I read the Shack. It takes a few chapters to begin to understand what's going on and when you finish you still have questions, but I did like the book and recommend it. This would be a good book for a discussion.
I know it has stirred a lot of uproar is some Christian communities, which to me is baffling. It's a book about renewed faith and understanding, love and comfort. How can something describing a returning to faith be a threat to Christianity?
Anyway. Amid my doubts about my own nagging "institutionalizied, organized religion" mixed feelings, this book gave me comfort, and made me look more closely at my own personal relationship with God and others. Anything that makes you take a fresh look inward cannot be a bad thing.
It's not a "threat". It's just a story, an inspirational story that makes you feel good.
I just finished it while away for the wknd. It is a fast read.
It is fairly predictable plotwise, but my sense is that the machinations of what goes on isn't really the point. The point, as far as I can gather, is to completely re-define God on a personal level. Using Biblically-based imagery, the book dusts off some very common conceptions, burnishes them for the 21st Century, and presents them anew.
All of which got me to re-examine my own (sometimes shaky, admittedly rocky, full-of-questions) relationship with the Father/Son/Spirit.
So all in all, for me at least, the book did what it set out to do.....
I *do* recommend it. And I can see objections to it only from stodgy dogmatists. At best, it could be life-changing. At worst, it's an interesting examination of some worthwhile questions.
I actually just finished reading it. I'm sorry to say that I didn't enjoy it all that much. I think that I'm not in a very spiritual or religious place right now, so it just seemed hokey to me. But it did get me thinking about how I got to be here, since everyone I know who believes in God seems to love this book.