The Shack…… My thoughts on the movie, the book and the controversy.

fb-share-imgLast night I saw the movie, “The Shack.”

The movie is an adaptation of the book of the same name.

I learned about the book years ago after my mother passed away.

My Aunt Beck recommended I read it as it had provided her comfort during a time of grief.  I read the book and it accomplished everything she said it would.

When I saw the previews for the movie back in January, I was pumped to see the film.

I went into the movie anticipating two hours of grace, joy, sadness, forgiveness, love, compassion and fictional enjoyment……  The Shack checked off each one of those boxes!

In the role of “narrator” Tim McGraw’s neighbor character lets the viewer know from the outset, the movie will be fantastical and fictional.  For most, that is enough….. let the fantastical begin.

As a Christian, I am taught that God is my source for compassion, grace, love and kindness.  My refuge in a storm and my comforter in times of grief.

I am taught that the Father seeks RELATIONSHIP with his children.

I am taught that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are my way to salvation.

What I was taught my entire life is represented in The Shack.

This past week, I read a shared post by a “blogger, author and book reviewer” who posted an online column entitled “Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie.”

This blogger states his reasoning for his boycott would be in his words….. a “sinful spiritual decision.”

WOW, those are strong words from a man of God.  Since when is grace, compassion, forgiveness and love categorized as “sinful?”

The blogger further explains his reasoning as……

My foremost concern with The Shack—the one that will keep me from seeing it even for purposes of review—is its visual representation of God. To watch The Shack is to watch human actors play the roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I take this to be a clear, serious violation of the second commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6). I will not see the film, even to review it, because I will not and cannot watch humans pretend to be God.

I call BS.  I’m just going to say it….. I suspect if Tom Hanks, Jim Caviezel, Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson were playing the role of Papa, Son and Holy Spirit this author would not have issue with the representation.  However, when those roles are played by an African-American Woman, American Indian Man, Middle-Eastern Man and Asian Woman a certain “discomfort” rises to the surface.

Here’s what I believe….. God has really big shoulders and if having Octavia Spencer represent him in a movie about love and forgiveness, I think he can handle it….. even if some of his followers find it uncomfortable.

It saddens me when Christians take parts of the Bible they CHOOSE as literal, but then seem to slide on some of those other categories like….. JUDGEMENT.

The blogger is entitled to his opinions, I however find it suspect.

Beyond suspect, I find this passage in his post laughable…..

For some time, I have been considering whether I should see and review it. I am quite sure that watching and reviewing The Shack would prove to be a wise business decision. I could get to an early screening, write up a review, and see a nice bump in my site’s traffic. Pageviews are the currency of the Internet and as a blogger I am supposed to base my decisions on what will maximize them. Even better, watching and reviewing The Shack could be genuinely helpful to others. That is especially true if the movie proves to be as deeply flawed as the book. A review might serve to equip people to watch it with discernment or even to avoid watching it altogether.

The author is a smart man who knows how to manipulate.  He is well aware that his “anti” Shack column will bring far more readers (and as he explains “currency”) than a positive review would ever do.

The Producers of The Shack could have made another shoot ’em up movie filled with curse words, sex and violence, those movies make lots of money.  The producers chose to make a beautiful family friendly, FANTASTICAL movie filled with hope, compassion and grace.

When some in the community the movie was meant to celebrate, skewer it without ever seeing it the hypocrisy is hard to understand.

I loved The Shack, and as a person who can separate fiction from reality, was able to enjoy the fantastical experience of the story.

My hope is that others will go on this same journey and take away the message of The Shack.  God is love, God provides salvation, God walks with us on our journey and God wants RELATIONSHIP with us all, in any form we choose to view him.

26 thoughts on “The Shack…… My thoughts on the movie, the book and the controversy.

  1. Thank you for this blog Ken ! I loved the book and shared it with my daughter in laws ! We want to see it together and I was wondering about it myself. In conclusion,we WILL definitely be seeing it! HUGS 🙂

  2. I saw the movie yesterday and absolutely loved it! It was visually stunning, but more than that it was uplifting and spiritually wonderful. How nice it was to have a movie filled with positive values and ideals.
    Having “Papa” played by a woman didn’t bother me in the least – the character was sensitive and caring. Having “Papa” played by a man who was strong and decisive was showing another side of “Papa”. I really didn’t think too much about one being African American and the other being Native American – I just thought how wonderful they were!
    I’ll certainly be seeing it again and will encourage my friends to see it

    • and in my opinion…. THAT’S the point! I don’t understand what the fuss is all about! I am glad you enjoyed the movie, I thought it was amazing!

