Thursday, July 02, 2009

The first anniversary of The Shack

(I rounded a little -- it has been on bestseller lists for 58 weeks) Although my contrarian streak often counsels me not to read Extremely Popular Books, it behooves a religion specialist, especially a religion books specialist, to know what this is about. My friends Jana Riess and Dave Nantais have led the way with their insights -- Jana's blog and Dave's article in America magazine. I was most struck by author William Paul Young's vision of the Trinity, which is not an easy doctrine for some monotheists (how can God be a three-in-one god?) His depiction of the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman who seemed to flit like a rainbow-colored bird is really no more odd or arbitrary than the time-honored bird imagery. What stays with me was his vision of the stars; it was positively Dante-esque, reminding me of the conclusion of the Paradiso, which invokes "the love that moves the sun and other stars." Not too shabby for someone who doesn't write that well.