Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Shack

Some may have noticed I am not writing as much this as last. I am only not always on this blog. Check out my other blog, www.corltandumcsj.blogspot.com as well. There I am writing almost daily based on reading the New Testament in a year.

After much encouragement and questioning I decided to lemming my way to the book The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. There has been much said about the book. Many absolutely love the book, some are lukewarm, and others feel it to be a tragedy for people to read. As I have worked my way through the first couple of chapters I find the reading is not hard, and the writer is a good storyteller. Deeply woven into the book is work of theology and the stories of redemption.

At first glance the theology seems to be shallow, and not breaking too deep. When one takes the effort to look deeper a rich theology is found. However, it is not a traditional theology, or theological dialogue. My best take on the story to this point, not quite halfway through, is Young works from a mystical framework. The mystics have been around since the first century, and have been misunderstood since then. Mysticism paints theology with a broader brush than some are comfortable with, using images and thought patters which challenge commonly held understandings. This book is right up that alley.

So far as a reader I have been challenged by the attributes of God I hold on to. At the same time I have found myself in the place of the characters in the book. The questions and emotions shown toward God are all ones that I have and continue to have. Like the journey I have experienced to this point, it is less about the answers to questions or the rationalization of feelings. The point is found in understanding.

I am intrigued to see where the story will go, and how the journey will unfold for me and for the characters in the book. The challenge is to put my classically trained and steeped theological mind in the holster, and allow the mystic in my to have some air time. More to come as I journey.

No comments: