A few weeks ago, I loaded up the car with a stack of articles by Forsyth, some great Aussie Merlot, a bottle of Laphroaig, some warm clothes, and a new novel, The Shack by William P. Young, and headed off for a few days on the beautiful Isles of Lewis and Harris. Every time I have a wee holiday I take a novel, and I am yet to be disappointed. To be sure, the book (which has its own website) does not live up to the hype on the cover, and Young is certainly no Dostoyevsky, or Bunyan, but what it lacks in artistry it makes up for with odd flashes of theologically-insightful prose which paints the divine perichoretic life as you’ve never seen it before.
Now I won’t spoil the plot, so here’s just a wee taster:
‘In seminary he had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. It seemed that direct communication with God was something exclusively for the ancients and uncivilized, while educated Westerners’ access to God was mediated and controlled by the intelligentsia. Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?’
‘I suppose since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing’.
‘Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive’.