology. But the reason I stuck out my neck in the post is that I was amazed at how much of what I read lined up with what I believe is good Bible and biblically-based theology. Yet because of the risky and easily mis-quotable technique used by the author, I found that I had to read it to understand its affirmation by so many.

  21. kapoofnik says:

    I’m about half way through The Shack and it’s impressing me much like Andrew Hodges’ “Jesus: An Interview Across Time” in which a psychiatrist examines the humanity of Jesus in a question/answer format. Like the earlier work, The Shack looks deep within facets of the diamond and allows us to see things we never expected. This is not a new theology but a different way of looking at the theology we have. It in no way conflicts with that theology and allows us to see things we might not have otherwise considered.

  22. worshipper says:

    Thanks so much for this website and to everyone who has expressed their opinions here. I hadn’t heard of The Shack until I saw the author interviewed on Life Today, but I only caught the last couple minutes of the show. Later I saw the book at Costco and decided to read it. I’ve always loved reading study Bibles, Christian interpretations of the Bible, monthly ministry magazines, books written by popular pastors and leaders. I’m interested in the way other Christians interpret the Bible and I’m always fascinated to learn how God works in our lives. I found The Shack to be very encouraging, and I have a hard time seeing a down side. It addresses the hard questions that both believers and nonbelievers struggle with. One of the roadblocks to witnessing is the “evil” question, which is difficult for the most seasoned Christian to answer. I am still trying to answer my 80-year-old father and 74-year-old mother’s doubts about a God who allows terrible evil in the world. I believe The Shack will create a genuine hunger to know God in a vast number of unbelievers hearts, and they will then turn to the Bible as authority. I’m 54 and have only been saved 15 years. Growing up I had a very distorted view of God and I thought he was disapproving and hard to please. I found great comfort in this book in the way God was presented, with great tenderness and love, and it was so beautiful I was moved to tears. (Sorry, but I’m being transparent.) I think this book will cause people to think about God in radically different ways that would please Him very much. I wish I could have read this book when I was younger. I know it’s not for everybody, but for unbelievers out there who simply don’t understand God’s nature and how much he loves us it will have an impact. Thank you for letting me share….

  23. bluebird70 says:

    Hi Mart,

    Thank you for all the faithful ministry of RBC. My husband and I love all you do. I am on chapter 11 of The Shack and am reading it because my daughter urged me to, for discussion with her. I must admit that I have struggled with much of the book because it feels to me like the author is trying to explain God which is impossible. The Lord I know is so rich and loving and really seems above even the best attempt by this book to show what He is like. I do appreicate that many may find this book helpful and it may move them to dig into the Scriptures more to really see the character of God. Just when I think I have figured the Lord out, He surprises me. I guess my final comment would be that all I know of Christ from walking with Him for 61 years, I learned from reading His Word and it is always new. Nothing else can really show us what God is like.

  24. Mart De Haan says:

    bluebird70, I think it is so neat that you are reading the book as a basis for discussion with your daughter. Sounds like you already have a wonderful sense of the ability of God to stretch and surprise us with his goodness.

    Over the years I haven’t had much interest in fiction, and agree the Bible itself is inexhaustible in its wisdom. But I do remember, as a young person, reading some of CS Lewis’ science fiction and being impressed by his ability to give me new ways of appreciating the wonder and goodness of God.

  25. CDM76 says:

    I have read the Shack and I have read the comments. I hear the concerns of some that readers may be mislead. But when I compare the volume of reading and speaking which people are exposed to today, will the Shack be the piece of literature which will be the critical item. Those who know scripture best will remember it is the Holy Spirit who is given the work of conviction of sin. No where have I seen that He is limited to using only the Scripture in an acceptable version.

  26. abigail111 says:

    How can I have secret doubts about God when He is the only hope I have? We doubt the real God when we have all the little gods around us that we replace Him with.

  27. shezoe says:

    Thank you Mart. This post was a blessed relief from all the “witch burning” going on. Once again you have been a voice of calm reason and thoughtful consideration in the midst of all the ragings. These are all the things i saw in it also. Thank you for never being swayed by “peer pressure”, and for seeking Gods heart about everything that comes up.

