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What is The Shack Really About?

This forum discusses various elements of the story of The Shack. For conversations on specific chapters, please visit the Chapter-by-Chapter forums. Theological questions and non-story posts about The Shack should be made elsewhere on the site.

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What is The Shack Really About?

Post by foxy303 » Fri May 25, 2018 6:00 pm

It has come to my knowledge that unfortunately many people, mainly religious ones, criticize The Shack in a negative manner - claiming the book contains lies and attempts to persuade readers to believe in things different from the bible. Then you have some of the non-religious people, who claim the book tries to convince them to become religious and believe in God.

Personally, I am not religious, and I found none of the above to be true. So why is it that so many negative accusations are running out and about concerning this novel?

I think it is because people viewed The Shack either in a negative light or with a narrow sight - focusing on specific sentences or paragraphs instead of zooming out and seeing the bigger picture. In my opinion, this novel isn't even really about religion or God - the author simply uses those as a tool to reflect on topics such as love, forgiveness, goodness and humanity.

Having said that, religion cannot be ruled out, and is spoken of a lot in this novel, yet not in any way to brainwash or try to convince, yet in a way that will make the reader ask questions and be filled with wonder. What I like about The Shack is how it speaks of God and religion in ways that are different from how they are spoken about in other texts and books. Describing God as a black woman for instance, wasn't in an attempt to claim that God actually takes the form of a black woman - it was in order to avoid answering the stereotype of how we usually perceive God as: an old man with a beard. It was to show us that God has no specific appearance or gender, and that is why it can appear however it wants to, and take the form of anything and anyone.

Those who will observe the bigger picture of The Shack and view it in a positive light will certainly be touched by its magic, and be filled with many philosophical questions and wonders that open the mind and expand the horizons.

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Re: What is The Shack Really About?

Post by Arus » Sat May 26, 2018 8:33 pm

Hello Foxy, welcome to the forum. You raise a good question! I personally am not religious either - I believe in the Holy Trinity, but do not believe in all the "religious mumbo-jumbo", so I prefer to call myself a "Believer".

That being said, here is my opinion. I think that the religious people are offended by the book/movie because it goes against their "God will smite you" beliefs. The Shack reflects a God who is all-forgiving, and merciful.

As for the "non-believers" - I think The Shack scares them, because it makes them want to believe.

As for God as a Black woman - the author actually used that image because he had a bad relationship with his father, so could not conceive of a close relationship with "The Father".

Your final paragraph is, quite simply, spot-on!!
In the cracks of an earthquake, new flowers grow.

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Re: What is The Shack Really About?

Post by dkulka » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:44 pm

Just read, overwhelmed and have to think about it. I lost loved ones .. like all almost most have us have & most recently my precious Baby (a yorkie) I rescued 6 years ago to cancer. I did not realize how much she meant to us as a family, my husband and our other pets princess another yorkie rescue e years. I think I went into a depression & princess we noticed did to the point it affected her health. I question Gods gifts to us taken too soon. Including my grandson @16 to a drug overdose in 2010. I feel bad because Baby's death really hit me so hard. I believe the religion calling my self a believer but I felt bad because I would not commit to more blaming my catholic upbringing. This story helped me but also as I said overwhelmed and in to a certain extent confused me.

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Re: What is The Shack Really About?

Post by Doggie » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:36 am

Our is alright to question God. I question him often, not always calmly either, but I'm sure that he understands. Sometimes I get my answer, sometimes I just have to trust that he knows what's going on.
There is no reason to feel like you shouldn't mourn the loss of a companion. Each of us grieve differently.
Muy suggestion is to just keep talking and listening to God..
It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

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