I never quite decided which side of ‘The Shack’ fence I stood on –the ‘wishy-washy, dangerous theology’ side or the ‘absolutely everyone should read this book’ side. So reading this book has been an enlightening experience.
Baxter Kruger, a practicing and respected theologian, aims to show everyone (sceptics and fans) that when they are reading this book they are reading a story-based early church theology. “When I read ‘The Shack’, I’m thinking I’m reading Athanasius (an early church theologian who helped mould early Christianity) … this is so beautiful.”
So the renowned theologian took an 8 month break and wrote this book – to show people that the theology he saw in this story was not only sound, but worth further study and reflection. He sees this book as a story that rekindles the ancient gospel; especially how the early church understood the Trinity. William P. Young openly calls his book 'theology' (well, ‘theology wrapped in story’). And with his input, this book explains its theological roots.
As an undecided reader, Baxter’s book was helpful. He’s more of an insightful guide then a Bible-wielding preacher. He always keeps his writing firmly on the ground, clearly explaining the early church parallels that make him a Shack-fanatic. I particularly enjoyed his writing style, referring to the book’s characters and quoting the story while also continuing the conversation with his own story.
What I would say is the author certainly stands in the –‘I love The Shack’ – community. So if you’re still infuriated about its open-door theology, this book could either draw you in (especially the ‘soft-on-sin’ criticism) or push you further away. Either way, it’s still an interesting read. I’m not discouraging you from reading it; I’m just saying you may burst a few more blood vessels in the process.
March 4th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood