Current Reading: The Shack


I just finished reading The Shack.  It was highly recommended by a friend.  I found it difficult to read the first few chapters because the author was trying so hard to use descriptive adjectives that it felt forced.  It is a type of literature that I normally prefer to read--fiction with something more than a plot.  This novelist created a fiction situation in which we start with a flawed protagonist who has a perfect wife, (Something I could not relate to!), and normal children.  When the family suffers a trauma, the protagonist cannot deal with it.  When a mysterious note appears, he sets out on a journey and everything is resolved in the end. 

What I liked:  I liked the conversation with God.  It was thought-provoking and reminded me of times when I've wrestled with God and stories others have told me about their God-encounters in remote places.  I like nature and the author did a good job describing its beauty.  I want to visit that area but I do want to avoid the place where the tragedy happened.


What I did not like: 

  1. The characters were undeveloped.  I could not identify with them because they remained undeveloped.  If you would like to read an author who has dealt with similar situations with better character development--people you can identify with, like or dislike, here are books I would recommend.


  • There did not seem to be much of a plot.  There was crisis, interlude, resolution.  Just too neat and easy. I prefer books that are heavily plot-driven, especially if there is little character development.  One author I like with excellent plot lines is Ted Dekker.  Here is his most similar series for adults.  Reading this will leave you with mental pictures of God's love and sacrifice.  This is action-fantasy so people who do not like that genre might want to read some of his psychological thrillers. 
  1. There are other "emergent church" books that are fictional, thought-provoking, challenging, and really make you want to like the characters (or author, in the case of non-fiction.) 

For "emergent fiction" with dialogue (like The Shack):  This is a fictional relationship between two men, one in a crisis of faith, both exploring what it means to follow Jesus.

For non-fiction on some of the themes found in The Shack: 

I am currently reading this.  The author uses examples of persecution he suffered to discuss forgiveness and how we do it well.  I am only on the 2nd chapter.

A book I have not read but come recommended by others: 

A book I found helpful about 10 years ago?

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