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    The Shack (Movie and Book)

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    Paeter
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    The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  Paeter on February 15th 2017, 9:59 am

    Anyone planning to see this one?


    I read the book years ago because of the buzz and controversy. Don't remember many details and was mostly reading it to evaluate its theology rather than get into the story. I remember thinking that I could understand why some Christians were uncomfortable with a few things, but that those same things didn't HAVE to be interpreted in the way they were probably thinking. So theologically I felt like it was... well, not a precisely written theological text, but not some heretical thing either, given all the room for metaphor and interpretation.

    That said, the book specifically features the character of God as revealed through the Bible and Jesus, who is also a major character. So I was shocked to see that apparently carrying over into the movie (unless they end up never calling the young middle eastern man "Jesus" in the movie, or at least making it obvious who he is, which would be a shame). Even more shocking was the kind of respected actors they got for the movie (Octavia Spencer! Wow, can't wait!) and the quality and artistry with which the movie seems to be made, based on the trailer.

    I'll be reviewing this one (the same week as both Horixon Zero Dawn and Logan. Holy crap yikes!!!! BUSY week!) and hope for the best. Although I'm actually less concerned that it will be bad and more wondering if I'll be a mess while I watch it. When I read the book I didn't have kids yet...


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    Reed Benson

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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  Reed Benson on February 15th 2017, 9:54 pm

    I still haven't gotten around to reading the book, but I lean towards having a positive opinion of it because it was recommended by our (fairly charismatic) marriage counsellors as a good illustration of how the trinity works (or something along those lines). Also, controversy is fun.

    But I did just read this article by Tim Challies about why he refuses to see the film version...

    Tim Challies wrote:My foremost concern with The Shack—the one that will keep me from seeing it even for purposes of review—is its visual representation of God. To watch The Shack is to watch human actors play the roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I take this to be a clear, serious violation of the second commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6). I will not see the film, even to review it, because I will not and cannot watch humans pretend to be God.

    He goes more in-depth in the article, and it's pretty damning. I'm not sure if I totally agree, but it certainly makes me feel awkward for watching Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty.
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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  mikel.withers on February 16th 2017, 8:45 am

    I probably wont watch it as I read the book (and liked it) but I don't think a movie will add to the experience.
    I don't understand why people seem to think every work of Christian writing needs to be Systematic Theology. As I mentioned on Rick Lee James' facebook thread about this: I think it might be a good exercise for some of us to see God as a black woman rather than an old white man. -because I suspect that the reality of God is going to be even more different than just color and sex.
    As to representations of God... well, they make me uncomfortable. I thought Morgan Freeman did a good job in the Almighty movies, but it still gives me the heeby jeebies. -but that could be my own superstition and weakness rather than a spiritual conviction, in fact I think it is.
    And then I always feel guilty when I watch Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail...
    "'Course it's a good idea!"
    But I giggle to: "It's just like those miserable Psalms, always so depressing."

    Now, if I were inclined to hold a poster of a representation of God, or the movie case, as a conduit to God, or holding a piece of Him, or what I pray to, then we'd have an issue. In my opinion.
    I have a painted spot on my office wall that represents a dove, which represents the Holy Spirit, and when I see it I am reminded of God's presence. ... it is a focus, perhaps, a reminder, like the cross, which is something I try to picture in my mind to keep it from wandering while I pray. ...but I don't pray to it. A patch of paint or some boards nailed together aren't idols to me. And I, misanthrope that I am, don't think they or actors portraying God, are idols to most people.
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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  Paeter on February 16th 2017, 9:15 am

    mikel.withers wrote:
    Now, if I were inclined to hold a poster of a representation of God, or the movie case, as a conduit to God, or holding a piece of Him, or what I pray to, then we'd have an issue. In my opinion.
    I have a painted spot on my office wall that represents a dove, which represents the Holy Spirit, and when I see it I am reminded of God's presence. ... it is a focus, perhaps, a reminder, like the cross, which is something I try to picture in my mind to keep it from wandering while I pray. ...but I don't pray to it. A patch of paint or some boards nailed together aren't idols to me. And I, misanthrope that I am, don't think they or actors portraying God, are idols to most people.

    And this is the intent of the command. "Do not worship something that isn't God."

    Context is always key in scripture. And if we ignore context we can make verse 4 a command to never make visual representations of anything. It's verse 5 that expresses the concern of the command. Don't make something to worship.

    I appreciate Challies' zeal, but it looks like it's causing him to add things to scripture in this case, like the teachers of the law did in Jesus' day. I suspect our broken tendency toward legalism and adding to God's words is partially why Jesus fulfilled and then replaced the Old Testament Law with the law of grace and love. Fewer words for us to mess with.


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    AdamCollings

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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  AdamCollings on February 16th 2017, 4:11 pm

    Yes, that's how I've always interpreted that verse Paeter. We're not to make an idol and worship that. I've not taken an actor playing God in a film to come under that unless we worship that actor.

    The thing I'd be more concerned with is writing dialog for God. I remember listening to the writer/director of Bruce/Evan Almighty, talking about how seriously he took the idea of putting words in God's mouth. He approached it with a great deal of prayer and trepidation. Not saying it can't be done, but definitely not something to be done thoughtlessly.
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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  Reed Benson on February 17th 2017, 3:09 am

    That all makes sense. The more I think about it, the more Challies' complaint reminds me of the traditional Muslim belief that you're not supposed to make a visual representation of God or Mohammed. That doesn't really square with Christian freedom.

    To his credit, Challies doesn't seem to be forbidding anyone else from seeing the movie. It's a conscience thing for him, I guess.
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    mikel.withers

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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  mikel.withers on February 17th 2017, 8:53 am

    We definitely have to pay attention to our consciences.
    Even if I can cerebrally talk myself into believing that something is a good choice, and not really bad afterall, if my conscience says, "don't do it" -I should listen to that.
    Sometimes, however, superstition is mistaken for conscience. I don't have a good example off the top of my head, but I do recognize it in my life. I went to a very conservative, legalistic church in my childhood and I still find myself following their rules rather than Biblical commands at times.
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    Paeter
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    Re: The Shack (Movie and Book)

    Post  Paeter on February 21st 2017, 10:00 am

    mikel.withers wrote:We definitely have to pay attention to our consciences.
    Even if I can cerebrally talk myself into believing that something is a good choice, and not really bad afterall, if my conscience says, "don't do it" -I should listen to that.
    Sometimes, however, superstition is mistaken for conscience. I don't have a good example off the top of my head, but I do recognize it in my life. I went to a very conservative, legalistic church in my childhood and I still find myself following their rules rather than Biblical commands at times.

    Ditto on all this. Romans 14:14 comes to mind. "I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean."

    There are some things I've been able to do in certain seasons of life that I can't do in others. In fact I can find myself going back and forth. So although our consciences don't reliably indicate what we CAN do, I think they reliably indicate what we CAN'T, at least until we have a better understanding of the issue that will remove any feelings of concern.


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