7 Ways Your Car Can Remind You of the Essentials of Emotional Health.

When I see clients, assessments for anger, depression, anxiety, the unexpected, self-care, and the past proceed continually. Sometimes it is helpful to have a constant visual to remind us of the essentials of our mental and emotional health. If you are like me, you drive every day. We often spend hours in our cars and other vehicles every week.  For what it is worth, here is a brief overview of how your car dash can remind you of the essentials of emotional health?

  1. Speedometer – How fast am I going in life? Should I slow down a bit or do I need to pick it up in an area?
  2. Heat gauge – How are my anger levels? I need capacity for anger for courage, but is it getting a little too hot in here? If so, how can I be cool on the inside – to be emotionally regulated?
  3. RPM’s – How is my anxiety level? Anxiety can be good, I need capacity for anxiety for essential tasks and deadlines. Is my “engine” revving into the red more days than not? If so, that may be a danger zone.
  4. Gas gauge – How is my self-care? Am I running on empty? Should I ‘pull over’ and fill back up? If so, how do I fill up? What is meaningful to me? How can I reconnect to beauty? If I am neglecting my spiritual life, what can I do to replenish it?
  5. Check engine light/warning lights – Life happens! What unexpected things should I address? Do I need to seek professional help to make sense of, or find meaning in, the unexpected?
  6. Rearview mirrors – Though I keep my eyes on the road 99% of the time, I need to remain aware of what is behind me. Is there anything from my past I need to turn my attention to so it does not sneak up on me?
  7. Odometer – My mileage. Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? Marion says to Indiana Jones, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago.” Indy replies “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” Absolutely true! How’s my ‘wear and tear?’ Am I taking care of my body by eating healthy, with proper exercise, taking my medication as prescribed, and getting adequate sleep?

This is just a brief, fun and easy way to remind ourselves of some essentials of emotional and mental health. What would you add? Leave a comment below and let’s learn from each other. Thanks for reading!

I Was Mistreated!

Have you ever said that? Everybody has been treated unfairly. However, there are some types of unfair treatment that go beyond what is considered normal. We call this abuse. And yes, abuse is very unfair.

Abuse is about power and control and can take many forms. Abuse can be physical, mental, sexual, emotional, or even spiritual. At its core, abuse involves exerting control and power over others. Abuse is the opposite of protection, which involves using strength to help the weak. Abusers are often very manipulative.

The abuser often expresses remorse for what he or she has done. However, an abuser is often triggered by tension. This means they are likely to abuse again. This is not the victim’s fault. This is the act of another person, it is his or her choice to abuse.

So let’s bring this back your way.

If you have been abused, you may experience a number of feelings. You may experience what is called ‘hypervigilance,” which is experiencing sensitivity to situations which do not pose a real danger. This may be very confusing, but it is common in trauma, especially severe forms. You may experience vivid dreams. You may feel as if you were removed from your body, called ‘derealization.’ You may experience flashbacks, which are not simply memories. Flashbacks feel as if you are re-experiencing the trauma. This can be very frightening, and it does NOT mean you are going crazy. It means your brain and body were overwhelmed by such hurtful and/or shameful actions that it produced a shock to your system.

What next?

First of all, get safe! If the abuse was a crime, report it to the authorities. Once you are safe, seek out a trauma recovery center. You may need to be physically evaluated. Posttraumatic stress is very treatable. The most important thing is your recovery. If this is you, please seek out help as soon as you can. There is hope for you!

Taking Every Thought Captive – What does it mean?

Judy approaches her friends at church and reveals that she is struggling with persistent doubt and depression. She tells them she reads her Bible every day, prays, attends church, and serves others. “But the thoughts keep intruding” she confesses. One of her friends gently takes her by the hand, looks into her eyes with great concern, and says “Judy, you just need to take those thoughts captive and make them obey Christ.” The people in the circle nod in agreement and Judy politely thanks her friend. They pray together and then continue with the church activities. Judy goes home feeling much better. Later that afternoon, the depressive thoughts return in earnest. Judy is perplexed. Didn’t she and her friends “capture” these thoughts? Why are they back? Judy’s faith is strong and her friends mean well. But she cannot comprehend how to “capture her thoughts” which have plagued her for years. “Where in the Bible is this passage again?” she asks herself. She googles the words and re-reads 2 Corinthians 10. There it is in verse 5 “we take captive every thought and make it obey Christ.” “Maybe I’m just not there yet,” she says to herself.  Judy retires for the evening discouraged, praying for a peaceful night.

It’s often heard, when the church is addressing an individual’s thought-life, intruding or perverse thoughts, or even mental health, that he or she must “take every thought captive.” The King James translation employs the wording “Casting down imaginations” in the same interpretive context as above; a personal mental battle. Is this what Paul taught?

