Thursday, March 12, 2009

Making Preparations

William P. Young's The Shack is one of those Christian buzz books right now, and in spite of the overblown comparisons by Eugene Peterson (it will not have the same effect on culture as Pilgrim's Progress? did for Bunyan's culture), I decided to read it in the interests of knowing what it is about and how to handle it. I was pleasantly surprised by the book, which presents a unique allegorical way of thinking about God. I would not recommend it as a theological text, but it is an interesting read for people who have traditionally put God in a box. It made me think about some of the ways in which I relate to God, and it is the kind of text to which I expect to return in the future, as I can see that it might have emotional or spiritual significance in various life contexts. But The Shack did make me think about the nature of allegory.
Allegorical texts always have a certain risk to them: will they will be appropriately subtle and crafted; or will they be limited by cultural expectations and concerns? There is always the possibility of this dichotomy in using allegory: Tolkien deliberately avoided using allegory because he wanted to infuse his texts with deeper significance, and he thought that allegory removed that possibility; Lewis used allegory because he thought it allowed him to reach those deeper truths. Some allegories have really spoken to me: {continue...}
[via Life of Turner]

No comments:

Post a Comment