I’ll be honest, I was a bit shocked by the push-back from some Christians about the book and the movie,
“The Shack.” I have read it a number of times, and have given it away several times as well. I took my son to go see the movie on opening night.
“The Shack” is a fictional story about a man who is struggling with the loss of his younger daughter. He is the son of an abusive father, and the story hints that he poisons his father when he is thirteen years old. This sets up a conflict in the lead character with father figures. The daughter is taken by a known serial killer while on a camping trip. The authorities find her bloody dress at a shack in the woods, thus “The Shack.”
The story invites the reader/viewer to go with the leading character back to the shack to see “Papa,” which is another name a character gives God. Through the rest of the movie, the lead interacts, talks, cries, blames, judges God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit through a journey of forgiveness and restoration. The movie is not a statement of faith, nor is it a belief system. It is a story about one man’s view of God’s love and how that helps bring one family back to him after an unspeakable tragedy.
But I’ve seen arguments about the incorrect theology, the heresies, the problems with the movie. These are being used as excuses to try to keep others away from the movie. I think those people are wrong, but dangerously wrong. First, it’s not a perfect movie. If the same level of theological introspection was used, no movie would be acceptable. Second, it was made by man, so it’s guaranteed to be flawed. We are flawed beings, who struggle with those flaws daily. We need God in our lives in order to walk His path. That is the reason for our faith. But by pushing others away from the movie, we are losing a fantastic opportunity for open discussion about faith, about love, and about restoration.
The net effect is by pushing people away from “The Shack,” you are pushing people away from your view of a flawed presentation. Instead you are pushing them away from an opportunity to experience a flawed, but heartfelt presentation of love and restoration, that they might not get anywhere else.
So, to those who would disagree with me, I challenge you to go see the movie. Then instead of jumping into an online diatribe, let’s go have coffee and talk about it. Or better yet, find somebody who’s faith is a little weak and take them to the movie, and then go have coffee and talk with them about it.
Don’t miss this opportunity to talk (not preach) about your faith.