  28. bluebird70 says:

    Well Mart, I should have waited until finishing the book to leave a comment as I really saw more of the Lord in the last chapters and was so blessed. Probably the one thing I am still struggling with is putting the Father in a human body since Christ said if we have seen him we have seen the Father. I know the Lord is big enough for all this and Praise Him, may this book turn many to seek what He is really like and humbly turn to Him as you are always urging in your programs. We have loved Day of Discovery for too many years to mention and love the fact that technology is allowing such an expansion of the great commission. Blessings to all of you and “Hi” Beth if you are reading this.

  29. God is gracious says:

    I have not read “The Shack” yet, but I do intend to read it. I appreciate all the comments regarding the initial article (which I really enjoyed). It is interesting to me that Jesus so often used parables in His teaching ministry–in secular educational processes, word illustrations are used to enhance understanding of complex concepts–in teaching children, we often use stories to bring them to a grasp of moral concepts beyond their reach.

    How many times did Jesus say: “the kingdom of God is like . . .” and then proceed to tell a story related to the “real” life of the hearers to illustrate His point? How many times in my own life have I heard someone share a story and had it stimulate an understanding of some principle that had previously eluded me? I believe that we often don’t use one of the greatest teaching tools that Jesus practiced–sharing parables (stories that illustrate). If we pick apart the elements of a parable, we can miss the message; for example, what if when Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls…” in Matthew 13, we get stuck on the pieces of the parable and conclude that this is teaching that we should have a materialistic mindset or that we should be looking for fine pearls or that being irresponsible enough to sell everything and not take care of our families to gain a piece of expensive jewelry is an obvious lesson here?

    I pray the prayer in Ephesians 1: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him . . .” Thanks for this forum and all who contribute and for Mart–sharing in Love calls all the sheep to the Shepherd’s arms as we examine our flawed human thinking in the light of other’s perspectives–a great growth stimulator

  30. Mart De Haan says:

    Wow, I think you’ve said that so well.

  31. glenn mathews says:

    Both my wife and I have read THE SHACK. Come on, people, it is a NOVEL. I can imagine that if there were blogs at the time Pilgrims Progress was written, there would have been even more opinions expressed about it than are being stated about this book. Some would probably have put Bunyan in jail for his entire life! I am a fundamental Baptist Preacher of 55+ years and I thoroughly enjoyed the NOVEL…It makes one think…thinking will bring you to the source of all truth, the Word of God. So, why not just read it and enjoy it for what it is? old preacher

  32. Honorer of God says:

    As some have said I think too many people read books about the Bible and don’t spend enough time reading the Bible. Therefore, I probably would not have read The Shack except I was given the book by a friend. The beginning was so well written I forgot it was fiction until Papa took the gun “with two fingers as if it was contaminated.” That word picture destroyed the idea that it was a true story. The God who told the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites and used the Babylonians to punish His people would not be afraid of a gun.

    I wonder if the author had God portray Himself as a Black woman for shock value, but I also have seen the loving control of black women wield on their families and communities as similar to God’s way of working with people. If the Son of God can use a unjust judge to explain how the Father answers prayers, I can accept the admirable aspects of a Black woman as an illustration of God’s love. I highly doubt that God would ever put on the weekend portrayed. On the rare occasions men have seen God He either appears in a form that makes men fall on their faces, but usually works subtly to bring His children into a right relationship.

    As I continued to read through the book, the discussions about God’s desire to have a relationship with His people resonated powerfully with what the Bible says. The discussion with Sophia challenged me to make sure I was not being judging others unfairly. The book emotionally moved me deeply, but it concerned me that a book with obvious discrepancies with what the Bible says drew me emotionally. So, on my vacation after the first reading I went through the book again making five pages of notes about what I liked and the things I thought were wrong, with Scripture references to back my approval or rejection.

    My biggest concern is that Young says God redeems bad things but never brings evil things into a life. God is not the author of evil, but I believe God plays Satan like a fiddle to accomplish His purposes. When you read the first chapter of Job, you see the LORD setting up Job for Satan to attack him. From the ensuing arguments, Job had a wrong view of the LORD. What happened to Job and his family was “evil,” but it brought Job to a better understanding of who God is and what Job’s relationship to God should be. Comparing II Samuel 24:1 to I Chronicles 21:1 you will see the LORD using Satan to bring about a judgement on Israel that God knew His people needed. The plague would be called an “evil” by anyone who lost a family member. If God is sovereign, He must be in full control of the evil as well as the good things that happen in this world.