      • I had no clue of any controversy about it – and I don’t understand how anyone could object to a beautiful and touching movie. I am a devout Latter-Day Saint/Mormon and thought it was a wonderful movie. I saw nothing objectionable about it.

  3. I was not a Christian when I read this book. I had always had a distorted view of God. This book showed me who the true God, Jesus and the holy spirit truly is in our lives. It made me want to get saved, which I did and to have a relationship with Jesus, just as it was dictated in the movie. I do know God shows up in many different ways, this book just happen to be mine.

    Author, Christie Musso Bruce

  4. Saw this movie last night…what a wonderful experience!
    Having a black woman represent God is thought provoking. God is whoever we need at that moment in our lives! We ate taught to see God in Everyone! I don’t understand the controversy? ?
    As the Son says…God does not want “slaves” he wants “friends” in his followers…how refreshing!
    So different from the traditional guilt and toughness of the church!
    The explanation of Wisdom on how God allows or judges us was wonderful!
    I urge everyone e to see this remarkable statement of a movie!!!

  5. The devil is prowling people, in sheep’s clothing.

    Please pray for discernment about what you read and watch.

    Don’t let people try to justify to you false teaching. In this case a “fictional” book/movie. Just because they were touched. Keep in mind Your feelings and emotions CANNOT always be trusted.

    What may seem like help or harmless to some, could lead YOU to HELL!!

    This book and movie are miss leading people. With deception, heresy, blasphemy and universalism.

    God and the Holy Spirit are NOT women, just read the bible.

    Immature Christian’s and non believers can be lead astray.

    • and there you have it…..

      thanks for your comment, but I just really believe God can handle his children watching a movie about love, forgiveness and compassion. And I just REALLY don’t think I will be going to hell for watching it….. but I’m willing to take that chance.

  6. Loved the book and looking forward to watch the movie.
    Is hard to believe that the message of love and faith can be misunderstood .
    Lastly I enjoyed reading your blog and specially this honest and honest review. Thanks

  7. I read the book and it is moving fiction. But it also a substantial attempt to explain theodicy, the trinity and salvation. While the author has some wonderful thoughts and insights, on certain important theological issues, he departs greatly from Scripture. He presents his views through the mouths of the trinity and in cases they are not Biblical and in fact lean towards heresy. I am not suggesting heresy was the goal, but in certain instances it is the result. In the authors attempt to make God what he wants God to be, he removes the finality of Christ and suggests that Christ is only “a” way. His Christian Universalism might feel palatable but it is in fact a heretical view of salvation. This is not to say that believers should avoid The Shack. In fact we should read, watch and engage. We need to equip believer’s to recognize the feel good moments of fiction and the elements of universalism that exist in the story. It can be read and consumed as long as it is difficult be with discernment.

  8. Just saw this tonight- and I must say, I was overwhelmed! I hoped that it would be as good as the book. It was as good as, if not better. Reading the book brought me back into relationship with God, and the book was given to me by a non Christian friend oddly enough. I became a Christian when I was 11 yrs old, and am now 56 yrs old. Since reading the book about 6 yrs ago, I am closer now than I have ever been to Jesus, and He has healed and restored me in so many ways. This movie can only bring broken and lost people closer to God, and for those who are afraid to watch it, I suggest you take God out of the box you want to keep Him in. You may end up experiencing Papa in a whole new way, and experience true freedom in Christ.

  9. “Rick De Herrera: I started to read that book till I got to the part where God The Father is portrayed as a woman.”

    did you like/love “the shack” book/movie? then yes, you love satan and hate Jesus. TRUTH.

    THIRTEEN HERESIES (means lies they made up) IN “THE SHACK”:
    1) They crucified God the Father WITH Jesus.
    2) God cannot practice justice.
    3) God forgave all people, whether they repent or not.
    4) all hierarchical structures are evil.
    5) God will never judge people for their sins.
    6) The Godhead is just a circle of unity without hierarchical structure.
    7) God submits to human wishes and choices.
    8) justice will never take place because of love.
    9) Hell is not eternal.
    10) there are many ways to God, Jesus is just one of them.
    11) Jesus is constantly being changed with us.
    12) everyone goes to heaven.
    13) the bible is not true.

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