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Has anyone read a book titled "The Shack?"


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My fundie-lite mother-in-law insisted I read it, and she had several copies in her car when she came for her weekly visit. I've held the book, but I don't know much about it. The books she has given me in the past are terrible. I am a confirmed atheist, and she knows this. I've been married to her son for 15 years. I just don't want to waste six hours of my day reading this book, but she expects a response. Cliff's Notes version, anyone?

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Wikipedia to the rescue! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shack

Oh, and FWIW, I had an acquaintance push a copy on me awhile back. I tried reading it, but the writing and storytelling style just didn't hook me at all, so when I gave it back that was the reason I gave for not reading it. I didn't even have to touch on the subject matter.

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It was a big deal a few years ago. I haven't read it and don't really care to. According to that wikipedia article, Mark Driscoll hates it, so that's one thing in its favor. I do remember criticisms of its somewhat liberal theology.

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i read it a few years ago. not being religious, I thought it portrayed a nice picture of god and how I would like god to be. However, it gets slow and more than a little preachy. I wouldn't say a complete waste of time though.

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I have read it and more or less hated it. The only thing I liked was God the "Father" in the Trinity being depicted as a large, loving, and slightly "loud", African American woman. That totally worked for me. However after that it more or less became a cliche (Holy Spirit as some ethereal woman and Jesus as, oh, a carpenter!). The writing was sappy, preachy and infantile.

As someone who has lived through a tragedy involving a child I was personally outraged by the image of a loving God taking time to address the father's suffering while many in the world are left bereft and cannot find God, despite trying, amid their own tragedy.

It offered trite and simplistic theology as an answer to theodicy.

Didn't work for me.

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I can remember that many Christians gave it a rave review when it came out. Apparently it's supposed to make Christianity that much clearer and as far as I remember God turns up in his aspect of a black woman.

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I can remember that many Christians gave it a rave review when it came out. Apparently it's supposed to make Christianity that much clearer and as far as I remember God turns up in his aspect of a black woman.

Funny. Most of the Christians I know who commented on it thought it was awful. Sort of a universally hated thing.

Maybe various groups reacted differently.

Before anyone asks, no, I haven't read it myself.

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Does your fundie lite mother-in-law know that the author made it up? Some people were pissed when they learned that the book was made up. The author didn't say the story wasn't real until after it came out. He never said it was real either, but he made it seem like it was. I read the book. It was okay. I'm not a big fiction reader. I love non fiction. The conservative Christians I know hated it.

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Haven't read it but it sounds horrible.

It wasn't horrible. It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 5.

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My manager loves this book. Since I was trying to understand her better, I leafed through it and decided that it would be too triggering to actually read.

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Ugh, my parents foisted that book upon me and it wasn't very good. I mean, sure if you like reading about the murder and rape of a little girl, by all means, read on up. I wasn't entertained but I did finish it because I can't put a book down, I've put down two books in my life: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Seeing by Jose Saramago.

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It wasn't horrible. It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 5.

I was thinking more "horrible in the sense that it seems to exploit the (albeit fictional) kidnapping, raping, and killing of a little girl for supposed religious revelations" than "horrible, Twilight-quality level of writing"

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One of my friends read about 100 pages of this a couple of years back and stopped. She grew up in a conservative Lutheran home and now has as adult she attends a liberal Episcopalian church. She doesn't care for Christian books, but her sister used to push different books on her. My friend's sister pretty much reads mostly Christian books.

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A few years ago I purchased a copy, not really knowing what the book was about but hearing that it had gotten rave reviews, and it had been a while since I'd read anything mainstream. I think I made it through three chapters. For me, the problem wasn't so much the "story," but the bogged down writing style. It was preachy and telling, not showing.

I was an English major with a writing minor, so I have fairly high expectations when I pick up a book. I couldn't make it through more than just a few chapters of The DaVinci Code, either; didn't matter how good a story it was supposed to be, I just couldn't stand the writing style.

