A movie based on the New York Times best seller, The Shack, will be released next month. I’m SO excited! But I’m also a little scared. I’m a little scared because, in recent years, Hollywood does not have a good track record when it comes to producing quality movies that rightly represent the heart and character of God. Sure, there have been a few exceptions here and there but most “Christian” movies are either incredibly cheesy and poorly made, or well-made but horribly offensive in how they portray God’s nature. Sometimes they’re both cheesy and offensive! But I have high hopes that this *might* be one of the exceptions. In fact, I’m praying it’s one of the exceptions.
Hollywood, please, get this one right.
If the trailer is any indication, maybe they did. Casting Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as “Papa” was brilliant (if that sentence makes no sense to you, you’ll just have to read the book or wait for the movie). The rest of the cast looks high caliber as well, so that is a promising start.
In case you’re not familiar with the book, frankly it isn’t a great literary work. The plot has some holes and makes some unrealistic leaps, and the writing in general isn’t particularly stellar. On top of that, if you’re looking for flawless theology, you won’t find it within the pages of The Shack. But considering this is a work of fiction, and not the book of Romans, I don’t personally have a problem with that. What the book lacks in finesse and carefully presented theology is more than made up for by one simple fact:
It is one of the most stunningly accurate portrayals of the love of God–especially when it comes to answering the question of “where is God when it hurts”–that has ever made its way into print.
I remember weeping so profusely during some of Mack’s conversations with Papa that I couldn’t continue reading. Although the book is fiction, you just know William P. Young (the author) had to have actually had some of those conversations with God. They’re too profound. They especially rang true to me personally--because I’ve had so many similar conversations with Him myself. And those are the very conversations that have completely rewired me and helped to heal my own very broken heart.
So here’s hoping Hollywood really got this one right. Here’s to praying they got it right. If so, this movie has the potential to introduce thousands upon thousands to the amazing, unconditional, and never failing love of a good, good, “Papa.”
7 thoughts on “Hollywood, please get this one right…”
Wow, wow, WOW! I had heard they were making this into a movie. Can’t wait to see it! I agree, the trailer looks promising. I read the book when it came out and it did so much to heal my soul (for different reasons than Mack) and redeem so much about our distorted understanding of God’s nature.
What’s really sad is what all the vitriol against this movie says about us as the body of Christ. The religious “keepers of what we should think” police call it “dangerous theology and error” (one of the videos that show up after this clip). So, let me get this straight….reconciling, redeeming, healing love that brings forgiveness and freedom is a dangerous doctrine? Wow, no wonder people have problem with the church today! God please save us from ourselves!
Btw, if we want to get theological, God the Father could just as easily be a woman as a man…because He’s actually neither! We only refer to Him as “Father” in order to understand our relationship to Him that makes sense to our finite brains….He gives us this image to understand Him in the context of a relationship between a son and a father. This makes some of the naysayer’s arguments against the Shack quite ironic, but that would be a whole other theological can of worms… 🙂
Ay yi yi – don’t even get me started on the religious thought police – I’m sure they will be out in force. 😟 It’s fiction people! There were a few points in the book where I thought, “hmm I wish you hadn’t said that” but the good FAR outweighs the bad. (And by the way, God being partially represented as a woman was not one of them. “Male and female He created them in His image,” right? As if that isn’t enough, the reason given later in the book for God appearing to Mack in that particular way is brilliant and so God!) Jesus Himself said the threat at “the end of the age” would be our love growing cold – not imperfections in our theology. I’m just simple enough to believe that if we connect folks to His love, He’ll sort out the rest. The Shack (the book, at least) reveals His love beautifully. I’m praying the movie will do the same for MANY more. Go God!!!
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Cindy, I agree this looks terrific. And I hope, as you do, this is a truly good production. Yes, there is already, and will continue to be, backlash from “religious” folks, yet we can pray for them that they will, in some way, experience the glorious grace and lavish love that God has to offer. And you’re right – God created us male and female in THEIR (the Trinity’s) image. And they appear to each of us in ways we will most profoundly see and hear them.
Looking forward to this when it comes out, and it it’s as good as it looks, we’ll have to post a review!
Yes! That “glorious grace and lavish love” is available to all – even the “religious” folks (and at one point or another, and in one form or another, I think that covers just about all of us😉) I agree with hoping it is as good as it looks! Blessings to you~
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Hi Cindy … Once again your have a conduit to my heart. I agree totally and will watch for movie to come this way. I watched the trailer and pray the movie is a good as the trailer, for it has huge potential to bypass the brain and get straight to the heart …
Amen, Dianne! That is exactly what I think as well. I think the timing of its release is strategic. Praying the movie makes it way to Thailand sooner rather than later (praying I make it to Thailand sooner rather than later as well!) Hugs and prayers to you 😘