If the Apostle Paul is teaching we are to somehow capture our personal thoughts and make them obey Christ, in an individual context, he chose not to explain how.

Please notice the verbiage ‘what Paul taught’ and not ‘where we get the teaching.’ These are often two different approaches. When we examine doctrine, we must ask “is this what the author is conveying?” One of the first rules of hermeneutics is ‘if it did not mean it to the author, it does not mean it now.’

Let’s examine Paul’s context. Paul was a intentional and precise author. It is important to follow the progression of his writing. In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul teaches about the gifts of giving, the confession of the gospel, and thanksgiving. In chapter 10, vs. 2, Paul begs the Corinthians that when he is present with them, he will “…not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are behaving in an unspiritual way.” Notice his tone; Paul is about to speak of spiritual confrontation. The tone in scripture is relevant to the context.

Let’s outline 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 to help us examine Paul’s progression…

  • We do not wage war in an unspiritual way (or wage a physical war.)
  • The weapons of our warfare are not worldly.
  • The weapons we use are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.
  • We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.
  • Taking every thought captive to obey Christ
  • We are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.

Notice the confrontational tone of Paul’s words. Directly surrounding “taking every thought captive” are “we demolish every high-minded things against the knowledge of God” and “we are ready to punish disobedience.” The word “thoughts” is not alone; Paul prefaces it with “every high-minded thing.” Battling personal mental struggles or negative self-talk does not appear to be Paul’s intent here. Such an interpretation, as well intentioned as it may be, would be foreign to Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians 10. 

Let’s examine I Corinthians 10:5 in the New Living Translation; “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” This translation is in context with Paul’s spiritually confronting language here. Paul does not appear to be saying “when you are facing negative or perverse thoughts, take them captive and make them obey Christ.” Rather, Paul’s progression looks more like this.’

“We are in a spiritual battle, so we don’t fight in a physical way. As believers in Christ, we engage people in a spiritual manner and, through the Spirit, demolish popular godless arguments and so-called ‘high knowledge’ opposed to the gospel. We, through the Spirit, capture these prevailing mindsets and bring them to the truth of Christ in obedience. Because of this, we are qualified and ready to punish disobedience, because the truth is crystal clear.” 

I believe Paul is speaking of engaging a godless culture with the truth, and teaching it to obey Jesus Christ. He does not appear to be teaching an individual how to chase down and capture his or her personal thoughts. This passage is closer to the Great Commission than how to manage mental struggles. 

Paul writings, and other scriptures, do address individual and corporate thought-life.  Consider Romans 12:1-3 “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.” Transformation takes place by the renewal of the mind. The renewed mind can discern the will of God and think sensibly. When Paul speaks of the mind, he is practical, not merely theoretical.

This blog post is meant as an encouragement to all who read. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our mind, as well as our hearts, souls, and strength – Mark 12:30-31. What if the key to defeating intrusive thoughts was not some attempt to chase them down, capture them, and force obedience? What if the key is to love God with our mind?

In closing, having mental and spiritual peace is not abstract and theory. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, gives another practical exhortation concerning our thoughts. Notice the progression; Paul encourages the believers to dwell or meditate on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and morally excellent, or worthy of adoration. Then consider the challenge of doing what they have learned, received, heard, and seen in Paul.  The God of peace will be among them, personally and corporately. The key here is dwelling, meditating, and thinking on the things of God and practicing lives based on such things, both for personal peace and for the encouragement and example to others. What God teaches is achievable.

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 HCSB

God bless you, and thanks for reading. Comments welcome.

Reuben

My Creed in Counseling

I believe God spoke the earth, universe, and animals into existence. God called His creation good, but He did not pursue it. He walked among creation, but it did not enjoy fellowship. His creation could not disobey, disappoint, grieve His heart or deny His existence. Yet His creation could never love and enjoy Him. There was a gap.

His image was nowhere. His breath of life was absent from everywhere but Himself. God spoke creation into existence from His throne yet crafted mankind with His hands in the dirt. Imageo Dei. God breathed into man the breath of life and became a living soul. Unique! Fellowship! Risk? Mankind did what the rest of creation could never do, rebel. Heritage lost. Desolation reality. Shame and hiding. Dignity darkened. Disorder. There was a gap.

Pursuit. Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead. He sentenced Himself instead of us. Love. He pursues, the final step is ours; “Come to Me. I will dine with you.” See Mephibosheth, a man of low self-worth, crippled in both feet, living in fear, and a family history of trauma. Yet he was carried to the king to dine with him for the rest of his days – a renewed history begins. Grace. Advocacy? Dignity restored. Order. Better than the Garden. Our heritage. This is my creed.

I feel small. Why would a Christian choose clinical counseling? Perhaps we know what it is to be pursued. Now involved in the pursuit. Learning the nature of God and the nature of man and bringing the two together. Advocacy. We stand in the gap. This is my Creed.