    I would only give the book to mature Christians, who I would be sure would be knowledgeable of God’s Word and/or would search the Scriptures to sort out the truth from the errors. I gave the two copies of the book I own to a couple who are growing but struggling with an “evil” that entered their lives. I made the husband promise to read it with his wife so they could discuss the book as they go through it. I would be afraid that an immature believer would get the idea that God does not or cannot control evil and they would get discouraged when “evil” things come into their lives.

  33. tinamite says:

    I loved this book. I listened to the audio book over several days as I did my daily walk. I found myself laughing out loud, crying and sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit as I listened. It was a story of a vulnerable honest man’s musings, questions and dialogue with His personal God, Savior and Holy Spirit.
    Come on people lighten up, God speaks to us not only through His word but through His people and circumstances.
    I marveled when God appeared to Mack as an Afro American woman “Hasn’t it always been a problem for you to embrace me as a father? After what you’ve been through (abused as a child and now struggling with the senseless murder of his daughter), you couldn’t very well handle a father right now could you?” How much God loves us and pursues us.
    I loved this audiobook so much I have bought 3 more paper book( 1to keep and the others to give away)

  34. tinamite says:

    I loved this book. I listened to the audio book over several days as I walked and I found myself laughing out loud and crying along the way. What a refreshing and encouraging way to look at the love our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit towards us. I was astounded how God showed up to Mack in the form of an Afro American woman,” “Hasn’t it always been a problem for you to embrace me as a father? After what you’ve been through (abused as a child and now struggling with the senseless murder of his daughter), you couldn’t very well handle a father right now could you?”
    The author, as he explained at the end of the book, used a fictional plot to place his own personal musings, questions,fears and anger as he struggled with issues in his own life and his personal relationship’s with the Father Son and Holy Spirit.

  35. Gena says:

    On August 20, 2008 at 7:43pm EST, my sister’s life changed forever. Her 16 year daughter was killed in a car accident. Suddenly, the light of her family’s life was extinguished. The minister presiding over her funeral service recommended this book, so I brought and read the book just recently. Even though it is fictional, it lined up a few things for me accurately. I will have to re-read it as my mind finds it difficult to wrap itself around some of it’s multi-dimensional abstract thoughts in relation to the Trinity. Bascially I will just have to slow down, because I was so thirsty for the messages within it. The author, William P. Young did a great job writing this book. Only someone with an intimate relationship with God can write a book like this and Young demonstrates his uncanny ability to present to us a picture of a heavenly parental relationship that we all can have in the person of God who loves us and understands loss – after all He gave His only begotten Son so that we may have eternal life.

  36. jocmac says:

    I am now re-reading The Shack and I think it is important for readers to realize that the author wrote this book to his own children to help them through a difficult season in their family life. He never intended it to be written to sell.It was his friends that thought it should be written down for others. The LORD has used this book to speak to my heart about how I have had a difficult time myself trusting that the Father loves all of His children well. I believe the LORD is using this book to touch many hearts and help those of us who didn’t even know we had believed so many lies
    about Him all of our lives. I believe God is big enough to use this work of fiction to accomplish everything He ordained beforehand to do…. It blows my mind that He made sure this book was written and to make sure that I for one have been able to read it. If it was only written for one, it would have been worth it to the LORD!

  37. Sandtoad says:

    I started a small Christian book club (6 of us). Our first book was “The Shack.” I have read it twice and find little nuggets of delight each time. I gave everyone in the club a copy of your column. We selected it partly because it had something to talk about and still be an enjoyable novel.

    Thank you for your down-to-earth presentation of this book. We are currently reading Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.” I would love to have more suggestions. Anyone??

  38. TruthSeeker12 says:

    “We carefully respect your choices, so we work within your systems even while we seek to free you from them.” this part sounds fimiliar. Is there a verse like this in the bible? I currently find myself in debates, but there’s alot more i need to learn. I came here and think it was a good choice. is there anyway, other than comments, that we can talk to people on this site? i’m exited to learn from here, and hopefully get help whenever i’m confronted by somebody on the internet about God. Also, I haven’t read this book, but it seems like you’ve gotten some good stuff out of it, nice job.

  39. TruthSeeker12 says:

    Oh! Btw, i figured the least i could do is introduce myself. Well, i’m new here and hope to learn alot because there’s alot to learn. i guess that’s why i put my screen name as it is. I usually get into debates with people over the internet since so few of them are willing to listen easily. But at the same time i thank God for those pple who challenge me to actually learn more about God’s word and teach us why it’s so important we know what we’re talking about. I only pray i don’t get destracted from this place since it seems like a good place for knowledge. I’m currently reading through the bible for the 1st time and am in the new testemant, and actually I came here about a debate and why some commands are in the old testeman, as well as why they change in the new testemant, but my real puzzle would be answering pple who ask about certain commandments such as these: DUETERONOMY11-12 “D not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.12Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear”. Any and all help will be appreciated, thnak you, and hello to everybody!

