jpmurad

Warm Shower

In Eclipse on January 5, 2009 at 9:54 am

As you may know, I finished reading Young’s The Shack recently.  Coincidentally, a few friends have brought up conversations surrounding the book.  I say ‘coincidentally’ in a sarcastic way; because, I do not think it was an accident.  Anyway, one of my friends brought up some concerns about the ‘theological’ basis of the book.  After which he referred me to the position of Michael Youssef, southern Baptist preacher, PhD.  You see where this is going?  If so, please fill me in; because, I’d like to know.

On his website, Dr. Youssef is glad to point out 13 heresies found in the ideas of the novel.  Heresy…that is one of those strongly religious words right up there with adultery, blasphemy, pharisee and pagan.    If it puts you on the defensive, I relate.  In considering Dr. Youssef’s points I could not help but feel defensive.  As I heard him extract ideas from the book, they felt lifted carelessly.  So, I reviewed the passages to which he was referring.  I did not believe he captured the heart of the author’s attempt (on several points).

After Youssef extracted the messages of The Shack errantly, he refuted the ideas with biblical truths.  That was difficult to take in; because, he was speaking truthfully from sacred texts.  I began to wonder about his authoritative delivery.  What was it about his authoritative stance on scripture to which people are drawn?  What were they getting out of it?

In response to my friend, I was cautious not to judge him or Dr. Youssef.  But, I was still wrestling with the notion of all those people listening to him and buying into his message?  My thoughts continued as I was showering.  I was standing under the blast of the shower head, letting warm water roll down my head, neck and shoulders.  I would dip my head under the stream every few minutes.  I noticed that I was resisting turning off the water and opening the sliding, beveled, glass door.

The picture struck me.  Authoritative sources are kind of like the shower.  Their words speak order and definite sense into a chaotic world.  It is comfortable to rest in their words and soak up their thoughts and insights.  Carrying out the analogy, the drawback is that I don’t ever leave the shower stall.  It is true, it would be uncomfortable to step out of the hot stream of water.  But, consider what possibilities it would open up!  Namely, I would not live my life in the shower stall!  Just my take on the false comforts of authority…What are your thoughts?

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