Monday, 31 May 2010
the love Shack, baby?
It's also the book quite a few folk I know love to hate.
It's a Christian literary phenomenon!
It's a pile of ...?
Some not-very-deep musings on... The Shack
To be fair, The Shack was always going to have a hard time getting through the cynicism engendered by the over-hype.
I am an awkward customer when it comes to claims that 'this product changed my life' - crumbs, my becoming a Christian was tough enough, let alone being won over to The Shack.
I bought the book, but was I going to 'buy' the accompanying hype?
Did The Shack change my life?
No. It just irritated me.
The writing - oh, very, dear. So pedestrian in its pace that I visibly aged as I turned each page. It laboured some points so hard that I was left bludgeoned into a state of apathy. Did I care about the characters in the story-line? Not really. Did I find myself frequently humming the mantra 'oh, just get on with it, already'? Check.
And yet, even thought most of the pores of my very being screamed at me to stop reading, I did keep reading. Even in the midst of the most profound irritation at poor grammar and schmaltzy story, I found myself stumbling across wee gems. I smiled at the description of walking on water. I occasionally grinned at the depiction of the Trinity - God the parent as a big Mama, cooking and nurturing and just generally looking out for everyone was, dare I use the 'c' word... kind of cute.
The Trinity... hmmm, I am left with some theological niggles- is The Shack in danger of a form of Modalism?
Occasional sentences, in amidst some of the most abysmal writing I have had the displeasure to read, popped out at me with the profundity of a killer knock-out punch: surprising when it happens, but it does happen.
My sense of The Shack is that it's a bit curate's egg - good in parts. I also wonder if there's a cultural context that this Scottish-Aussie doesn't quite get? Maybe if you're from Northern America, the book just works better?
So... someone who loved it: convince me I'm wrong. Tell me why this is the 'awesome, life-changing' book so many people claim it to be :)