Monday, June 02, 2008

USA Today Article on "The Shack"

After my review of "The Shack" I received a few comments along the lines that the reporter in the article mentions. I thought that the article really helped the reader understand just what the crucible was that produced the book. Take a look and maybe you can at least begin to understand more about the author and where the book comes from.

Again, it is fictional. It is NOT Scripture. But I certainly can understand why it appeals to people, especially hurting ones. The challenge then, to all of us who teach, preach, and write, is to find ways to make THE Story as compelling as the fictional accounts.

Someone once said that Las Vegas has absolutely nothing of value to offer but makes people think it does in an amazingly effective way. The Church has the greatest story ever told and has obscured it more effectively than ever thought possible.

'Shack' opens doors, but critics call book 'scripturally incorrect' -
Young was born in Canada to missionaries who brought him as an infant to New Guinea to live with the primitive Dani tribe. He says he was subject to the harsh verbal attacks of his unhappy father, and sexual assaults by tribesmen. He went to a missionary boarding school at age 6, he says, and was molested by older students.

He never lost a sense of God, but to Young, God was distant and judgmental. "I learned to survive by becoming a performer/perfectionist," he says.

Even as he roamed the world and eventually wound up in a Bible seminary for the Christian Missionary Alliance, he knew he wasn't meant to be a pastor or missionary. He finally graduated from Western Pacific College in Portland and landed at a Four Square Gospel church, working with collegians.

There he met Kim, who poked holes "in my version of being a perfect performer to earn God's love. You can't perform for God. You can't run. You can't hide. You can adapt, but that won't heal the stuff you've buried deep inside, in your 'shack.' "

Soon after they married, waves of tragedy gouged their life. When he was 25, his 18-year-old brother died in a work accident, Kim's mother died unexpectedly, and his niece, 5 years and one day old, was run over by a cement truck while riding her new birthday bicycle.

Grace seemed nowhere in sight.

Young was 38 and the father of six when his life took a hairpin turn after his adultery. He spent a year in counseling, years more soul-searching, marveling at Kim's steadfast commitment, before he reached wholeness in faith, he says.

He wrote The Shack in 2005, prompted by Kim. She wanted him to open up his heart and his thinking to their children, now ages 14 to 27. The book was meant to be like the box top on a jigsaw puzzle, the picture that shows where all the pieces fit, Young says.

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