Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

We are not unaware of the power of narrative and story. After all, it is through narrative God chooses reveal Who He is. It is Narrative that tells us how God has acted in history. And it is how my story intersects with God's story which I reflect upon as a Believer. One form of story which we don't often teach in Seminary is the novel or fictionalized story which may convey how God communicates and communes with us. There are obvious examples in Christian history: Pilgrim's Progress, The Chronicles of Narnia, Hinds' Feet on High Places. I vividly remember a lecture on the Incarnation by Dr. Gause in which he read a Walter Wangerin parable from The Ragman and Other Cries of Faith. One recent contribution is The Shack by son of missionaries, William P. Young. For the theology student who is put off by the idea of reading fiction, let me tempt you with the profound discussions of Trinity, Christology, ontology, theodicy, etc. For the counseling student, this is CPE in a little over 200 pages. For the missiology students, missio Dei is an undergirding theme. For my female students...well, just read it! This work may pull together much of what we've all been trying to say for over 20 years. Visit the website, read the forums, read Young's biography. Most of all....read The Shack!