Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Shack by William P. Young, Part 1

Let me start by saying that likely everything that there is to be said about this book has been said. Just click here and look at the number of hits you get! I haven't seen too much that is both sympathetic and cautious. I'm going to try to go for that. This can not be done in one post. Bear with me. Please. Or don't. Come back later. But do come back.

First off, as a story, this is a good one. It stands as good literature. Plot-wise, it kind of fits in with a "The Five People you Meet in Heaven" genre of books, though definitely more Christian. I don't remember reading much backlash about that book though, after all the positive press that Mitch Albom got with "Tuesday's With Morrie" and the "heretical" stuff in "Five People". Maybe the point there was that that book wasn't published as a "Christian" book...whatever that means.

For some of the early pages of the encounters with God, there is a sense of pushing the envelope, pushing to feel something pushing back. I know the feeling, I feel like doing it sometimes when I type here. Sometimes we just want to see if anyone is there, if anyone cares whether we are right or wrong. Sometimes we just put out a thought or an opinion to see if we can raise a rash. A modern poet has said,

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
Trent Reznor

I’ve been thinking more and more about blogging and why people do it. I’m sure some of it is pride and some of it is to try to feel. A famous writer once said, “You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.”

If we send things out, do they bounce back, like sonar? Is there an echo out there? If there is, then somewhere out there in the darkness is something solid, something to tell me there is more than "me."

Are we alone?
Are the things we feel normal?
Am I normal?
Does anyone care?
Why do I hurt?

I think that this helps me understand William Young and also leads to why he wrote this book in the first place.


Sabrina said...

I really enjoyed the book and it hit such a personal cord with me, I don't think I can carry on with your "shack series"
But I will come back:)
Maybe we could discuss it by the fire?!

Sabrina said...

Now how is it possible that I only have 10 hits today and I have pictures.. and you have 12!!!
What is this blogging world coming too!
I like that new colors:)

Anonymous said...

i thought I wanted to read the book when I heard it was the next pilgrim's progress but i clicked "here" and maybe now i don't need to read it. i'd even put it on my gift wish list but maybe i'll take it off. write on so i can read what you thought
thanks, P

rnoe said...

I understand what you're saying about William P. Young's exploration of those questions in "The Shack." If you want to chat with the author himself, feel free to join us for an author chat with William P. Young tomorrow, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. EST.

You can submit questions for the author and ask him if a part of his book was inspired by answering some of the questions you brought up. For more information, check out http://abunga.com/featuredauthor young


Inside Out said...

Hi Patti:
You can still read it, in fact you might even be able to read the copy we have copy if you like, Doug Barnes lent it to us through someone else at Hillside. That may take a few weeks/months to get to you... I think. Or go to the local library... I would suggest you read it with mind wide open, if you're going to read it. I don't plan on giving away plot points, just discuss what I see in it.