Monday, July 13, 2009

The Shack

by Wm. Paul Young

I am not a religious person. Despite being brought up by Catholic parents and being baptized and confirmed in Catholicism, I rarely go to Mass on a day that is not Easter or Christmas, and I'm not one to conform to the strict beliefs and rituals of my supposed religion. That being said, I do believe in God and have a relationship with Him, even though it is not within the rules of the Church.

Because of my wariness of the institute of religion, I was a bit nervous about picking up this book and reading it. I am not a fan of religious fanatics; people who push their religion on you are hypocrites and bullies. I am also not a fan of religious documents; I don't think I've ever read the Bible cover to cover. So I was expecting one of either scenarios when I decided to read this book. I received neither.

This book is not pushy. It is a simple statement of one man's beliefs and his journey finding God's place in his life. Or possibly even his place in God's Life. Reading this book had me thinking about not only my own relationship with God but also the world's. I like this book for that very reason-- it made me think. Not all books are about instructing or entertainment or even just mush. Very few, like this one, were printed for the sole purpose of causing inner reflection.

I will be a tiny bit critical about the writing style, but it was explained in the author's afterward at the end of the story-- it was written for children and also by a man who's not used to writing. Which is why there were many mixed metaphors, a couple of contradictions, and a few too many exclamation points. But I will try not to judge a book by its punctuation! Especially after reading the "Here Come da Judge" chapter, in which I read that humans were not meant to be the judge.

I recommend that you pick up this book and read it not for the story line, but for the ideas that it puts in your head. Whether you choose to believe or not is only up to you. You can even toss it away if you don't like it or it bugs you; you won't be condemned if you don't finish it. But at least try. Think about it.

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