1. Steve Taylor says:

    Very well thought out and an honest review. As a broadcasting professional I know the power of media first hand so my desire is that this movie tanks and tanks badly. It’s much easier to make people believe a lie using a film then it is a book because of the nature of the media. Music, editing, camera angles and acting, if well done, can convince those with little discernment of just about anything. I didn’t read the book, I studied it, not for myself but to write a paper on its bad doctrine so I could help others to see The Shack at face value. Let’s keep up the good fight. Thanks

  2. Mikel Withers says:

    A excellent, gentle critique of the film/book.
    I guess I’d say that I somewhat disagree with the “not a novel” view. Don’t get me wrong, I totally see where you are coming from, but I don’t want to over-burden the authors with needing to dot every literary “i” and cross every genre “t”.
    I will agree that it isn’t *just* a novel. No matter the authors’ intent, I do think that it brings up some good mental exercises for the reader.
    eg: God isn’t Gandolf.

    • My question: who truly grew up thinking of God more like an old white-bearded man rather than the Person of Jesus? I was exposed to the white-beard image, but didn’t struggle with it. For the saints, God looks like Jesus, Who is His exact image.

      • Leanna P says:

        1) But Jesus appears as a white man in most visual representations so there’s that.
        2) Most any visual art example of God the Father that I can think of is an old white man like Michelangelo’s Creation art in the Sistine Chapel – just Google image search “God”
        If you grow up in a family where God is more than just an abstract religious concept then I think the struggle is lessened because the old white man imagery isn’t the primary way you experience Him. But if God is mostly just your cultural background then I think the old white man thing does get rooted in more.

  3. Martin LaBar says:

    The link just before the footnotes doesn’t work.

    Thanks for this post!

  4. Good article, Stephen. Thanks for linking to the first post in my series. I like the fact that you called The Shack out for not being a novel. It isn’t and the whole “it’s fiction” thing, allowed lots of people to accept it without thinking about it deeply. That’s a frustration to me in and of itself, because I think we should think about the fiction we read, not just go with how we felt about it.


  5. We need more patience and kindness with one another in discussing this book. Good feelings do not equal sound doctrines. But there are bits of truth throughout the work. And yelling at others–uncharitably–for their lack of discernment is itself a form of blasphemy.

    I have problems with “sweet Christian romance” novels for a couple reasons. I quit reading them in my early twenties. But I refrain from discussing these problems with women who can occasionally indulge in these cloying sweets without growing sick.

What do you think?