Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Until my next post on relationships...enjoy this quote from 'The Shack."

"From the very first day we hid the woman within the man, so that at the right time we could remove her from within him. We didn't create man to live alone; she was purposed from the beginning. By taking her out of him, he birthed her in a sense. We created a circle of relationship like our own, but for humans. She, out of him, and now, all males, including me, birthed through her, and all originating and birthed through God."

"Oh, I get it," Mack interjected, stopping in mid throw. "If the female had been created first, there would have been no circle of relationship, and thus no possiblity of a fully equal face-to-face relationship between the male and the female, right?'

"Exactly right Mack." Jesus looked at him and grinned. "our desire was to create a being that had a fully equal and powerful counterpart, the male and female. But your independence with it's quest for power and fulfillment actually destroys the relationship your heart longs for."

Paul B.


Alyce Faulkner said...

Paul, I started the book last night.
I read half of it, was in tears at 2 a.m.
I can't wait to finish.
I was so surprised that this book of fiction is leading me to ask so many questions.
I had a list for Roy this morning.
Thanks for recommending this.

Paul Burleson said...


Few books I've read leave me with a desire to be with someone when they read it so I can watch their face as they read it. This one does exactly that. You're in for a treat the rest of the way.

Aussie John said...


Brother, try reading it aloud to your spouse. I have lately finished doing so.

As an "oldie" I am seldom emotionally moved by a book, much less a work of fiction, but so much of "The Shack" rings true to the triune Godhead I know from Scripture, and the "humanity" I experienced through a long life in Christ.

My wife often looked up to see what the long silences were about.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

What a great thing to experience as a couple.

I have to say, the book speaks to so many concepts of real scriptural grace in the manner I've personally come to understand the them that it has amazed me.

Your idea of the "humanity" you've experienced in your years as a christian shows me it has done the same for you. Thanks for commenting.

Bob Cleveland said...

Brother, you already know what I think of it. I put up a post about just one of the ideas that sprang therefrom.

I'm still not done digesting. And you oughtta hear the remarks and see the looks on the faces of the guys I told about it, after they dig in. The pretty much echo Alyce's sentiments.

greg.w.h said...


The exact phrasing of the quote you have on your page reminds me of the discussion of "ezer kngdu" that occurred recently (I think on Wade's blog?). Among the points that God led me to as I tried to participate in that discussion:

1. Ezer in Genesis 2:18 is masculine gender, not feminine.

2. The "discussion" does not appear to be held in front of Adam (And the LORD God "said" or more literally "and he is saying, Yahweh Elohim") so we have to believe he is either talking among the persons of God or to a third audience.

3. "kngdu" translates to "corresponding to" or, perhaps, "in front of".

I've never actually explored a commentary on that passage and did the translation from Biblica Hebraica using my handy-dandy Brown Driver Briggs edition of Gesenius. I thought it was interesting that the next day a quote from another book was posted on Wade's comment stream that gave the exact same argument.

And here in this book you see a repetition of:

"a fully equal face-to-face relationship"


"a fully equal and powerful counterpart, the male and female"

As I read The Shack (based on Mary's comments about the book on her blog), I had the same experience repeat over and over: the person that wrote it not only covered deep theology that traced directly to Bible passages I had read, but even to the underlying Hebrew of some passages I had translated (which, honestly, weren't all that many!!).

/SPOILER...don't read this paragraph unless you've finished the book:

It's a surprisingly deep book that is almost deceptively simple in presenting very complex theology and doctrine. Yet the author strips away the barnacles of tradition and takes us back to basics. And I think he does so quite accurately and convincingly.


Anyway. Thanks for putting the quote up.

Greg Harvey

P.S. Do you happen to remember Richard Nations from your Southcliff days? He's the Director of PR for Iowa Baptists and he was pretty sure he had one of your sons in RAs there, but he couldn't remember which one. (He's a little older than I am, so I think it would be late 70s or early 80s).

Paul Burleson said...




Total comment...great. First "spoiler"...PRECISELY.