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An Embarrassing Confession: I Liked The Shack | A Pilgrim in Narnia

22 March 2017

One of my fellow bloggers, Brenton Dickieson, writes that he liked The Shack. I thought his post was an ideal opportunity to practise Audi alteram partem (no, it’s got nothing to do with your vorsprung durch Technik, you know, it simply means “Hear the other side”). So here’s how he began, with a link to his post, so you can see what he’s leading up to. .

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have an allergy to evangelical pop culture art. It is not anaphylactic, but if I get too close to the fiction section in a Christian bookstore, I tend to break out in hives. If someone changes the car radio station to one of those generic, fill-in-the-blank pop worship song Christian cheese fests, I can feel my glands swelling and my breathing starts to constrict. If I were to walk into a house decorated with “Christian” art supplemented with motivational sayings–because the best art of history needed the point driven home, after all–I have to take an antihistamine and have a little lie-down.I don’t do well with what North American evangelicals insist in calling “art,” and this is especially true of the genre I know best: storytelling.

Source: An Embarrassing Confession: I Liked The Shack | A Pilgrim in Narnia

As for me, I didn’t like The Shack, and my contrary review is here. In fact the opening paragraph of his review, quoted above, is a pretty good description of how I felt when I tried to read it.

And my reaction to The Shack was stronger than it was to the other literature in that genre. I read a few books by Frank Peretti, and they weren’t a patch on Charles Williams — again, like The Shack, there was that crude materialism and anthropomorphism. But I’d still give Frank Peretti’s books two stars on Good Reads, and I only gave one star to The Shack.

So the only thing I can say now is read it for yourself. You may love it, you may hate it, or you may just find it boring.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Irulan permalink
    24 March 2017 9:03 am

    Paul Young has recently made his theology more explicit in ‘Lies we believe about God.’
    Here is one review

    • Photini permalink
      25 March 2017 3:59 pm

      Having read Challies’ review, I agreed with Young’s points more than Challies’, although Young’s writing style is execrable.

      • 25 March 2017 7:49 pm

        Photini: Agreed. But I didn’t see any of those points in The Shack, whether for or against. it was just so cringeworthy that I couldn’t read it. I suppose the only theological point that struck me was the apparent tritheism of his representation of God, which Challies doesn’t seem to mention.

        • Photini permalink
          26 March 2017 4:32 pm

          I haven’t read The Shack; I’ve never had any interest in it. Poor American evangelicals (as I used to be), stuck between Calvinism and things like The Shack.


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