Sunday, February 10, 2008

A WORD TO THE WISE

This....from our oldest daughter, Cherri, to us, and now to you....whatever you are doing...I would strongly suggest that you postpone it....go to the nearest bookstore such as Barnes and Noble....and buy yourself a gift that will touch you in ways I cannot adequately explain at this moment.

Whether you are Mary and my family, friends, or just people dropping by to read a blog, I STRONGLY recommend you do it now..today. You'll thank me later.

The book?

"The Shack" by William P. Young.

Paul B.

22 comments:

traveller said...

May I reinforce your recommendation. The Shack is a thought provoking, powerful book. Thanks for suggesting this to your readers.

Paul Burleson said...

Traveller,

Eugene Peterson's statement "This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' did for his. It's that good!" may not be far off the mark.

traveller said...

In case you are interested Willie Young, the author of The Shack, has a blog at this location:

http://www.windrumors.com/

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Just picked the book Saturday without knowing anything about it. Started reading it yesterday....so far...so good

Paul Burleson said...

Traveller,

I went there yesterday and was intrigued with it all. Moved by the book...intrigued by the web-site. I'm glad you referenced it for some others to visit.

Dodney,

I just finished talking a good while with my oldest daughter about why the book moved her so much and why it moved me. We agreed it was because it put in a concrete [albeit metaphorical] form the way our understanding of the truths of Grace have moved from the theological realm to the relational realm for us which is where real theology plays itself out anyway.

As the author says in one place..."it is in relationsips where we are hurt the most and it is in relationships where healing will be found." If this is true/correct, [and I think it is] I've GOT to be touched with the relational aspects of God in ways that are biblical, fresh, real, and personal. I was.

Paul Burleson said...

Rodney,

I apologize. I didn't catch the slip of my finger on the keys in time. Thanks for stopping by.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

The quote you mentioned (from chapter 1) was the first indication that this would be a profound work.

I too, believe, that everything of substance in the believer's life (and in the human existence) occurs within the context of relationships (with God and people)

The redemptive relationship" has been one of Larry Crabb's mantras and has been for many years. Such relationships have had profound impact upon my life and ministry.

Paul Burleson said...

Rodney,

Larry Crabb's book "Understanding People" was a deep cool drink of fresh relationship water for me about twenty years ago. Good stuff.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

I had to read and write a research paper on "Understanding People" as part of a doctoral class in hermeneutics (strange...but enlightening)

Those early ideas in that book are fleshed out even more in later work like "The Safest Place on Earth" ,"SoulTalk" , and "The PAPA prayer"

"The Shack" seems to be (I am not done yet) brilliantly (and metaphorically) paint a powerful picture of similar concepts.

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul,

I bought it today. The owner of the "Amen Corner" Christian bookstore said it was quite popular in the North but for some reason hadn't really caught on in this part of the South.

I got to page 96 and just now had a HUGE "wow moment".

Wow.

Paul Burleson said...

Rodney,

I'm familiar with them all. The last one third of "Understanding People" was worth the price of the book for me. Remember this was twenty years ago.


Bob,

That's the first of many "wow" moments I predict.

Bob Cleveland said...

It is now later. Thank you.

I can't describe it, really, either. This is going to take a while.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

This is one of those good "I told you so" things. I'm glad.

Chilton Family said...

You are so right! I'm half way through with that book now and I can't put it down! Sooo good! Good recommendation!

Paul Burleson said...

Chilton family,

Thanks for letting us know you're blessed by it.

traveller said...

One other piece of information. There is an effort being made to turn The Shack into a movie. The author and those who helped him self-publish are trying to do so while retaining complete control of the script and way in which it is produced. This could be a powerful movie if true to the book.

This might be something to consider praying about.

Paul Burleson said...

Traveller,

Thanks for the information. It is kinda fun to see something no one can explain except as a sovereign work of God. This sure looks like one of those to me.

traveller said...

Paul, I agree, it is fun.

Bryan Riley said...

Agreed, Paul. tara and I read it about a month ago and have been recommending it readily.

Paul Burleson said...

Bryan,

My wife, Mary, is just finishing the book and thinks it is one of the best too. I keep telling people about it and keep getting words of thanks. It's that good.

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul,

I've recommended the book to two pastors; one has already bought it and one indicated he would.

I suppose what strikes me most about this is that you've been a pastor forever and know all the stuff theological stuff that pastors know; this book knocks perceptions about God further out of the box than any other book I've seen. Yet it seems to have bowled you over too.

That also says lots about you. It'll be interesting to get the view of my two other pastor friends.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

I think you're right again. I think my enjoying the book says something about my perceptions of God.

You see, I've never appreciated the stereotypical views that I've heard most of my life from Preachers. Those views were, to me, rigid, impersonal, hateful, and completely unbiblical. The counterpart view of a whimpy, emmaciated, completely inept God wasn't biblical either. I came, several years ago, to see God as thoroughly relational, manifesting all the positive relational emotions that are so on display in the twin uniqueness of male and female human beings combined and so perfectly revealed in the fundamentally real Jesus. Combine that with His nature of Holiness, Justice, Wrath, Mercy, and Love, [not to mention the other aspect of His Divine nature] all tied to what happened in the Cross/tomb event, and it all caused me to throw the box away.

I have never heard as clear a statement of my own evolving view/understanding of the God of Scripture as the author presents in this moving, forceful allegorical approach.

I have to say..I don't even particularly like allegory. But somehow..Young [the author] captured my relational understanding of God.. His ability to be to a human being what is needed in a particular moment of life, yet be fully and positively in charge, all the time more concerned with the relationship than with my performance. Not unconcerned about either. Just real about life as it is, messy and painful. I love the book. Can you tell?