The Shack: Analysis Essay.
According to “The Shack”, William Paul Young had to confront the issue of theodicy; how a loving god could allow such overwhelming pain, suffering and evil in the world he created. The overall thesis of the book seems to states that forgiveness is desirable. Matthew 6:15 states clearly the requirements of forgiveness, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Young takes the time to address forgiveness which will require growth beyond the pain of deep hurt.
On page two twenty seven, one can see forgiveness is not the same as forgetting.
As when Mack forgives the kidnapper so he can move forward in life and happiness but never forgets what happened that horrible day. “The Shack” is a Christian fiction, a fast growing genre in the contemporary Christian culture. A Christian novel explains and illustrates a Christian world view, plot, and its characters; plus deals with Christian themes in a positive way. It communicates in a casual, easy to read message.
The text in “The Shack” comes across as the author preaching his religious believes to the reader, with no other acceptable views.
Towards the end of the book, Young seemed to try and force his own point across. In the last section of the book “The story behind the Shack”, Young reveals that the motivation for this story comes from his own struggle to answer many of the difficult questions of life. Young explains that his seminary training didn’t provided the answers to the questions he pondered. Suddenly one day in 2005, he felt God whisper in his ear that this year was going to be his year of Jubilee and restoration. Out of that experience, he felt God lead him to write the Shack.
Young states that much of the book was formed around personal conversations he had with God, family, and friends. He tells the readers that the main character “Mack” is not a real person but a fictional character used to communicate the message in the book. Young admits that his children would recognize that Mack is a lot like him, and the other characters often resemble family members and friends. Young explained that he initially drafted the manuscript as he commuted to work by train, and intended it primarily for his children.
Although the scenario depicted in the novel is not based on a particular historical event, young admits that it was created by a six-month period in his own life when his eighteen year old brother was killed, his mother-in-law died of a massive coronary, and his five year old niece was killed the day after her fifth birthday. The story centers around a note that Mack received from God to whom he refers as “Papa”. “It states Mackenzie, It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together”.
The shack this letter refers to is the painful place were the search for his daughter ends tragically. A few years earlier, a serial killer abducted Mack’s daughter Missy. A lead sends them to an old shack where Missy’s blood-soaked dress is discovered. Mack decides to go the shack to see if this is some kind of prank, or if God will show up. God shows up, and Mack spends a weekend at the shack interacting with the different members of the trinity and learning to forgive God and Missy’s killer. As Mack leaves the Shack to go back home he gets in a serious accident.
After he gains consciousness in the hospital, he realizes he did not spend the weekend at the shack, but that his accident occurred on the same day that he arrived at the shack. Ultimately, when bad things happen, when our loved ones perish, when one becomes ill, when our wealth and our friends run away, one has choices to make. Believe in a God, and that he will help in the way one needs, or Cry, scream and hate him because he didn’t do what one thought was the right way. To overcome deep hurt, one has to forgive to move on with life.
The Bible instructs one to forgive as the Lord forgave us; Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”. In conclusion, when one forgives the people that hurt us, one can begin to heal. One forgives by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. Although forgiving is not the same as forgetting, one has to forgive to move on from pain and disappointment to become happy. One must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete