I apologize in advance for typos and grammar. This was done as I was dressing kids and trying to get them out the door for school. I didn't get a chance to proofread.
Before I start rambling, I want to remind everyone that tonight at midnight, the comments section will be closed for the "LE'T'S CELEBRATE FAMILY GIVEAWAY!" Don't wait to leave your comment and be entered! You have great chances 'cause there's gonna be TWO winners!
Now, movin' on to the nitty-gritty. I want to say to you guys that you REALLY ROCK!!! I love your minds, your thoughts, your openness, your honesty and your willingness in sharing your opinions. I feel, as Jill said, that sometimes I'm sitting around the kitchen table with you guys having a cup of java. Thank you for your candidness and support....always!
Man! I got quite a few emails about the book, The Shack, and as you may have seen there were mixed reviews from those that have read (thought about reading) it. I wanted to explain to a few that questioned it that I had (and still have) some of those 'mixed feelings' that you did. Do I recant my opinion of it being a good book? Absolutely not. I really, really enjoyed reading it. Did I struggle reading some of it? Absolutely. But the main thing you need to remember is that it IS categorized as fictional. Just like The Da Vinci Code, which is a book with over 40 million readers and a even had a movie created from it. Did you believe it? That's up to you. Nothing I could read in that book, regardless of what "proof" the author offered, could make me believe it. Why? Because I base my beliefs on the word of God. The Bible. Period. End of sentence.
Going back to The Shack. I think what is so intriguing about it is the fact that the Holy Trinity is so very mysterious and so hard for us as humans to understand. But I don't think we're supposed to fully understand or for that matter try to analyze God. That's where faith comes in. Although, I do believe that it's only human nature to try and think of how the book portrays the trinity as a possibility. I really didn't want to get into my thoughts about what I didn't agree with the book because I didn't want to spoil anything for future readers, but to satisfy a few of you (those that don't want to hear spoilers stop reading now) I will give just a couple of examples.
First, I felt very uneasy right from the get-go that Jesus was a woman when Mack met her. That bothered me. A lot. Yes, I understood the meaning behind what the author was portraying, but again, going back to the His word (my one and only true belief) God, who is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, is just that...ABBA. FATHER. After reading the book, there's no way or will I ever be convinced that I will arrive at Heaven's gates and be greeted by a heavy-set black woman and call her "Papa". Can't wrap my mind around it. Ain't gonna happen. If it does and you guys are there before me, you can laugh at me when I arrive. :)
Second example and please keep in mind that it's way too early for me to think clearly and recall all about the book that bothered me, is as Sally mentioned in my comments about sin being it's own punishment. That's huge for a Catholic. We're the ones that believe in purgatory, remember? Yikes! When Mack went before God (yet again portrayed as another woman) for judgement day and he had to "choose" one of his children to be condemned to hell...the bothered me. Again, a lot! Jesus did die on that cross to wash away our sins. The Bible, the one and only true word of God, clearly states:
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
That one little line in scripture is probably my favorite. It gives us hope. It shows us what a merciful, sovereign Savior we have. God gave us His only son so that we shall have eternal life. There is no way that any fictional book would ever take that belief away from me.
Do I believe there is going to be a judgement day even if I believe we are saved? I sure do. And I'm glad I do, because that belief is a great way of keeping me "in-line". The Holy Trinity encompasses so much more than we could ever understand here on earth. Again, there's no way that a fictional book could ever truly explain it.
For those of you that wrote asking my thoughts all I can say is that you have to read it as a fictional novel. Period. Take the good from it that you know and believe in your heart and make it big in your life (i.e.; Jesus' love for His children) and then take what you don't believe (i.e.; Jesus is an entity not seen as "Father") and blow it off!
Being Catholic, I've been taught a lot about religion, rituals and traditions. Don't get me wrong. I love my faith with every fiber of my being. But, having so many Christian friends of just about every denomination, I struggle with the Catholics' beliefs about Jesus and religion. My sister has a great shirt that says, "JESUS IS NOT A RELIGION". I love it! He's not. I don't think we will get up there and have to show our papers to prove what denomination we belong to. That's something I loved about the book. It did emphasize that Jesus was not a religion. That I chose to believe.
In ending, if I have any readers left after this (umm....what's that rule people keep telling me and I keep breaking? Ahh...never discuss politics or religion with friends) I am humbled you stuck with me. For those that wanted to hear my two cents, there ya go! I love you guys! You rock! Keep those comments coming because it truly makes me feel like I'm not talkin' to myself, which I so often do.
In His Name......