Posted tagged ‘The Pilgrim's Progress’

Decline the Invitation –

September 27, 2009




Warning:  This post contains strong spiritual beliefs. 







I was actually surprised by a student’s book request this week. 
A tall boy came to the circulation counter with a girl hiding behind him. 
He proceeded to ask, for her, whether or not we had a certain book in our collection. 

In the brief nano seconds before I responded, I pondered why was she not able to ask for herself. 
Did she enjoy being controlled by a dominate male?
(I have a VERY strong opinion of the Snow White/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty Syndrome.)  
Did she not want me to know that she had an overdue book?  Was she afraid of me?  Students usually are when I have confiscated their cell phones for the umpteenth time.  In any case, I don’t see my big intimidation factor. 

“No, I’m sorry, we don’t have The Shack as part of our library collection,” I said addressing the girl directly.  “But, I do have it at home.  I bought it; when I’m finished, I will bring it in for check out.”  The girl ducked back behind the teenage boy and he nodded saying that they would check back.  I hope I’m around the day she finds her spine. 

The reason I was surprised, was that the student was asking for a book that I thought had some spiritual significance.  We’ve had years where students check out the Left Behind series like crazy, sadly that is the only series that we have with any spiritual truth behind it. 

I started reading The Shack at the beginning of summer vacation. 
Briefly, the book is about a father, who after the death of his daughter receives an invitation presumably from God, to spend the weekend at the shack where his daughter was killed. 
If you are invited to read The Shack, I would encourage you to decline. 

I had heard that it was a great new work of Christian fiction.  An allegory.  It’s not.  I thought it would be a book with spiritual truths that I could introduce to the library collection and to the students.  No such luck….

Contrary to some blog posts and reviews, it is not a fast read.  I found it to be laboriously long.  As a parent, the last thing I want to read, is a book about a child being murdered, even if it is fiction; even if the lead character’s relationship with ABBA Father will be strengthened and renewed by the conclusion of the novel.  I will not see the conclusion of this book.  No, that’s not true, I will force my self to read through to the ending, but I find the book to be disturbing to my spirit;  too much of the content smacks up against the Solid Rock of Who I know to be Truth. 

I’ve done some online research since the teenager asked me for The Shack this week. I thought it was just me, that only I had trouble wading through the story line, accepting the author’s suggestion that God the Father is female.  Was I the only one who was protesting, to having the concepts of Universalism shoved down my throat?  I found that I was not. 

Some people blogged about how moving they found the book.  One individual stated that “I can’t remember sitting  in a classroom and being moved to tears by a novel before, certainly not one in the “Christian” market.”  Personally, I was moved to close the book and silently berate myself for picking up such trite nonsense.  

If you want to read a good work of Christian allegory, then your best choices would be: 
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis &  Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. {DE19EE9A-7793-4FF7-9B3F-7EED15B6E11B}Img100

Now before you assemble picket signs and gather outside my library protesting that I am censoring books, put your paint brushes away.  The Shack will join the library collection after it has been catalogued and processed.  If a student asks me for my recommendation I will advise them that if he/she wants to read it- Read it as Science Fiction.  If they believe a boy can sparkle, they’ll believe this. 

The following are links – If you want to Read More About It….…/the-shack-by-william-p-young.php