Post Number: 473
|Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013 - 11:14 am: || |
It's not about the book(s); it's not about theology; I hope you will find or take an hour to watch this video. Taking off masks, getting real . . . . . http://vimeo.com/64237541
Post Number: 475
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 6:23 am: || |
It was interesting to me to hear 'the rest of the story' about the life of Paul Young. He was a missionary kid who was sent to boarding school at age 6 & it was a horror story. Missionary children were 'sacrificed' by their parents for the sake of the mission work.
Another man with a similar story is Wes Stafford who founded Compassion International. He has a heart for children, having been sent to boarding school by his missionary parents, & abused there.
I have learned that there are any number of fundamentalist religions where the details vary but the pain is driven by the shame & condemnation of the system.
Our own stories may vary; yet we have survived, as they did.
I am not advocating anything about this man or the books he writes. I just thought that his story is revealing.
God loves us. He can & does rescue us.
Post Number: 278
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 8:48 am: || |
About half way through...really touches many places in my life, and I can see some areas that relate to hubby's experiences growing up SDA. Most especially his inability to distinguish between an observation and a value statement. That was powerful and has helped me to understand much more why B. has reacted to seemingly ordinary comments so personally, in the same way Paul is describing. I never could understand why, or what that was exactly, but Paul hit the nail on the head on that issue for us. B. grew up with a lot of shame and guilt, having a mother so engulfed in Adventism, living in a total SDA environment, where appearance was everything.
Okay...back to finish. Just had to comment here, and thank you for this link.
Post Number: 279
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 12:58 pm: || |
I really enjoyed Paul's talk. As I said before, it touched on issues that I, and my spouse can relate to. I had/have negative thoughts about "The Shack", but be that as it may, I was very much blessed by his life story. I can understand some of his imagery in the book now. I guess it can go to the idea of "walking in another man's moccasins". I haven't read the book, so I shouldn't comment too much!
Also, as a sidebar, apparently Paul was speaking at Emmanuel Enid Church, so I clicked on one of the pastors sermons (some listed above Paul's video)and randomly chose the one on Hebrews 12:25, just to see what he had to say. It was excellent as well! He really speaks to those of us who were in a law based religion. His church is apparently going through the book of Hebrews, so i think I'll see if "hubs" wants to do that. I was really blessed with his sermon too.
Post Number: 280
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 12:59 pm: || |
Yes, taking off the mask...I can relate!
Post Number: 14449
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 4:08 pm: || |
I watched the video, and I have read The Shack. His story is powerful, and it does explain The Shack to me a bit. The Shack is this man's story as he understood it right on the cusp of beginning to be healthy after a lifetime shaped by severe abuse. It is the story he wrote right as he was beginning to see himself as God sees him instead of as he saw himself.
I have two reactions now. First, I don't think Young's theology had caught up with his experience. God did rescue him. No doubt about that! His book, however, does not tell his first-person story; it is a novelized story, and it doesn't really show a biblical view of forgiveness and repentance that results in healing (not to mention the issues it has concerning the Trinity). In other words, I wouldn't recommend The Shack to someone struggling with brokenness because I believe it won't lead a person to the reality that will yield true, lasting results. But I do believe God has done a work in Young's life. I think his personal story is more helpful than the book.
Second, I think Young's personal story is a whole lot like that of many Adventists. I've said it before; we have to realize that in dealing with people struggling out of Adventism, we're dealing with trauma victims.
Ultimately, people traumatized in the context of religion have to relearn their worldview, and the only safe place to learn it so that one can continue to grow and become more healthy is Scripture. That's not to say reading other things it bad. It's only to say that we really have to be so careful what we read and hear, because we are not stable enough, when we first process out, to be able to filter through things that are "off" when we read.
Scripture can be twisted by false teachers, but since Scripture is God's word, He is faithful to teach it to us when we submit to it and to Him.
I remember praying often, as we were processing, that God would bring to my attention the things He knew I should read. He really did do that. He knows what we need.
Ultimately, we have to be willing to know what is real and true. I've often thought that because I was deeply deceived and my view of reality was so "off", I am exceptionally vulnerable to being deceived again. I pray often that God will teach me Truth and reality and plant me deeply in them. God reveals the truth about Himself to us, and then He continues to show us the truth about ourselves. He is the One who changes us.
