I recently attended a viewing of the new movie called "The Shack" I read the book a few years ago and was interested in how it came out in movie form. I was not a huge fan of the book only because I got bogged down a bit in the allegory. After hearing that it was controversial in some Christian circles I also viewed the movie through the lenses of theology. Here are my thoughts:
The Shack is one of the first movies that I thought was better in film than in print. The story details the heartbreaking story of a family whose daughter is abducted and killed by a deranged murderer. Most of the movie revolves around the father who was only a nominal Christian but receives an invitation from God to spend a weekend at "The Shack."
Anyone who has experienced a "Great Sadness" in life will relate to the main characters struggle with God and the meaning of life throughout the film.
The trinity is portrayed as "Papa" portrayed by a loving African American woman. Jesus was cast how one might imagine him as a Middle Eastern young man. The Holy Spirit was an Asian woman. Together they faithfully exemplified the "grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit described in 2 Corinthians 13:14. The movie clearly portrayed them as "persons" within the one same God.
i found it refreshing to reimagine the persons of the godhead in racially diverse roles. The movie creatively explores the feminine side of God. In Scripture, God is not only "Father" but also the mother hen who broods over her chicks.
Theologically, God is Spirit and males and females both equally reflect God's image Every nationality also reflects the God who cannot be pinned down to race and gender.
Seeing the father as a wise African American mother somehow made the father even more endearing. It was very believable to view this woman as the God who is "especially fond" of us.
The sensitivity of the Holy Spirit is also very easy to imagine in feminine terms. I thought the movie was faithful both to the text and spirit of the Bible.
God's is at work in the beautifully messy garden of our lives and redeems our sufferings and sadnesses. Without giving away the end, I wept as I experienced the love of God as I examined my own life through the prism of this film. Go see it. It will help you with whatever "The Great Sadness" is in your life.
Life Church Knoxville
We're an inter denominational church in Knoxville, Tennessee that believes that all people matter and should experience the love and power that comes along with a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.