The Shack - A
This book was an interesting glimpse into the "what if" of seeing God face to face. For anyone who has ever asked "Why did this have to happen?" about a situation in their lives, the main character of the book, Mack, speaks your own heart as he struggles with the violent loss of his little girl. Can you imagine looking into the face of God and asking Him why? Can you imagine what that face could look like?
A friend recommended this so strongly to me, I had to try it. I saw it in the hands of many of the youth at church and heard it discussed several times. I'd heard nothing but positive things about it until after I read it. Apparently, it is a very controversial bit of literature. I was surprised that so many were opposed to it. The friend that recommended it to me said that her sister, raised with the same upbringing and truly her best friend, hated the book....that she found it offensive. I found it interesting that two gals I find so similar would disagree so strongly on it.
The main source of argument with this book seems to be with the way the Trinity is represented. In the story, Mack meets God at an abandoned shack where his daughter was killed 3 years earlier. Not knowing what to expect, he prepares to knock on the door when it is opened.....by a large African American woman. I found this hysterical, but I can see where some might be shocked. It must be noted that God is not portrayed as a woman. In the story, Mack was severely abused by his father as a child and being angry at both his dad and God, was not likely to respond well to a father figure image of God. Later, when his relationship with God and with his father has healed, God appears as an older man with a ponytail.
No, the book is not conventional. But it offers many interesting perspectives and lots of thoughts to ponder. It isn't a book of heresy. It's a book of what-ifs. It is not gospel. It is a book asking "what do you think the gospel meant by this."
I've heard some critics say that it isn't well written. I honestly didn't find much fault with the writing. No, the author did not explore deeply into descriptions. Instead, he brought the focus straight to the dialogue. The book was all about the dialogue....thought provoking dialogue that leads people to question what they think they know and find out what God has actually said.
Last Light - A
A mind candy Christian fiction read for me, and it was delicious. The story starts right away with all electrical power going out everywhere. Everything, even watches and cars, stops without explanation. The book focuses on one family, especially the dad, and their experience. This is the first book of a series. It entertained as it blended murder & mystery with attitude adjustments and restoration of relationships....primarily a relationship with God.