It is amazing to me, in an ongoing way, that God has given us His word and His Spirit. His word is what renews our minds and transform us into His likeness. His Spirit teaches us His word and makes Jesus real to us.
Post Number: 181
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 11:26 pm: || |
Just a quick comment about your observations on The Shack. While I do understand what you are saying, I want to share that God can use whatever avenue He chooses to speak into the life of someone who is broken. I know you know that, but I react particularly strongly to this book because it was this book alone - through the power of the Holy Spirit - that led my husband to true, lasting conversion about 4 1/2 years ago. Of course it didn't stop there and he immediately moved on to reading most of Romans, but it was Young's portrayal of God's love that spoke into my husband's very hard and broken heart. I am not defending Young's theology at all, but I don't believe his primary motivation was intended to be theological anyway. Repentance and forgiveness are certainly necessary components to healing, but if my husband had not been first spoken to about God's unconditional love for him through the pages of this book, I don't know that he would've been motivated enough to repent and seek forgiveness at all. I witnessed the most miraculous conversion process right before my eyes as he read this book, so it's hard for me to hear you say that you don't believe The Shack could lead a person to the reality that will yield true, lasting results. It most definitely led him to that reality (again, through the power of the Holy Spirit). It rocked his world to the core and he was a very broken man who was very far from God. He was not stable and had no ability to filter through things that were "off," and yet God reached out through the imagery in those pages to utterly transform his heart. Through prayer and faith, we have both been led to deeper understandings of truth and have never relied on any one person's description. I just wanted to share that because through that experience I've come to understand that God works in very unexpected ways... (This also reminds me of what I've previously shared about our conversion and certain gospel truths being affirmed within Adventism by Lee Venden who was teaching wrong theology...) God is big and I am humbled...
Post Number: 14454
|Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 12:09 am: || |
I understand, Lyrical. That is amazing and wonderful! God truly is not limited by our lack of clarity in any way. Praise God for revealing Himself to your husband so powerfully.
Post Number: 16
|Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 - 7:53 pm: || |
I was in backsliden state when I sat in Starbucks and read The Shack.At the time,I was so broken,angry and disappointed with God I couldn't read scripture.I was amazed how the author portrayed God and his as love as tangible, personable and patient.I read that book maybe 2 years ago and today when I refer to God as "papa",I feel that deep personable connection all over aagin and I'm once again reminded of how "papa" shows himself in each one of our lives.
Post Number: 3103
|Posted on Saturday, June 01, 2013 - 10:18 am: || |
I too, read The Shack when it first came out. I was greatly impressed with how the author portrayed God's love, so I bought a bunch of them to send to relatives. One part of the book that disturbed me however was the author's hint that there were many roads to God and how he even named Mormonism. Therefore I didn't send the book to my one sister who is Mormon. (Mormon's believe that God had a beginning that that He is just one of many gods - each with their own planet to populate, but that He is simply the only God for this planet.) Later, I thought to myself that I shouldn't have sent any of them out because of the theological errors. But the author DID portray God's love very well, so it could definitely be a good first step to knowing God's love for someone who's been badly broken. And cults sure can cause that brokenness!
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Saturday, June 01, 2013 - 3:12 pm: || |
The Shack speaks to our hearts, not our minds. At least that is how I relate to the book. It was The Shack that finally drove me to my knees in repentence and confession after 29 years of agnostic and then new age wilderness wandering. It was the confession of his selfishness and abuse of his family's love that held a mirror to my own idolatrous self-centered abuse of my family. While I tearfully confessed my utter depravity and failure as a father and husband, confessing that my "wisdom" to do life my own way had been foolish and sinful and a failure, while admitting that God is righteous and true, while agreeing that I deserved to be cast into hell and to be destryoed, then, then, miraculously, a quiet, yet clear voice said to me, "my grace is sufficient." It was then that I reached out and accepted his forgiveness and love. I haven't been the same since.
