Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
So the forward gives you the impression this book is based on a true story. A family man goes camping with his kids, and while responding to an emergency involving two of his children, a stranger abducts his youngest child. In the traumatic years that follow, sorrow permeates his heart, coloring his life in shades of gray. Finally he gets an anonymous note in the mailbox, inviting him to come to the place where the trail to find his daughter ended...a shack; with a blood stain on the floor by the fireplace. The note is signed "Papa", the nickname his wife has given God.
Compelled to find out who sent the note and why (a cruel prank? a killer's bait?), he returns in the dead of winter and what he finds there is, quite frankly, hard to fathom.
I've read other "death experience/chats with God" books where people have incredible visions of life after death or a replay of their lives, and knowing that they believe they actually happened, I leave their stories alone. THIS BOOK IS A NOVEL. IT IS FICTION. I do believe in visions and meaningful dreams. I think God gave us the Scriptures to speak to us first, and prophets to guide those who follow Him in this life. I believe one of the Spirit's functions is to whisper thoughts that uplift, instruct, and heal. I also know that to hear God's messages for us individually through these means is sometimes hard to decipher, but for the most part, they do the job in a fantastic way without need for visions and dreams or angelic visitation.
And for the record, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer. I believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have separate, corporeal but glorified bodies and that the Holy Ghost is also a distinct personage of Spirit. These three are one in purpose: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man...should mankind choose to accept the invitation. I believe that certain ordinances are necessary for salvation, that faith AND works are necessary to receive God's grace through Jesus Christ's atonement. They do all this because they love us. What they do not do is defy law. There is justice and mercy cannot rob it. Repentance must be present before mercy can take hold. If not so, God would not be God.