My Thoughts on The Shack

There has been quite the buzz in the Christian community about The Shack coming to theaters. I read the book many years ago and was deeply moved by this fictional tale of a radical God causing radical change in a man’s life. I have read the articles and opinions on both sides of the argument on whether to go see this movie or read the book.

When I originally read this book, I was challenged to view God more personally and not to keep Him in a box. I loved the fact that the author presented God in a non-traditional way. I understood fully that this was a fictional account and that the author’s theology as presented in the book WAS NOT THE BIBLE, but I also knew that God used this book to penetrate some hard areas in my own hard heart. I didn’t have the urge to run to The Shack for more answers, but I felt like the The Shack pointed me back to a place of depth and repentance and I longed to dig deeper with God through reading His Word and spending time with Him. The book opened my eyes to the fact that I limit God, that I make judgments about Him, and that I don’t really take the time to know Him.

Now, many years, two kids, and a job change later, I saw the movie and got to reenter the world of The Shack from the point of view of a mother. I left with so much. I want to love and love big while I have the chance. I want to strive to dig deep in my heart to get all of my hurts and pain out in the open so that I don’t create a chasm between my family, friends and most importantly, my God. I want to lead others to a place of repentance and deeper understanding of the hard questions in life like, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” I was so challenged by the scene where Wisdom allowed Mack, the main character, to act as judge and make a choice as to which one of his children he would choose to send to heaven and which one to hell. He finally said he could not choose, so please let him take their place. It’s like the light came on and he realized the great love the Father had by sending Jesus. I saw a father, deeply hurt by the loss of a child, come to a place of restoration and healing and it makes me want to remember to run to God when the pain gets too great.

The crazy thing is, I didn’t leave feeling like my theology was challenged or that this movie was trying to change my beliefs. I left wanting to be a better person. I left overwhelmed with God-sized questions and emotions. I left with a list of people that I want to encourage to go and see this movie because they are trapped by their own pain.

I look at all of the movies out there that I could spend money on right now and none of them will ever leave me with the desire to seek Jesus with my whole heart the way this one did. So, maybe these thoughts and opinions stepped on your toes or cause you to disagree. I’m okay with that. Maybe you feel the need to comment and try to spark a debate. I probably won’t respond.
Just know three things.  First, if you are a new believer, make sure to discuss any new concepts from the movie with a mature believer in Christ. Second, this is a movie, not the authoritative Word of God. Third, God can use whatever he chooses to reach people and He can absolutely use The Shack.

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