The Shack

Theshack_cover
Well I've finished this best seller now and apparently I'm sworn to silence so at not to spoil it for anyone else. Is that getting Mousetrapped?  So I need to track down various people who told me they had read it and who are waiting for me to have finished so we can discuss it – good viral there eh?   If I can partially break this completely arbitrary constraint to comment that the book starts off in a certain direction then fails to capitalise on it. The book is named after a murder location – that's not giving too much away. So is the appropriate location for a showdown.  But from this point on it turns into a fireside chat. If you like the Oracle from the Matrix (and I do) – you'll like the way the chat begins – because its a straight steal. But what it indicates is that God is desperate to be liked and understood and to tell the other side of the story. Its a modern genre – Conversations with God is another book where God is never short of a chapter or two and can talk forever.  That's how modern celebrity is – confessional.

The Christian God is surprisingly taciturn and from the Jewish tradition asks a lot more questions than gives answers. When challenged is inclined to ask Who the hell are you? This modern revelation reveals the insecurities of being a modern deity and the desire for closure. Which after a century of perhaps the bloodiest violence in history is an inadequate response. We know we're violent, damaged and damaging as a species. Its not even close to being all right. We need a deity who is bigger than our desire to be comfortable and comforted.  If you want my response to the Shack I can offer none better that the Tom Waits song on Mule Variations: Why wasn't God watching? Why wasn't God listening? Why wasn't God there for Georgia Lee? No answers. No easy ones anyway.

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