The Message of the Shack by William P. Young: Random Takeaways
Message of the Shack – Random Takeaways
The Shack by William P. Young is a bestselling work of fiction that is spurring fresh conversations about the person and work of God. It narrates the life changing encounter with Godthat its main character “Mack” experiences on a weekend trip to the shack where his youngest daughter Missy was murdered brutally two years earlier at the hands of a serial killer. The death of his daughter brought The Great Sadness into Mackenzie’s life and damaged his relationship with God and others. Moreover, Mack was still bearing the scars of a brutal childhood. Through conversation and hands on experiences with each member of the Trinity as well as the personified wisdom (Sophia), Mack experiences a profound healing that enables him to begin anew to live as the person whom God created him to be.
Here is a preliminary list of key themes/messages built into the narrative:
1) God loves each person profoundly. People matter to God.
2) Relationships are the center of life. The Triune God models a profound relational mode of being. The divine-human relationship and human-human relationships are the true meaning and purpose of life.
3) Forgiveness heals the past and opens the future so that we can live as the people whom God created us to be. Forgiveness involves forgiving self, God, and others.
4) The past is redeemable no matter how dark or how wonderful it may be.
5) The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the most critical act in all Creation.
6) Freedom is worth the price of the possibility/probability of pain and suffering because of misused freedom. God is neither the author of sin or the cause of evil.
7) God’s immanence/nearness/presence is affirmed continually. God is even present in the darkest moments of our lives.
8 ) Our words and actions matter. The way we live either adds the problems in the world or adds value to others to draw them into the relationship that God desires. There is a missional focus for life.
9) Eternity will be an endless adventure of deepening our understanding and relationship with God and others.
What am I missing? What other themes would you add?
© 2009 Brian D. Russell