Friday, January 25, 2008

Paradigm Shift

Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perception – what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms – what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn’t make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe. The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly. But even then, you don’t want to trust them more than me.”

This is just one of the passages from The Shack by William P. Young that I have marked up and reread several times in the past few days. This is the book that I discussed in the previous post. This small novel, only 248 pages, has been quite a journey for me…one that is continuing to change my perceptions and examine truth. I admit that I do often cry when I read something that is emotionally stirring. I can’t remember ever reading something that caused me to cry from joy, sadness, peace, and gratitude all at the same time.

The book follows the story of one man’s journey into true relationship with the Triune God. I’m not sure how to describe it without giving away the plot twists and turns that lie within the pages. Somewhere around page 90 I almost gave up, I found elements too much for my mind to try and shift. I think more than anything, this book has opened my eyes to see where I have allowed my own humanity to define our infinite God.

Blaise Pascal once said, “God made man in his own image and man returned the compliment.” Oh how sad and true that statement really is in my own life.

Here’s what you will find on the back cover of the book:

Mackenzie Allen Philip’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.

I cannot guarantee that you will like this book. I wasn’t sure how I would respond to seeing each of the persons of the Trinity as a living, breathing, and speaking character. But with gusto and bravery, William P. Young gently carries the reader into fellowship with the Creator.

For more information on the book check out

This is not a revolution that will overthrow anything, or if it does, it will do so in ways we could never contrive in advance. Instead it will be the quiet daily powers of dying and serving and loving and laughing, of simple tenderness and unseen kindness, because if anything matters, then everything matters. And one day, when all is revealed, every one of us will bow our knee and confess…that Jesus is the Lord of all Creation.”
William P. Young

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