(And yes, I know that each century since Christ, artists have rendered each person of the Trinity. Some have done so being faithful to a Scriptural rendering of the Trinity, e.g., The Father as a voice coming from a cloud; the Holy Spirit as a dove or as wind. Artists portray their subjects through their worldview, hence there are Italian looking depictions of Jesus and of those around him, e.g., the paintings of Caravaggio.)
I do not want to read or see the Shack. I do not want those images in my mind when I think of the Trinity. Besides, there are no images of Jesus’ physical appearance. This, to me, reinforces the notion that Jesus came to show us the invisible God: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col. 1:15. So, what has been passed down to us about Jesus? His appearance or His words and actions which represent the Father? His appearance or His words and actions which represent true humanity?
Another reason I avoid The Shack: I have lived with loss. I lost a child. I have suffered other losses. A deeper understanding of Jesus came out of each loss. Each loss is unique. Each growth experience is unique. I learned about God as I turned to Jesus. The Shack would add nothing to what I have gained and would likely diminish that knowledge by its lack of reverence.
As best as I can tell, The Shack is not allegorical. Its disturbing ‘symbology’ of the Trinity is portrayed by three ready-made culturally ‘approved’ characters who are not unlike the emotionally ravenous people reading and watching. We are shown reality TV characters who portray a “diversity” promoting God, a God who would otherwise be irrelevant to modern sensitivities. I am not surprised that the ‘patriarchal looking Morgan Freeman was not used in The Shack. Instead, the goddess of feminism was served by an African-America woman who ‘manifests’ as God the Father (The Sugar Shack is so much more palatable for angry women). The Shack is a post-modernist’s collage of drippy feelings for the Age of Feelings. Title (and subtitle): “the house you build out of your own pain (and using your own fashioned gods).
Finally, I’d rather take in good fiction. Movies are, at best, vicarious roller coaster rides edited and enhanced to titillate. So, instead of ‘meditating’ on cultural iconography which does more harm than good, as in dumbing down ergo popularizing (a best seller) ergo offering schmaltzy messaging about God and evil, I’ll read The Brothers Karamazov…
Paper: “The Problem of Evil” by Fyodor Dostoevsky