Why learn theory? Why practice helping skills? Why join the victim? In all theory is truth. In all skill is His creativity. In the victim is a longing for peace. We stand between joy and depression, peace and anxiety, psychosis and clarity. The Wonderful Counselor pursues, is this not His image? He still wants His hands on us for He is the Potter. We work along with Him. This is my creed.

Book Review: How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth

Book Review
How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth Book Review. 3rd Ed.
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003

“Just read the bible and do what is says!”. Good advice, yet quite incomplete. How does one read the Bible? Is it read like a novel? Like a history book? Like a list or rules? Do we pride ourselves on a literal reading? If so, are we to build parapets around the roofs of our houses as Deuteronomy 22:8 demands? Do we feel as though the Bible is a templet for our pet doctrines? Are we free to ignore sections at will? Does the God of the Bible hold us accountable for these decisions?

So, the burning question is how do we read the Bible? The Bible is like no other book in history, yet it contains many known genres. It is more widely read than all other written works, and for good reason. It has impacted the course of history like no other work before or after it. Because of this monumental question, we have books such as How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Douglass Stuart and Gordon D. Fee.

The world at large, and the church specifically, hold the Bible in a special regard. Both those who are converted to Christ and those who are not are often familiar with certain stories and passages. The language of the Bible has worked its way into our everyday vernacular. Because of these and other reasons, there is a wide variety of views of the Bible. People often do not know the difference between reading the book of Job (a book so ancient, it has no reference to the Law) and Romans. In Job, we are rejecting good advice from poor comforters and in Romans we are receiving all the advice given! Stuart and Fee have written How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth to address these issues and to help guide all who are serious in properly reading and interpreting the Bible. One would be at odds to name a more important study skill.

The way the book is constructed is immensely helpful in aiding the purpose of the authors. How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth wisely begins with the addressing the need of interpretation. People often do not realize they already interpret anything they read. Would you read the newspaper the same way you read a heart-felt poem? Of course not! One cannot simply read the Bible completely devoid of interpretation. The authors make a valid point: you are interpreting anyway, you might as well interpret correctly.

From there, the book then goes from help in choosing a translation to a systematic process of how to read each Bible genre. I particularly appreciate the book’s structure, which is very easy to follow. Stuart and Fee address how to read the Epistles, the Old Testament narratives, Acts, the Gospels, the parables, the Law, the prophets, Psalms, Wisdom and finally Revelation. Of course, these could be further broken into sub-groups, but these include nearly everything found in scripture. These literary genres are also often tied to one another and may go from genre to genre in a single book (or chapter!). When one masters the skills in how to read each type, it’s smoother sailing.

I believe Stuart and Fee did achieve their goal in guiding the reader to a fuller understanding of Bible interpretation with this book. This is conditional on the reader following the guidelines of course. For an example of such guidelines, we should attempt to grasp the text as it was written “in their town”, or exegesis. The task of exegesis is outlined in a way anyone can understand the subject. “Exegesis is the careful, systematic study of the Scripture to discover the original, intended meaning” (Kindle location 385).

We read a passage, was it poetry? Was it a list? Was it hyperbolic? Did Jesus really want us to gouge out an eye or cut off a hand? He said to do so in Matthew 5:29-30 if the offending eye or hand causes one to sin. What is the price of a literal interpretation when it was not meant as such? It this case it could be a limb! In fact, the hyperbole Jesus was using was much more powerful than a literal interpretation. Reading the Bible with the correct mindset, and submitted to the Holy Spirit, brings liberation as apposed to the bondage of false belief.
Another very important point How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth drives home is the all-important subject of context, namely, the literary context. This is mentioned throughout the book. This means “first that words only have meanings in sentences, and second that biblical sentences for the most part only have clear meaning in relation to preceding and succeeding sentences.” (Kindle location 458). Without grasping what context really is, one cannot correctly interpret scripture, much less skillfully apply it the way God intends.

Personally, I tend to agree with the authors of How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth and nearly every point. I have actually read the book twice and find it to be incredibly helpful in my own devotional reading as well as sermon/lesson prep. They do tend to take some hard stances on the book of Revelation which I would personally tread lighter, but with Revelation, that is to be expected at times. They see the great city as Rome for sure. Rome is only mentioned in Acts (the last 1/3 or so of Acts is dedicated to Paul’s trek to Rome), Romans 1:7, 15, 15:22 and 2 Timothy 1:17. This is only minor and they are probably right.

I would heartily recommend How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth. In fact, when I first read it about 3 years ago (an earlier edition), I was already recommending it to many people. The second reading was only richer and more rewarding. The parables and proverbs took on a whole new life and I tried to view them (as best I could) as those who heard them for the first time. The puzzling laws in Deuteronomy became examples of God’s care and His desire for the Israelites to be set apart from pagan practices. The dragon and locusts of Revelation were not longer simply enigmatic monsters in my mind.

