The Shack: some brief thoughts

14 03 2009

The Shack is a great book. I got to meet the author just before Christmas.

One of the strengths of the book is that it unpacks the relationship of the Father, Son and Spirit in fictional form.

Many Christians confess a belief in the Trinity but think “God” and therefore relate to “God” rather than “God the Father, Son and Spirit”. Our understanding of the who God is and what God does is often informed by the popular Greek myth of the old man in the sky. In daily practice we relate to God the Father as a unitary being somewhat like Zeus, the god of the sky.

The Shack, as a fictional book, doesn’t get caught up in all the technical jargon that a theology book may require but that’s not to say it’s light in substance.

The book encourages us through the story of Mackenzie to see God differently.

My friend and theologian, Dr. C. Baxter Kruger traveled to Australia with the author Wm. Paul Young. Dr. Kruger speaks and writes on the Trinity as a pastor and theologian. A one meeting I heard him speak at with Paul, he pulled out a pair of goofy glasses, with some goofy eyes painted on. You know the one’s I mean!

Baxter’s point that he makes is that the glasses that we see God with are often like the goofy glasses, they filter the image and give a distorted image of who God is. And of course, we live in reaction to these distorted images. Yet, when we are see God as he truly is as God the Father, Son and Spirit and live as people included through Jesus (the Son) in that relationship, we see start to see things a lot differently. Thus life becomes a quest of living out in the world the fullness of our life in Christ within the Trinity.

The Shack depicts this in the events that occur when Mac returns to the cabin. Over time the vision of God as judging, distant, judicial and other-worldy is challenged and slowly replaced by a God who is within himself relational and who has through his Son provided for all of humanity to live within this relation he has within himself.

The good news is that we have been chosen to participate in the life of God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Live the life!

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