The Shack Chapters 1-4

The back drop of the Pacific Northwest adds a powerful and majestic feel to the Shack.  The story of Mack draws the reader into his sad world.  Part of what makes the story so powerful is how easily the reader can see him or herself in the story.  Who hasn’t felt heartache at some point in life?  Yet Mack’s story is an extreme example to make the redemptive power of our God stand out all the more.

The Shack never attempts to be orthodox.  It is an extended allegory that is written to prove one point.  God is loving even in the face of tragedy.  That said, every theological point brought up is an opportunity to dive back into the Scripture to see what God has to say on the topic.  In the first four chapters the focus is on the name and person of our God.  How can we address him?  Is our God the same Great Spirit that the American Indians worshipped?

One point that hit me was when Mack was trying to make a bargain with God.  I bet everyone does this.  On the way to the dentist with a sore tooth do we say, “Lord, let the tooth be fine and I’ll floss twice a day.”  These bargains, of course, do not work.  God is not some divine deal maker.  On the contrary grace demands that our God lose every bargain he strikes with sinners on the one condition that his love might win.

Was there anything that offended you?  One of our members had actually camped in the same campground in the story.  Was there a portion of these first four chapters that you would use in a personal witness?  I would love to hear your reaction.  Contact me at [email protected].

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