  40. aecann says:

    Mart, I have to say that after reading the forward I tried to remember that this author was putting on paper what another had experienced. We tend to put God in whatever our box is that we think He should fit into and just being a baby in the Word I sensed clarity in the author’s work and that in itself will clear up questions that people have. I read “The Shack” several months ago and wondered to whom I should lend it for a really good read. Well one of my friends at work came in last week and just had to tell me about a book she had just read and how much she had gotten from it. I was delighted to hear it was The Shack. Other wanted to read the book and even my assistant so she took home and has already read it. Both women have had great loss in their lives and this book has brought them great clarity and releif and confirmation. When an author can do that with their words in story then God has blessed the writers hand to get a message out to people who need answers. I really loved the book and the author for the care with which he wrote it. It will affect many. aecann

  41. Mart De Haan says:

    aecann, hey thanks for passing that along.

    I think one analogy might be the high regard many of us have for CS Lewis. As a one time atheist, he has helped so many unbelievers come to faith, and has also helped so many of us think through difficult issues of faith and life.

    Yet, we still have to read him, as we must read all books, with discernment to decide for ourselves what does and does not line up with our best judgment and understanding of Scripture.

  42. BibleDon says:

    Dear brother DeHaan,
    I just read your beenthinkingabout post regarding the book The Shack. The only thing more disappointing than your dangerously mis-leading blog is that in nearly a year you have not discovered your serious error. I have not read very much on your website but this one posting gives me serious concern as to your level of spiritual discernment. You appear to be calling those opposed to this book “shallow”. You thus glibly ridicule and dismiss without consideration the many godly reviewers who do find this book subversive. You also seem to imply that the Shack’s many critics are taking things out of context.
    You quote directly from several passages of The Shack to point out some positive aspects of the book. None of these are anything that you could not get out of a basic reading of the Bible. Not exactly “deep”. I did not need the Shack to know that god is loving or that he desires relationship not religiosity. What you do not devote one word to are the parts of the book that reveal W.P. Young’s warped and UN-Biblical theology. That which IS true and BIblical in the Shack and that which is emotionally moving, is simply the milk that makes it easier to swallow the rat poison.
    For me it was enough to read the passage where the so-called “Jesus” drops a bowl of food and is called “old greasy fingers” and “clumsy” by the two other members of Young’s false trinity. Apparently that did not bother you at all. The Christ of the Bible holds together the entire universe, from countless sub-atomic particles to billions of galaxies, each having billions of stars. Young’s Christ and apparently yours, cannot be trusted to walk across a room without dropping something.
    In addition to this deeply insulting portayal of my risen savior and Lord, Young puts words into the mouth of his false god that clearly and openly contradict the Bible. Fairly early in Mack’s encounter with Young’s idolotrous godhead, “Papa” tells him that he, as God does not need to punish sin. Is this your understanding as well? Given that as a baseline of W.P. Young’s warped theological perspective, it is easy to understand that he rejects the Biblical concept of Christ’s substitutionary atonement. This is not just revealed in the Shack’s bizarre insistence that “Papa” bears the scars of Calvary and that he never once left Christ, but Young has openly and clearly stated in numerous interviews that he is quite opposed to any doctine that would have Christ bearing the penalty for his or anyone else’s sins.
    The false god that Young crafts in his book is appealing to many. He/she is a kind of warm fuzzy teddy bear. Just pull the string and you can hear whatever you want to:
    Pull, whir, buzz- There are no rules.
    Pull, whir, buzz- I NEVER punish.
    Pull, whir, buzz- Sorry.
    Pull, whir, buzz- Church & Bible? BORING!
    Pull, whir, buzz- Oops, clumsy me.
    Pull, whir, buzz- Buy lots more of me and give them away!!

    This book stands as the latest in a long line of religious and literary attacks on the Bible, from the DaVinci Code to A Course in Miracles, to the Koran and Book of Mormon. They all unite to cast Christ down from His excellence and to attack his finished work on Calvary. That you can sing its praises and slight its detractors is troubling, deeply troubling.

