I begin this review with a confession. I’ve never read The Shack. I remember when it rose in popularity, but I didn’t read it. I didn’t read it because, I must confess, I have a deep bias against popular spirituality and the books and the book industry around said spirituality. The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going on Here than You Ever Dared to Dream, by C. Baxter Kruger, seeks to show that The Shack is steeped in Trinitarian theology, and an articulation of God’s revelation of God’s self as triune. Having never read the Shack, I leave to others whether or not C. Baxter Kruger correctly interprets the Shack. However Kruger’s presentation of the Trinity from the lens of the Shack shows that one can think and imagine the traditional Trinitarian theology in dynamic and contemporary ways.
Kruger uses the story of the Shack and its presentation of God to illuminate and illustrate the Trinitarian theology of traditional and historic Christian orthodoxy, especially that of the Cappadocian Fathers. Baxter begins with the character of Papa, who is personified as an African American woman. Kruger seeks to show that the Shack’s presentation of God as Papa, Jesus, and S… is orthodox and consistent with traditional Trinitarian teaching. In so doing the author presents a very good summary of orthodoxy and Trinitarian theology.
As someone who has never read the Shack Kruger’s Revisiting the Shack is an interesting read, as it is a thorough going Trinitarian theology that is illustrated with examples from the Shack. While if one has read the shack the author is demonstrating the Shacks orthodox theology. The shack revisited is an accessible and intellectually satisfying articulation of Trinitarian dogma and Christian orthodoxy. If you think Christian Orthodoxy is represented by those who criticized the Shack and who have a religion of the Bible, the Shack revisited is definitely worth your consideration. Kruger uses the Shack and it’s themes and imaginative presentation of the Trinity to show how much contemporary Christianity in the United States has missed the central reality of the Christian faith, relationship in and with God as the Holy Trinity.
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