Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shack

I am currently reading William P. Young's The Shack.

While the book doesn't have the world's greatest writing, I am still mostly enjoying it, and can recommend it for the way it shows God as extraordinarily loving, showing the Trinity as a perfectly loving family, and the way it deals with the difficult question about why God allows evil.

But it also has its shortcomings, some of which I will address in greater detail in the future. The writer has God say that he does not like such man made things as "institutions," "authority," "hierarchies," or "religion." I found this very strange, since the writer appears to be using the Bible as one of his primary sources, and the Bible clearly shows the origin of all these being found not in fallen man, but in God himself.

The book would have been quite a bit better if the author had (for example), instead of blasting authority outright, shown how authority was supposed to function. He could have explained that authority was not given so that those with authority could use their power for their own benefit, it was given so that they could lead with the sole intention of serving those in their care.

But I guess that might point out another value of the book: It's a good introduction to the kind of anti-institutional theology taught by certain Protestant groups.

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