  43. BibleDon says:

    Forgotten “last word” on The Shack:

    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

    “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-5

  44. BibleDon says:

    Hmmm… out of curiosity I clicked on the Link “The Shack” in your Shack review. I thought perhaps it would take me to another rbc page on the subject. Instead I find myself on Amazon.com. I find this bizarre. What exactly is your interest in seeing this book sold???
    Well, since you bounced me there, here is a review from Amazon that expresses better than I was able to what an outrageous insult to God it is that you are promoting this blasphemous book:

    A false god, January 7, 2009
    By PK “Keith” (Flemington, NJ)

    The Christian community today desperately needs a literary talent to convey the Christian faith in a compelling way such as C. S. Lewis or John Bunyan did for previous generations. Unfortunately Wm. Paul Young is not that man. I am not qualified to judge its literary quality but by training and vocation I am qualified to speak of its theological content. Unfortunately from that standpoint the book is simply dreadful – and on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to begin.

    What Young attempts is rather audacious. He presumes to put words in the mouth of God – not mere snippets that relate commonly accepted proverbial truths but whole chapters of dialogue in which God tries to enlighten a modern day Job (whose name is Mack) who has experienced an awful tragedy (his young daughter has been abducted and murdered by a sexual predator) regarding the mysterious ways of God. In short, Young attempts to answer Job-like questions – something God Himself refused to do for Job in the Bible – by putting his own speculations into the book’s dialogue as Mack has a weekend long encounter with God in the very shack where his daughter was murdered.

    The result is rather predictable and disappointing. The god of The Shack looks far more like a wish-fulfillment of a postmodern western intellectual than the God revealed in the pages of the Bible. Politically correct sensitivities are duly observed as the trinity revealed in the Shack appears to Mack as `Papa,’ a “large beaming African American woman,” (p. 82) `Jesus’ a Jewish carpenter and `Sarayu’ a spirit-like Asian female. Other left wing sensitivities emerge. `Papa’ is clearly anti-gun holding Mack’s at arm’s length between two fingers while disposing of it (pp. 84, 88) and religiously active patriotic Christians are portrayed as sincere but sadly misguided (p. 181). Careful readers will note too that `Jesus’ informs Mack that “Marriage is not an institution. It is a relationship…. I don’t create institutions; that’s an occupation for those who want to play God.” (p. 179) Of course, if marriage is not an institution, then we are not bound by the rules of the one who instituted it and if relationship is its essence then logically it would seem that any type of relationship would qualify. Whether he intended it or not, Young’s depiction lends itself to our culture’s attempt to redefine marriage. Whatever else may be said of the god of The Shack, she is up to date – which also means that she will soon be out of date.

    More importantly, Sarayu, in true postmodern fashion, is careful to inform Mack that relationships are never about exercising the will to power over others (p. 106). Indeed, `Papa’ is reticent to impose her will on anyone, repeatedly insisting to Mack that he is free to do whatever he likes (pp. 89,182) and that she will proceed on his “terms and time.” (p. 83) In fact, The Shack god takes offense when Mack asks what she expects of him (p. 201). The idea that God might have expectations is even treated as an insult. If this is the same God who spoke through the Old Testament prophets (who had just a few expectations of his people and let them know it) or of the Apostles (who commanded all men everywhere to repent in Acts 17:30) then he has undergone a radical transformation over the centuries. The Shack `Jesus’ goes so far as to inform Mack that it would be contrary to love if he were to force his will on him (p. 145) – again, a stark contrast to the Jesus of the Gospels who had no such qualms saying, “If you love me you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) In fact, biblical love is defined bluntly in terms of obedience. “This is love for God: to obey his commands” (I John 5:3; cf I John 2:3-5). But Sarayu insists that Mack has no rules to follow, is under no law and has no responsibility or expectations (p. 203). In fact, she assures Mack that “I’ve never placed an expectation on you or anyone else… And beyond that, because I have no expectations, you never disappoint me.” (p. 206) Such an all-affirming god may soothe the self-esteem of postmoderns but she bears little resemblance to the God who spoke through Jeremiah or John the Baptist.

