I read the book The Shack on the recommendation of a bible study group that I'm in. It was a band wagon type book so having the personality that I do, I refused to read it just because everyone one else was. But, as I was listening to everyone talk about it I decided that I should read it. I borrowed it from a friend and read it in one day.
I was warned not to be disturbed by the goriness and by the the way he portrayed God. It is just a book and as a mystery and fantasy fan I've read far more descriptive kidnapping type scenes before so I didn't really have a problem with that part.
I will admit to being one of those people who always pictured God as a Santa Clause type figure, just in a white robe instead of the red suit. So when I got the the black mammy God it made me stop and think. Then slowly a smile spread across my face, as sacrilegious as it seems(especially with my Catholic upbringing! I sill love the Catholics don't get me wrong, but you are taught to respect God and no nonsense is allowed.) I can totally see God as a black mammy, the I know what's best for you and you should do it because I love you and you love me, not because I'm telling you to. So, that part made me smile and chuckle at my inclination to cross myself and say a couple hail Marys! What can I say? Old habits die hard!
I really like how the author portrayed the holy spirit and the soul. There are some major theological flaws, but there are also some parts that I fully agree with. Like any other book, I take what I know to be right and run with it and research and bug the people I know about the things I'm not sure about. Then things I just know are weird, like the psychedelic star chapter(you'll know what I'm talking about it you've read the book!) I just giggle over and move on.
My beef with this book is the same that it is with all band wagon books, everybody takes everything in it as gospel and doesn't dig any deeper when things don't make sense. It's really bad with "Christian" books like The Shack, but happens with secular ones as well. If you are not firmly grounded in your faith books like Harry Potter and Twilight should not be read by you. Even if you don't go out and start looking for hot vampires to hang with, ideas can get planted and unless you are guarding your self against them they'll sneak in there and permeate your way of thinking. Satan doesn't not need to turn you into a Wicca to accomplish his task, most of the time he just distracts rather then full out attacks.
The moral of this little story? Be careful what you read and be on your guard, if something seems revolutionary talk about it with someone and pray that God would open your eyes and help you see what His truths are.