Should You See “The Shack”?

 

the shack

Dear Reader:

I did my best to not put any spoilers in this post, but you will learn a bit about the plot of the story. Full disclosure.

My friend Karen and I just returned from seeing “The Shack.” Well, that’s not altogether true: we had to go have healing pasta first. You didn’t know pasta was healing? Oh, dear one. You have much to learn.

Back to the topic at hand: I cried about five gallons of tears in this movie. I may need i.v. fluid in order to properly rehydrate.

This is a real thing. Mostly, i.v.’s are used to rehydrate sick people, or in “Grey’s Anatomy”, to sober up surgeons after a bus crash. I’m just saying, there could be other uses.

Another note: I barely touched my popcorn, and I didn’t even come close to finishing my Hot Tamales. This alone bears recording.

But I know you are reading this because you aren’t sure if you should see the movie or not. Here are my thoughts.

There’s been so much controversy about this book, and now about the film, both in favor and against.

Some people say it’s heresy, and anti-Christian, because of the unconventional way Paul Wm. Young represents the Trinity. Some believe it to be “sub-biblical” and “dangerous.” Others take exception with Young’s treatment of God’s wrath and judgement.

On the other hand, many people LOVE it, believing it’s a ministry. Brenda Elliot of CBN gave the movie a glowing review, and did not mind at all Young’s portrait of the Trinity. The very elements that bothered some were appealing to others. Some call it the new Pilgrim’s Progress. I can see that, to an extent. It did pop in my head.

A movie that makes us think about God, helps us to talk about God and dissect his scripture, probably has some merit.

I didn’t mind the representation of the Trinity. I don’t see it that way, but I don’t mind an unusual point of view. Because the Bible is meant to be discussed, picked apart, thought about God’s word will hold up to scrutiny, because it’s the truth. I love to go to the movies, and I really will go see almost anything. However, I didn’t really consider seeing this one, at first. I wouldn’t have gone to see it had I not been invited.

This is partially because I’ve read the book and thought I knew what I was in for, and partially because, I’m sorry to say this, but most Christian-oriented films are terrible. I WANT them to be good, but most of the time, they just aren’t. Sometimes, the writing isn’t very good  for example: I’m Not Ashamed. The story (which is quite true) is washed out by bad writing and so-so acting.

Another example is”God’s Not Dead” (and the subsequent “God’s Not Dead 2, and soon to be 3”, because God is still alive and we need to be reminded, while taking our bucks?). I know a whole lot of people LOVE this movie, and it’s not because of the stellar acting. It’s because they believe the farce that it is based on a true story, one in which an evil college professor pressures his young and naive class into saying, well, that God’s dead. There’s so much wrong with this, but the main problem is that it’s NOT a true story. Saying this is a true story is much like saying Buttered Popcorn Jellybellies are the same as real popcorn. If you want to read more about this, see my post: God’s Not Dead.

Anyway, getting back to The Shack, also claims it’s a true story. The author does get around to admitting at the end, it’s not. I didn’t think it was; again, I am a discerning reader.  Many authors use this technique to add intrigue (think Edgar Allan Poe), I know that many people will believe this actually happened.

It’s a good story, but it didn’t REALLY happen.

They will want to give this story the attention they gave the Left Behind series. I’m okay with these books as long as we agree that it’s just one guy’s interpretation, not the Gospel.

If you read The Shack, or watch the movie, go in knowing it’s just a story. It’s not a sermon. It’s not theological fact. It’s not claiming to be. It’s just one guy’s idea regarding God and the afterlife. If you are able to make this distinction, and you don’t mind super sad movies where terrible things happen for no reason, then you will probably like this movie.

If you have the idea that the only true way to view God is the way you view Him, then you probably should not see the film. You will be offended, and will feel as if you wasted $10.

Another thing I want to tell you is this: if seeing/discussing/thinking about children being hurt or worse bothers you or is a trigger somehow, you will want to skip this movie.

If seeing Tim McGraw without his black cowboy hat will bother you, skip this movie.

If you are like me, and will go to see most movies, and are not embarrassed to cry like a starving infant in public, then you will be okay. I sobbed, my friend. I began crying five minutes in, and did not stop until the credits rolled.

You have been warned.

Sidenote: bring tissues. LOTS of tissues.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Should You See “The Shack”?

  1. Hi, Karen here. The aforementioned friend who dragged our dear Tina to see this tear-inspiring beast. I have a confession to make: Tim McGraw was the big draw for me in this movie. The idea that it was faith-based was quite a far second and could have even been a deal-breaker. However, I had seen the previews in a relatively conservative Christian theater, and have read the controversy surrounding the plot, and I was intrigued. The Trinity portrayed so differently, yet still shown *here*? AND I get Mr. McGraw? Umm, YES. I will see it.

    My faith has been a struggle for a long time.

    Let me correct that. My religion has been a struggle for a long time. My faith has not. That is something that this film touches on, the difference between religion and faith, religion and love. It’s such an important difference. And to see that difference play out right there in front of me, to see that it DOESN’T MATTER WHAT FORM IT TAKES, love is healing, well, that spoke to me.

    Friends, I don’t know what speaks to you or what struggles you have. A movie will not change your life. But sometimes, inside these moments of passive enjoyment, we find moments of active wisdom we can carry out of the theater with us.

    Thank you, Tina, for your company.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember my mother telling me to read the book but was in middle of Master’s program so didn’t get to it. My son Michael and my granddaughter Elizabeth surprized us and what a wonderful surprize it was. We went to the movies and Michael decided to go with. We, Elizabeth and I, wanted to see Beauty and the Beast in 3-D and Michael “The Shack”. So when they were over we met and Michael was so touched that he said I had to read the book, so after they went home to Kansas I got the book read it in a day and saw the movie the next. I was a wonderful book and the movies was good, but some parts were not explained well enough in the movie as to make is cohesive, like the book. I really enjoyed both.

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