#129 – Dick Bernard: The Shack

Last summer a good friend, one of those friends I have never been privileged to meet in person, asked if I had read the novel, “The Shack”, and heightened my interest to the extent I purchased a copy. As so often happens with me, I got to page 34, found the book was interesting, but got distracted, put it down and went on to other things.
A few days ago, my friend wrote an e-note “I’ve wondered if you had the time this summer to read The Shack and what you thought of it.”
I’ve now completed the book. I highly recommend it.
It is a book that encourages, indeed demands, personal reflection and introspection. I won’t give this book away: I expect to return to it from time to time. This book stays in the family.
The Shack is framed in western Christianity, but speaks to anyone willing to look inward at their own ways of being. Indeed, a willingness to look inward would seem to be an implicit need to derive any meaning from The Shack.
(The friend who called The Shack to my attention has major and, in my view, very legitimate issues with western Christianity, and perhaps of traditional organized religion generally, but nonetheless is a person of great Spirit, in the most positive sense. My entire frame of reference is within one segment of western Christianity, but I found the book filled with insights. My pastor will get a copy of The Shack from me, for Christmas. I’ll be in Church Sunday morning, as usual, and next week, and the week after. But even if I hadn’t darkened a church door in years, and despised organized religion, I think I’d find this book to be of great value.)
The Shack has been around since 2007. The jacket says “This book became #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List on a two-hundred-dollar marketing budget and because of passionate readers who wanted to pass it along to their friends.” My edition says “Over five million copies in print.
Check the website; if you’re out Christmas shopping, near a bookstore, stop in, take a look, and consider giving yourself this gift.
And prepare to look inward, into yourself.