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tl;dr - the movie was good, the book was great. "Read your bible," they say, "instead of watching this movie." They don't mention _which_ bible it is you are supposed to read, so I guess that is up to your interpretation... much like most of the modern day american protestant bible itself. The irony is lost on them, however. This movie is good, in the sense that it parallels much of what the book has to say. The acting, visuals, plot, etc are all on point, but by simple nature of being a ~2 hour movie instead of a ~5.5 hour novel, much of the content isn't present. If you aren't much of a reader or don't have the time, this movie will suffice, but also, don't take it as gospel. I think that is where many of the lets-call-it-heretical-instead-of-actually-engaging negative reviewers are having problems: they see the draw of something like The Shack and feel defensive of their personal sacred texts which absolutely _must_ be the _most appealing_ text of _all time_, so they attack when they don't know what else to do. Yeah, don't be like them. Instead take The Shack for what it is: a story in which you can derive meaning. The book set me down a path of growth I never could have anticipated, and for that it has a special place in my heart. But it's also not for everyone, so don't feel bad if it doesn't resonate with you or you just don't care. Go find your story, your movie, your song, your dance, your life -- it doesn't have to be this one. And wherever you find yourself, God will be there waiting.
This film has a great message, Papa is awesome and the beautiful scenery of Oregon is appreciated as well. Tim McGraw is a nice touch. But over all the film is badly flawed. It had the potential to be great but lingers with the mediocrity of an after school special. Evangelicals clearly have some plastic, subpar ideas of the spiritual plane and it shows in their "art" over and over and over again. I am sure the book is better.
To each of you who proselytizes, preaches, criticizes, quotes the Bible, witnesses, and prays no one watches this movie... I wonder if you think anything you say has any effect other than to get LIKE-minded people to shout "Amen!". If you want to change the hearts of men, attacking this movie is not the way to do it. In fact, it might instead convince the people you are trying to reach that you are the way they THINK you are - extremists, zealots, close-minded, hateful, and afraid of open discussion. (Not that you are - just that your diatribes feed into the ideas that's how you are...) You do your cause more harm than good by attacking a movie people you think are "non-believers" seem to like. Get a clue. You'll do more than never convert those people by railing against this movie - you'll drive them far, far away. But if all you want to do is reiterate everything you believe in, pass feel-good phrases back and forth with other Christians, then by all means have at it. So far that's all you're accomplishing... just making yourselves feel better. Believe me, you're changing no minds... zero... zilch... nada. If you really want to reach people, you might go study the psychology of human beings.
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