Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday 5 - UPDATED - The Shack, by William P Young

It's been ages since I've shared a favourite on a Friday.

We had the privileged of sharing a meal with two very interesting gentlemen on Wednesday night. Russell Thorp coordinates GC3, a New Zealand missions organisation as well as Ooi Chin Aik, known as Chin, an evangelist, itinerant speaker, theologian and author. What an interesting and inspiring evening with two very knowledgeable men. Russell, having connections with Laidlaw College in Auckland, noted we had the novel, The Shack on our bookshelf.  He suggested we listen to a link from the Laidlaw website from theologian Baxter Kruger and author of The Shack, Paul Young.

The Shack appears to be a very controversial book. I have read it probably 4 times, I try read it every year. not because it is particularly well written, but because it challenges my thinking. It is a novel, so fiction, yet for me, it opens  up the possibilities of who God is, removing the box I have placed God in, giving God the space to repossess the inviting, divine, mystery that He is.

I haven't had time to listen to this yet, so can not censor it for you, but from what Russell said about the evening, it tells the history of how the story of the The Shack came to be, if you have wondered about this book and have been hesitant to read it due to offered opinions, then this testimony may give you perspective you need to pick The Shack up and read it, or to stop wondering if you should read it and be content to walk away from it. You decide.

UPDATE: I have listened to these talks, they include very little about the book The Shack.  I would be cautious in recommending others listen to the link above, unless you have a good theological filter to sift the raised thoughts through.  I'm not saying don't listen. I could easily remove this link from my blog, but in the interests of challenging and thought provoking material these talks are up there.  They are just not for the faint hearted in their faith. I described to my husband, that my reaction was 'cautious intrigue'. Some of the question raised in these talks really tapped into a deep place of my own doubts in faith, this is a good thing, as I think sometimes we feel something is awry but at times we don't know exactly how to put it into words, or we push the feeling down, not knowing how to address it, so tend more towards ignoring the difficulty of it. This can look an awful lot like an ostrich hiding it's head in the sand, which does not equate to wisdom.  

I need to listen to it again, and probably again. I don't know if I agree with this theology since I've only listened once and can't say I understood all they were saying.  At times I liked what I heard but then struggled to accept it as it wasn't referenced to the Word of God enough to reassure me.  Other times I could see where they were coming from, and others I wasn't on the same page.  So if you like challenging theological discussion and have been discipled and equipped enough to work through some highly challenging and controversial theology, then I encourage you to listen, if not maybe avoid for now, or if you are really curious find a spiritual mentor to journey with you in this.

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