That was on September 17th, 2009. After leaving Adventism in 1981, I became a rather toxic atheist. Very angry at God. But in 1989, God started to draw me toward himself with the movie Field of Dreams. I know, New Age drivel, right? But you know, at the time, I would have nothing to do with Christianity at all. I "knew" the Bible was just as unreliable as the "Spirit of Prophecy" had been shown to be. Because I "knew" that Adventism represented the truest form of Christianity, all other churches would have nothing for me. So God, who is merciful beyond comprehension, used the most unlikely means to begin to turn me around. Yes, I finally discovered that New Age was just spiritual masturbation. Learning to love the god that I am? PLEASE. And while drumming with others was fun, chanting mindlessly with Ram-Das was ridiculous. So over a period of 20 years, God patiently led me step-by-step closer to Himself, until I reached The Shack.
Colleen, you'll be relieved to know that when I read about God's forgiveness in The Shack, I remember thinking the author missed the part about the "cost" of that forgiveness--the life of our dear and precious Savior. It is the cross that blows us away. It really is incomprehensible when you think about it. The incarnation alone is incomprehensible. But yeah, Yound missed it there. Still, I am profoundly greatful that God used this broken man to reach another broken man--me. Despite the faulty theology, The Shack brought me to my knees, and God was there to pick me up and save my marriage, my relationship with my children, and me. I've come to know the real Jesus, who is the Truth, and I rejoice in my God, who through the Holy Spirit is renewing my mind with the truth of scripture. Praise God for his amazing grace!
Craig in Salem
Post Number: 2011
|Posted on Saturday, June 01, 2013 - 4:17 pm: || |
And thus is the story with so many, dare I say it, heresies. There is a great deal of truth in the heresy, but it is the twist that makes it dangerous. We can praise God that He used the truth aspect to reach people, but that doesn't redeem the book or the heresy. The danger lies when people grab hold of the error along with the truth and hold to it vigorously because of the overall impact the book or teacher had on them. Many people think they can sort out the good from the bad, but in actualility very few have the discernment skills to really distinguish.
I have a similar story from the book Ragamuffin Gospel. A number of great, piercing truths, but also an author that mixed in a number of serious errors. At first I bristled when I heard anyone critical of the book or author. It took several years before I could start to look objectively.
Post Number: 3104
|Posted on Sunday, June 02, 2013 - 10:56 am: || |
Craig (and the others); that's wonderful that God showed you His amazing love and brought you to Himself!
Post Number: 204
|Posted on Sunday, June 02, 2013 - 1:44 pm: || |
I'm usually not a fiction reader, but I too read and enjoyed The Shack. I read it before I really renounced Adventism (before FAF) I was confused about how the Trinity was protrayed and didn't understand the gospel well enough to pick up on what Colleen was saying. But I like the comment that his theology hadn't yet caught up with his experience. I think God has used a lot of things to help me even when they weren't exactly theologically correct. They are just stepping stones to the truth. Hopefully I'm getting closer to it.
I finally listened to the vimeo that was posted to this thread. What a powerful testimony. It took him 11 years of recovery and he tried to use symbols to put his story into the book in a weekend setting. I think his story of recovery is an encouragement for anyone struggling with any hurt; especially abuse.
I think some of the parallels of his story and the book are confusing, but as I came out of Adventism I came out of confusion and tried to connect dots that were all over the place. My testimony keeps being revised over and over as I gain new information.
I've appreciated the comments of what his book missed. The comments have helped me understand the truth even better.
Post Number: 476
|Posted on Sunday, June 02, 2013 - 2:11 pm: || |
I thought it was very interesting & encouraging that his marriage could heal & survive the devastating infidelity. It's good to hear how the process can play out & work. It helps to hear that it took 11 long years, but that healing came. Sharing that experience gives hope to others. Those stories need to be HEARD! ~J9
Post Number: 8112
|Posted on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 9:37 am: || |
I haven't read the book, and I probably should since a conversation on the forum about 'The Shack' is what challenged me to try my hand at writing fiction. Now, 28 short books later, all fiction but one, and working on my 29th book, I still don't really understand how God talks to people through fiction.
Fiction is just that, its not meant to be real, so why does people take the book so seriously? For people to read fiction, and expect it to be theologically correct just blows my mind. Its fiction for crying out loud.
Steven King, in his book 'On Writing' said, "Write what you know." It makes it easier to write fiction when you are at least familiar with the terrain. His stories are mostly centered around the country side where he has lived most of his life.
When I wrote, "God, Are You Up There?" Right away Phil spotted the story as being really about my conversion, yet the story is fiction, I was writing what I know.
