Idol Chatter

theshackbookcoverforic.jpgJames Patterson. Nora Roberts. Paulo Coelho. Stephanie Meyer. All names I would expect to find on the New York Times best-sellers list. But the current publishing buzz surrounds the number one soft-cover fiction book in the country right now– a book with the inauspicious title of “The Shack.” The book was originally a self-published effort that was distributed out of a garage that has now sold an estimated one million copies and is receiving praise from evangelical heavyweights like Eugene Peterson for it’s redemptive parable-style story.

“The Shack” depicts the struggles of one man, Mack, recovering from an unspeakable family tragedy by going to a shack in the woods where he has an encounter with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The twist? Well, God is an African-American woman who calls herself “papa” and the Holy Spirit is represented by an Asian woman, Sarayu. Mack confronts God with the big questions of evil, human suffering, and justice and through the process of his time at the shack, Mack comes away with a new understanding of God and faith.
I admit I picked up the book yesterday out of curiosity. It’s a pleasant enough tale with a few shining moments, and I truly appreciate the author’s own personal testimony of overcoming his own demons in a way that undoubtedly formed this book. However, those who are calling this book a modern day “Pilgrim’s Progress” are overstating the case a bit.
Not that it matters. I am sure Hollywood is already calling Mr. Young, and “The Shack” will be coming to a theater–or at least a DVD– very soon.

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