This should be a short blog post. Kidding. Kind of…
I have been reading The Shack Revisited. It is based on the Canadian novel, The Shack by William Paul Young.
I remember reading The Shack and liking it so much, I bought a copy of it for my uncle for Christmas. Even he liked it, in spite of not being much of a novel reader. It’s that good!
The Shack Revisited takes a closer look at the theology behind the novel. When the book first came out, some critics attacked its lack of theological soundness or truth. They probably have some valid points being theologians and all, but The Shack gives us much food to chew on.
I am finding the same applies to The Shack Revisited. It is shaking my foundation, so to speak. I did not grow up in the church, but have found that I have slowly been picking up some of the beliefs over the last nine or so years. Some good, some not so good.
The Shack Revisited is addressing some of those “not so good” beliefs. One of which, is the Holy Spirit. I have griped over our church not giving enough consideration to the Holy Spirit. “Where is the power of the Holy Spirit?” I asked, “I can’t see it”, and yet it’s part of our statement of faith – “Engaging the world in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
If I am going to be brutally honest, I too have never given too much consideration to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is unpredictable. That in itself does not make me too comfortable with her (feminized as the Spirit is likened to a female in the two books mentioned above). I have probably shied away from her too – wanting to get close, but not too close.
I am only about half-way through, and yet I can feel myself softening and changing as I am reading.
The author, C. Baxter Kruger, talks about God being love – Given the other-centered relationship between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, he challenges our thoughts about God being distant and solitary. If we had any reason to doubt God’s unconditional love for us, the Trinity shows us otherwise. “God is a relational being – Always has been and always will be” (Chapter 10, p. 120-121).
I know when I first read The Shack, I loved that idea. The Trinity is so hard to explain. 3 Gods – But, we are only supposed to worship 1 God. The Trinity poses a serious theological problem, unless you look at it (at least on one level) from a relational standpoint.
God invites us into this perfect relationship with His Son and His Spirit. They are so close to one another, that there is a oneness about them. The author asserts, they “dwell” within one another (Chapter 9, p.112). I believer he also refers to John 14:7, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
That’s the oneness of God – they know each other so intimately they are one. The human equivalent would be marriage – on their wedding day, the couple ‘symbolically’ becomes one, and then they spend the rest of their lives together getting to know one another – it’s a process of oneness.
The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit have already completed the process.
Married couples have work to do. 🙂 As does the body of Christ. Oh, to be human…
Question: What are your thoughts on the Holy Spirit?