One of the reviewers on Barnes&Nobles said this about the book:
You helped me
This book is realy inspiring it has helped me im only 15 but i used to drink and smoke but my best friend told me to read this book i didnt want to at first because i thought there was nothing wrong with what did but now after reading it i dont drink or smoke i have been sober for 7 months and have not smoked for 9 thank you darrel you helped me so much sincerely Liyla Anderson 15 years old.
That's the review, copied and pasted along with the incorrect spelling.
That blew my mind. Was I worried about theology when I wrote any of my books in fiction? Heck no! Theology is not fiction (well...Adventist theology is) but you know what I mean.
Of course Former Adventist are a little gun shy, and thats all good, but can God use a work of fiction to touch hearts, and minds for him? Of course he can, he can use any method he see's fit. Why this single mans work of fiction has drawn so much controversy is beyond me, but like I said, I haven't read it, and maybe I should.
Probably every one of the stories I've written touches on some broken part of my past, but its still fiction.
(Message edited by river on June 03, 2013)
Post Number: 14463
|Posted on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 2:36 pm: || |
Craig, good to see you here
Rick, I totally "get" what you said in your last post. God really does use whatever it takes to get our attention, and I know He used some good ideas from dubious authors in my life to get my attention as well.
I would never discount or argue with a person's experience. I would only say this: God is faithful, and if we commit ourselves to knowing Him and to allowing Him to teach us truth, He will...and often that revelation of Himself and of reality involves learning that there's danger mixed in with the insights that helped us.
All this to say...I have to trust God and His word and allow everything else to pass the scrutiny of His word, ultimately.
For me, the danger is that, because fiction like The Shack touches my heart, as Craig said so well, I become attached to the whole concept and the author who articulated the concept of the book. I have to be willing to know I can't necessarily trust an author, as Rick explained about Brennan Manning. Yet God used Manning to get Rick's attention before he knew the underlying concerns.
Bottom line...God is faithful, and as Jesus said in John 10, His sheep know His voice, and He knows them, and they follow Him. A stranger they simply will not follow, because they do not know the voice of a stranger. (See Jn. 10:4-5)
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Friday, June 07, 2013 - 11:09 am: || |
I know for me personally that one of the difficult things about leaving adventism is leaving that feeling of having a solid base in truth. While it is a false sense of security it can be unsettling to no longer being told what truth is and thinking that you know the truth completely and having it laid out for you in such detail. Now I find myself having to trust the faith that Christ has given me and base what I believe on the bible entirely and judge everything else by the bible, holding onto that security that I am His sheep and I will know His voice. Of course it is also very freeing to be in a spirit relationship and not a letter of the law relationship. Still, I can see the danger that former adventists including myself can be in, that we can get caught up in what inspiring people say and want to hold onto their ideas. We really have to keep our relationship with Christ solid and rely on prayer and bible study to keep us from following false ideas. That is one of the great things I appreciate about this forum-having the opportunity to sound out teaching and having everyone measure it by bible teaching.
Post Number: 1110
|Posted on Friday, June 07, 2013 - 11:57 am: || |
I pray for Discernment and Wisdom~
Also, praying I will be willing to give up "my right" to be "right",
and embrace what GOD clearly states in Scripture,
even if, in my humanness, I do not fully understand!
Trusting that GOD is Sovereign~
Post Number: 14474
|Posted on Friday, June 07, 2013 - 12:04 pm: || |
MJ, that is a profound prayer. It is mine as well.
God has given us the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and I can trust Him and believe that His word is alive and has the power to change me. He does reveal Himself and reality as we submit to Him and His word! And this isn't a mental exercise; it's a deep decision to trust Him, giving up my "right" be to right, as MJ said so well.
Post Number: 1172
|Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 8:20 am: || |
I would like to offer another reading option to be considered~ instead of "The Shack"~
It is a little book that I believe contains the "Gospel"~
It is a short, but profound 'read'~ (100 pages)
The book is entitled,~ Dinner with a Perfect Stranger ~ written by David Gregory.
You can purchase it at a Christian book store; it is also available on Amazon.
Post Number: 1173
|Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 7:56 am: || |
If anyone who reads this post and has read ~"Dinner with a Perfect Stranger"~
written by, David Gregory, would you share your response to the book?