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I was thinking more "horrible in the sense that it seems to exploit the (albeit fictional) kidnapping, raping, and killing of a little girl for supposed religious revelations" than "horrible, Twilight-quality level of writing"

Yeah, in that respect, I agree with you.

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A few years ago I purchased a copy, not really knowing what the book was about but hearing that it had gotten rave reviews, and it had been a while since I'd read anything mainstream. I think I made it through three chapters. For me, the problem wasn't so much the "story," but the bogged down writing style. It was preachy and telling, not showing.

I was an English major with a writing minor, so I have fairly high expectations when I pick up a book. I couldn't make it through more than just a few chapters of The DaVinci Code, either; didn't matter how good a story it was supposed to be, I just couldn't stand the writing style.

That book gave me a headache. I never did finish it and threw it out.

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I have read it and more or less hated it. The only thing I liked was God the "Father" in the Trinity being depicted as a large, loving, and slightly "loud", African American woman. That totally worked for me. However after that it more or less became a cliche (Holy Spirit as some ethereal woman and Jesus as, oh, a carpenter!). The writing was sappy, preachy and infantile.

Its been a few years since I read most of it and that was pretty much my assessment.

The whole "pain draws us close to God" story really grinds my gears.

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Several years ago, I pushed through about a hundred pages and tossed it. It was very poorly written, and I don't enjoy fiction in the first place, which made the writing that much harder to take.

I enjoyed Blue Like Jazz a lot more, but that wasn't really a novel.

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My church did a "let's all read the same book" thing with it a few years ago, and I tried to read it then, but after a few chapters, I got bored. I'm also a really slow reader, so by that time, the church had moved on and I just gave up.

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It sounds like a knock-off of the Lovely Bones, with a healthy serving of Christian theology/mythology thrown in for good measure.

ETA- Because the book was The Lovely Bones, not The Lonely Bones!

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I read The Shack a couple of years ago: I had hoped, by sending money, to help William Young build a papier-mâché middle finger out the royalties he's earned, all the better to flip off Mark Driscoll.

The book is an overly simplistic treatment of complex subject matter, using the rape and murder of a child as a plot device by which the theodicy might be addressed. (Aside: If I got a note from "Papa" asking me back to the place where my daughter's bloodied clothes had been found years earlier, I'd be more inclined to think it were a taunt from the killer rather than an invitation from God.)

Free Will is, I think, one of the best solutions to the Problem of Evil. (There are other folks - probably even a few on this board - who could make a legitimate case against my view.)

Even so, however, I didn't appreciate how this solution was worked out in the pages of Young's book: The protagonist gets to spend a weekend more or less just hanging out with the Alpha and the Omega - a triune being that manifests weaknesses (such as clumsiness), and basically sermonizes the protagonist into feeling better about the untimely, brutal loss of his daughter.

And surprisingly, , given the author's purported background, Young demonstrates tunnel vision focused on middle class white American life in his choice of setting, characters, and resolution.

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Ugh. I couldn't get past the first three paragraphs. Although, my mother-in-law warned me that "The writing style is simplistic in the beginning." I am a bit of a literary snob, so I have little patience for poor writing. I guess I'll just give it back to her and tell her it wasn't for me. The outline of the story is awful. I think she got her hopes up when she spied my leather-bound KJV bible. My dad gave that to me, for my birthday. He knows I'm not a Christian, but it was a sweet gift. He doesn't quiz me about it.

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I would skip it if I were you.

It was a self-published book, so the writing wasn't necessarily vetted by the usual agents, editors, etc. Also, there's quite a bit of back-and-forth about the theology (or heresy) of it all, even within the Christian community.

Supposedly, the author wrote the story as a metaphor for his own childhood abuse. As a Christian, I found it flat and skewed theologically. For an atheist or agnostic, I imagine it would just be irritating.

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