    It is true that the New Testament does tell us that we are no longer under the Law of Moses, but it also insists that we are “not free from God’s law but (are) under Christ’s law.” (I Cor. 9:21) And while it is certainly true that we cannot earn God’s favor by keeping rules, it is simply false to say that God has no rules or expectations of His people. A much more accurate representation is to say that when we are transformed by God’s grace, we become a people who desire to do his will, his commands are no longer `burdensome” (I John 5:3) because His law is “written on our hearts.” (Jer. 31:33) This kind of careless theology is dangerous in a culture that is all too eager to cast off any and all restraints and justify its autonomy.

    It should not surprise us then to find that `hierarchy’ and `authority’ are bad words to the god of The Shack. “Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it. You rarely see or experience relationship apart from power. Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.” So the `Jesus’ of The Shack informs us (pp. 122-3). But they are words that are hard to reconcile with the real Jesus of the Bible who was not embarrassed to speak in hierarchical terms of his relationship with the Father: “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father commands.” (John 14:31) Unlike the biblical Trinity (I Cor. 11:3), there is no hierarchy among the members of The Shack’s trinity who find such a concept incomprehensible (pp. 121-122, 124). In a perfect world, we are told, “there would be no need for hierarchy.” (p. 124) Again, this flies in the face of the biblical depiction of the perfect world God created in the garden of Eden where He commanded Adam and Eve not to take of the fruit of the tree of life. In fact, the fall in Scripture is portrayed as a violation of the hierarchical order that God had established. And paradise in Scripture is only restored when “every knee will bow and ever tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Phil. 2:10-11) It all sounds rather `hierarchical’ to me.

    This is no small error but one that goes to the very heart of true biblical faith. Salvation occurs when the heart of an individual is brought back into loving submission to its proper Master. C.S. Lewis captured the beauty of that concept well when he said that “Equality is a quantitative term and therefore love often knows nothing of it. Authority exercised with humility and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.” (Weight of Glory, p. 170) But The Shack is so enamored with postmodern fads that it cannot perceive even the most basic spiritual realities. Significantly, the biblical metaphors for God are all authority figures to whom submission is appropriate and necessary: Father, Shepherd, King, Judge, etc. It is certainly not coincidental that the god of the Shack is portrayed in far more effeminate terms.

    Since authority is jettisoned as unworthy of God, the concept of sin likewise is all but absent. How can we violate the will of a God who has no expectations and is never disappointed? The book speaks much of `brokenness’ and of `horrendous and destructive choices’ (p. 190) but little about human rebellion and wickedness – even though the story revolves around a horrific crime. The Bible tells us plainly that God “hates” and “abhors” wicked men and judges them accordingly (Ps 5:5-6; 11:5-6; Prov. 3:32-33). Sinners may come to experience the grace of God, but not because they are lovable but in spite of the fact that they are not, because of the sheer greatness of God’s love, not our inherent value or worth (II Kings 17:15). Only one human has ever been truly worthy of God’s love and that is Jesus. God’s grace is dispensed freely to unworthy sinners only by virtue of the fact that they are in the Beloved One (Eph 1:6). But the god of the Shack repeatedly informs Mack that she is `especially fond of’ everyone (pp. 118-119) and that as humans, we are “deserving of respect for what you inherently are…” (p. 190) “Guilt’ll never help you find freedom in me” she tells Mack (p. 187) nor does she “do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation.” (p. 223) She certainly doesn’t “need to punish people for sin” (p. 120 – the only reference to sin that I can remember in the book). In contrast, the God of the Bible, though “slow to anger…will not leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3) He is a god who “will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction….” (II Thess. 1:8-9)

    Since sin is marginalized, the atoning work of Christ is downplayed as well. We are informed significantly by `Papa’ that when Christ cried out on the cross `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ he was actually never forsaken at all. He only “felt” abandoned. (p. 96) This subtly drains the cross of its meaning. It implies that Jesus was not actually taking the punishment for our sin which truly does alienate us from God and required that the Father turn His back on the Savior as He bore that sin on the cross. Instead, the meaning of the cross is reduced to Christ’s own subjective spiritual growth – “He found his way through it to put himself completely in my hands. Oh what a moment that was!” says `Papa’ (p. 96). When Mack asks specifically what the significance of Christ’s death is, `Papa’s’ explanation says nothing of sin, or of God’s wrath (Rom 1:18; Eph 2:3), or of the shedding of blood as an atonement in our place (pp. 191-193). The discussion predictably emphasizes reconciliation since that has to do with relationship and relationship is where its at among postmoderns. But there is no indication that our alienation is due to our real guilt – our violation of God’s Law – i.e. – His expectations of us. The impression we get is that reconciliation is needed not because the holiness of God has been offended but because Mack is “really scared of emotions.” (p. 192) In other words the barrier to relationship is not his guilt, but his own psychological frailty and fear that keeps himself from opening himself up to God’s love.

