Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Chatter

# 4. The Shack - Wm. Paul Young

I finished The Shack this past weekend. It wasn't anywhere near the same dense reading of Crime and Punishment, nevertheless, it took me just as long, lol! Truth be told, I almost stopped reading it altogether, and considered returning it to the library unfinished. . .but please read on. . .

I have mixed feelings about this one and will try to share my thoughts and some highlights. I found the first few chapters and the overall story very interesting, but felt ambivalent about the way God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were portrayed. While I understood the message the author was trying to deliver, the means still left something to be desired for me personally. I found I had to move beyond that hurdle to allow myself to fully receive the message and blessing of this book. So after pushing past this with some hesitancy, I am thankful to have read it to the end! The book deals uniquely with some powerful issues when it comes to Our Heavenly Father and our faith and understanding of Him. It attempts to address the questions that many of us struggle with from time to time - issues of evil in our world, God's control. and sometimes seeming passiveness of unfathomable tragedies, pain, and injustice.

I hope that these poignant quotes will speak to your heart and have you picking this one up soon!

These read as if spoken by God -

"In your world the value of the individual is constantly weighed against the survival of the system, whether political, economic, social, or religious - any system actually. First one person, then a few, and finally even many are easily sacrificed for the good and ongoing existence of this system. In one form or another this lies behind every struggle for power, every prejudice, every war, and every abuse of relationship. The "will to power and independence' has become so ubiquitous that it is now considered normal."

"You try to make sense of the world in which you live based on a very small and incomplete picture of the reality. It is like looking at a parade through a tiny knothole of hurt, pain, self-centeredness, and power, and believing you are on your own and insignificant. All these contain powerful lies. You see pain and death as ultimate evils and God as the ultimate betrayer, or perhaps, at best, as fundamentally untrustworthy. You dictate the terms and judge my actions and find me guilty."

"Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive - a living fractal."

"Remember, I am not about performance and fitting into man-made structures; I am about being. As you grow in a relationship with me, what you do will simply reflect who you are."

". . .if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again."

Wow! And this is just a few highlights! There are really some powerful points in this book and it has left many with much food for thought.

I'd love hear from others who have read it, and encourage those who haven't!

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