Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Shack Annotated discussion guide, Ch 9

A well meaning friend suggested that I read some reviews of The Shack posted on some popular web sites. I have already read many and I don't agree with most of them. Typically they take a line from the Shack and create a theology on that line entirely out of context. Besides, I have already written the most extensive review of the Shack (and compared it to scripture) that can be found on-line. I am pretty sure I know what the Shack says. The following is my notes on Ch. 9 which is available to anyone who wants it. Compare it to the scripture yourself and see what Sarayu has to say to you.

CHAPTER 9
A LONG TIME AGO IN A GARDEN, FAR, FAR AWAY
128 What do you think of the description of Sarayu?
129 What is a fractal?
A an indefinitely complex pattern that looks simple at first glance.
How is your life a fractal?
A More complex than the sum of the things I do that consumes my time and energy. There is more to me than what even I see. I am a mess in many ways but beautiful to God.
131 God created all things good, are all things still good? Explain.
A Mankind’s attempts at self direction and independence has turned things that were created good into things that are very bad. Relationships have turned to abuse, sacrifice becomes slavery, Truth is relative, God is absent. Creation itself groans.
132 Detail how a good creation is being dragged down.
A Abuse of people, misuse of the environment, pollution of every sort that poisons the body, soul and spirit. No God, No Glory, no hope. Nothingness is all that can be hoped for in a godless world.
How and why is it happening?
A Mankind’s stubborn self seeking independence instead of cooperating with and enjoying a living relationship with the creator.
Why is creation full of mysteries? Which ones fascinate you the most?
A It is a gift of love from the creator and it also directs us back to him. My personal Favorite: Hubble telescope space shots.
How does Sarayu define freedom? Based on that freedom, are you personally free? Free from what to do what?
A freedom is trust and obedience inside a relationship of love. We are free from the tyranny of rules, regulations, lists, have to’s, shoulds, Should nots, performance, points, expectations, failure, success, shame, guilt. We are free to live in love, accepted, protected, guided, empowered, inspired, visionary, simplicity, humility, grace, joy, fearless, confident.
133 What might the roots symbolize that Sarayu and Mack are digging up? Is it just good gardening or something more?
A the roots are the unseen attitudes and intents of the heart that could spring up and choke out the new plants they were planting before they had time to take root.
Why was it a disaster for humans to have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
A It started the race down the path of independent living, each deciding for himself what was good or evil based on how he was impacted personally.
134 Besides the Garden of Eden what other “rumors of glory are hidden inside of what many consider myths and tales”?
A The flood, The exodus miracles, Jonah, the miracles of Jesus, The resurrection.
Why do people resist the biblical accounts of creation as fantasy and yet accept inconclusive or contradictory scientific theory as fact?
How is your process for determining good from evil different from Mack’s process?
135 What happens when there is no absolute reality to objectively define Good and Evil?
A There is no basis for judging anything. Do whatever you want until someone with more power stops you. There are no standards, no morality, no right, no wrong. Nothing matters. It should be the norm of life IF we were not created.
What did eating from the Tree do to man and creation?
A The spiritual was ripped away from the physical leaving man to wander on his own in an aimless, pointless, lost existence, coming from no where, living for nothing and going no where. The spirit of Man died that day.
How much time do you spend trying to acquire what you see as good and avoid what you see as evil? How’s that working for you?
136 What happens when humans determine good and evil for themselves? What is the chief result?
A It allows man to play god in his self determination and independence without any of the prerequisite abilities for doing it successfully. Man becomes fuzzy in his thinking about God and seeking to be free ends up in a bondage he cannot break out of.
What is Evil?
A The absence of Good. Read the third paragraph pg 136 for the complete description.
What are the implications of “Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence”?
A The do not have the power we credit them with having. Simply add light and the darkness disappears.
How does light and good actually exist? What are the relationship implications of that?
A They exist only in God. The further we are from him the darker it is. With God living in me, light exists in me, not darkness.
Why does independent living always result in evil? Are there any exceptions?
A It always ends in death and darkness because it is not where god is.
137 What is the difference between personal rights and being loved. What are personal rights, where do we get them, how to we keep or enforce them?
A Rights are something I determine and must fight for to protect and keep, even if it means infringing on your rights. First rule of rights is mine come first. I get to make them up as I go, change them on a whim and never have to communicate the lines to another until they are threatened. I will use any power, strategy, system, institution, threat, or force at my disposal to keep my rights as I see them. To surrender is tantamount to the death of me.
What does Sarayu mean “rights are were survivors go, so they won’t have to work out relationships”?
A Rights are a life long struggle to find and defend. Battle scars abound of every sort. Rights are a walled fortress that must lock out every other human being and God lest they be challenged and overthrown. I can only live in relationship to the degree I surrender my idea of personal rights.
When a person is demanding their rights, what are they actually doing? Where will that lead?
A choosing to live independently of everyone. To maintain their rights they will have to destroy another’s rights. It will lead to darkness, separation, loneliness, despair, grief and to exactly the opposite of what they think enforcing their personal rights will lead.
Can you get your rights by demanding them?
A of course. You have the right to be alone, live in the dark, trapped by unrealized dreams and desires, defeated, deflated and on the way to being destroyed, void of what you thought you were getting by demanding your rights.
What is the net result when we surrender all rights to God.
A Freedom, light, liberty, the pursuit and possession of happiness, the fruit of the spirit, confidence, life, purpose, power, fulfillment, adventure, mystery, surprise, glory, praise and the like.
In relationship to God?
A A peek into the depth of the love of God. Participation in his actual activities on earth now and for eternity. A chance to bring him glory. Understanding, loss of fear, regret, guilt and shame.
In relationship to others?
A The opportunity to love and be loved, to share, fulfill and be filled, to understand, fellowship, worship together. To be more than you could be alone. Be free of expectations, performance, demands and fear of abuse. To live and serve with no fear of being taken advantage of. To know friendship, experience a oneness like the oneness that exists in the godhead. To have a little bit of heaven on earth. To live and love free. When I give up my rights I don’t have to protect myself from you. I have nothing to protect thus nothing to lose but much to gain.
Why did Jesus give up his rights as God to become Man?
A To make all the above possible.
How does God react to our anger? Elucidate
A With eternal love of purpose.
138 What does the garden of your soul look like? Is it a mess or a fractal?. Why do you say that?
A Fractals are only possible when Romans 8:28 is in effect with God’s children. Without his working, it is just a mess, and ugly at that.

1 comment:

Doug Baird said...

I found an interesting paper "The Ultimate Paradigm Shift" by Professor Arnold Keyserling at http://www.fractalwisdom.com/FractalWisdom/index.html#paradigm that relates fractals to Chaos Theory and to a new understanding God and the universe. It gets into determinism and free will with God as active force in His fractal creation.

Thanks for the Discussion Guide, I' passing it on to our co-pastors the discussion of The Shack Young's visit to the Asheville area.