    Since sin and judgment are underplayed, conversion is not very important to the `Jesus’ of The Shack either. Those who love Christ, we are told, come from every religious system that exists including Buddhists, Mormons and Muslims and `Jesus’ has “no desire to make them Christian” though he does “want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into brothers and sisters, into my beloved.” (p. 182) We are not told how to reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements. At one point, Sophia, a personification of wisdom whom Mack encounters, seems to imply that even the murderer of Mack’s daughter is a child of God and exempt from judgment (pp. 161-2). Admittedly, the dialogue is somewhat cryptic but it implies that God is above condemning sinners. This is certainly a far cry from the clarity of Scripture which warns not to be deceived into thinking that the wicked will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9). Sophia’s words at best open us up to just that sort of deception.

    In short, the god of The Shack is a god that is very comfortable and very human (even having accidents in the kitchen!) – Mack feels right at home in their company from the start [at home enough to be openly sarcastic on more than one ocassion]. In contrast, every human-divine encounter recorded in the Bible leaves the human recipient trembling in awesome fear. This alone should alert the reader that something is seriously amiss in Young’s presentation.

    I have just scratched the surface regarding the errors that I encountered in this book but this review is too long already. I have tried to limit myself to the most egregious offenses. Time and space forbid me from addressing numerous problems with regard to his portrayal of the Trinity and the incarnation. Whatever merits the book may have are clearly overshadowed by these serious deficiencies.

    Young’s aim in trying to lead the reader into an encounter with the living God is admirable. And his portrayal is no doubt appealing to people of our generation. Many hearts will be stirred by his sympathetic identification with those suffering from pain and doubts arising from tragedy. But unfortunately the god that Mack meets in The Shack is not the God of the Bible. They are two very different gods and in the end we are forced to choose whether we will submit to the authority of the one true God on His terms as expressed in the very first of the ten commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3) or cast our lot with appealing figment of Young’s imagination.

  45. BibleDon says:

    Hello? Anybody there? I realize it is far past the original posting date but are you not notified when someone replies?

  46. poohpity says:

    Very good review of the book and very thorough. On the bottom of the page we are able to see recent comments. It would be nice to hear more from you.

  47. foreverblessed says:

    It took me some time to read the review.

    But after what you wrote, I read this today, and felt the urge to show it here.
    I will put it here not to minimise the seriousness of sin, God cannot see sin. He is too holy. Sin is sin, and we must be cleansed of sin.
    But God gives it freely, and we can freely accept it. We do not have to accept it, and so will remain in our sin.
    Neither does this text say that we will remain as we are, when we accept Christ.

    the morning meditation of october 22, CH Spurgeon
    “I will love them freely”
    Hosea 14:4
    This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely; at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.” We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish.” “I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire.” Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when he said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! “I will love them freely.” These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such—“I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.” Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father’s face.

  48. BibleDon says:

    Still waiting

  49. saled says:

    Reading The Shack freed me. Where is Mack when his daughter is kidnapped? Rescuing his son in the lake. Mack is human. Like me. Try as hard as he might, he could not control all events. I know that my actions affect my children. I know that I can’t control all things. I don’t have to try to be God anymore. God is God. I am just little old me, free to rejoice in the fact that Jesus died on the cross to reconcile the world unto himself. My hope is in Him.

  50. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Rosalie for posting here. It gave me a laugh, was thinking about rounded, how rounded can a message be?
    Grounded on Grace.
    I needed to see this again. Since I met a man at a dinner party from my husband’s firm. It was a pleasant encounter, eating together. But then the man started to talk about his profession, he was a book writer. And started to tell what he wrote: about a young boy. And from here I cannot write what he said, it is a sinful life he has lead from his youth. But the fact is, immediately I started to pray for this man. The disgust of the sin he talked about did not get at me. Thank God, that He brought me this far that I can see distasteful sinners, and not dislike them. My husband walked away, he couldn’t bear him anymore. But I remained seated, listened and started to pray right away.
    Jesus sees us humans, our sins unwrapped and as a cloth fallen on the ground, and He sees the inner person, to be washed and cleansed. He loves us.
    Jesus loves us freely. Thank God,
    Grace, how sweet the sound.

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