Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Briefing Library: We need more shack time

About a year ago I was at a meeting of a group of ministers. I asked one of them about his Summer. He raved about his time spent with Eugene Peterson and a new book he had just finished called The Shack. He said it changed his life, especially to learn about the relational nature of God.

I was a bit skeptical, but any book described as life changing probably deserves at least a look, so I went to to see what I could learn. I learned that the book was about a fictional meeting with the trinity. In this fictional meeting the Father is portrayed as a black woman, the Son as a middle eastern man, and the Holy Spirit as a Japanese woman.

Just this description of the book and its plot was enough to keep me from reading it. It seems to me that the Bible, which the triune God has given us, is a better place to learn about the Father, Son, and Spirit. I already understood from the Scriptures that God is relational from all eternity just because he is triune, and I also knew that an imaginary meeting with God is not what we need to know God. Through his Word and Spirit I can have a true meeting, not an imaginary meeting, with the Father through the Son and by the Spirit.

Now, a year later it seems The Shack has become a phenomenon. In my view it is a sad phenomenon. When ministers of the Word and Christians turn to false imaginations and mythical stories to learn of God when the truth of God's Word is readily available, it is time to mourn.

Paul Grimmond's post from The Briefing goes into more detail on a book that should be avoided, and a book we should treasure each day of our lives because it teaches us about God and his ways, and through true faith in Christ causes us to know both the Father and the Son. --Bill

The Briefing Library: We need more shack time

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