I would recommend How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth to anyone (professional minister or not) who desires to learn the skills of proper Bible interpretation. There are many books on this subject, yet this particular work as gained notoriety for it’s logical sequencing, easy to understand language, and tried-and-true hermeneutical techniques.

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A Meditation of Psalm 19

Psalm 19 describes God revealing Himself, leading to a natural conclusion. Psalm 19 contains oft-quoted verses. These include “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.” (vs 1) and “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (vs 14) Interestingly, these are the first and final verses of this Psalm.

Notice the natural structure to Psalm 19. Without over-spiritualizing at all, you can easily tell a sequence the psalmist has placed here. From vs 1 to vs 4, it is the heavens which are said to declare, proclaim, pouring, communicate, and sending a world-wide message. From vs 5, it is now the sun which, as an extension of the work of the heavens, is a witness in the sky directly from God (the psalmist is careful to say it is God, or Him in the HSCB, who in control of the sun). It gets better.  Beginning with vs 8, the psalmist provides an outline which connects on a profound level. Notice…

Beginning with vs 8, the psalmist provides an outline which connectsContinue reading “A Meditation of Psalm 19”

The Shack Review

Premiss of The Shack

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young is a riveting parable which aims to expose the role of the Triune God in tragedy. According to Young, The Shack is a story which creates a space for people to hear whatever the Spirit would be telling them in whatever place they are in their journey (Young, & Young, 2012, Kindle location 24).

In The Shack, we meet a man by the name of Mackenzie who finds a letter in his mailbox in an ice storm. The letter is an invitation to meet Papa at the shack, which infuriates Mack. The reader does not know why the anger wells up at the sight of the letter until the back story is revealed. On a camping trip with his children, his daughter Missy ends up missing. Young takes the reader through the long ordeal of searching for Missy, every minuet precious. A tip comes in which leads Mackenzie and the authorities to an old secluded shack. It is there where Missy’s bloody clothing is discovered confirming the worst. This is why the letter upset Mckenzie. Why would God lead him to the shack? The shack meant only pain and regret.

Mckenzie decides to head to the shack out of a deep seated curiosity and hunger for what God might say. He even totes a gun along in the possibility Missy’s killer might meet him there. When he arrives, he notices the blood stain left by Missy’s clothing. After a time of sorrow he begins to fly off the handle at the perceived absence of God and the sheer absurdity of him even being at the shack, a place of hurt and darkness. Mack even contemplates taking his own life with the fire arm.

As Mack is leaving, the snow begins to melt and the sun permeates the sky. As he looks behind him, he sees the shack is now a beautiful little cottage house. Inside he meets Papa, a large black woman who exudes joy and wisdom. Next, Mckenzie meets Jesus, a hardworking carpenter, and Sarayu, the Holy Spirit.

Needless to say, the sight of the Trinity perplexes Mack. This is not at all how he pictured God, especially Papa. Papa was Nan’s (Mack’s wife) favorite name for God. Mack tended to see God much life Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, powerful, bearded, distant. Mack’s view of God now also included “uninvolved, uninterested” after Missy’s murder. Papa, in this case, was nothing of the sort.

Papa teaches Mack about love and wisdom, Jesus stresses the presence of God and sacrifice, and Sarayu portrays wisdom, joy, and emotion. This is a very shortened list. In this visit Mack walks on water when Jesus is with him, he works in a garden with Sarayu as he learns more of the process of God’s work, and Mack’s defense melts in the presence of Papa more and more.

Mac learns about the role of God in the midst of suffering and grief. Jesus teaches Mac He was there with Missy, He never left her. Mack is allowed to see Missy as she is now, and this brings a sense of healing to him.

Near the end of Mack’s time with God (in this way), Papa (this time revealed as a male hiker) leads Mac to Missy’s body, which included clues left by “the ladybug killer” which Papa brings to Mack’s notice. Retrieving Missy’s body helps bring closure to Mack and Nan.

A theological take-away from The Shack

God’s providence and wisdom is a theological take-away from Young’s work. Deuteronomy 29:29 says “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” A take away the reader might grasp is God’s ways are not always visible or obvious. In fact, Papa did not answer all of Mack’s questions directly. The reader of The Shack might even grow frustrated with the lack of answers. Mack lost his daughter to murder, and who knows what other abuses she endured, so one might feel Mack deserves the answers he seeks. Even in the presence of the Trinity, Mack would encounter the great sadness, as Young put it. The great sadness was Mack’s depression. It would descend at any time, even after a great encounter with God. God’s providence and wisdom helped Mack to trust God, even a little bit. God seemed OK with baby steps towards trust in His providence and wisdom.

A psychological take away from The Shack.

A powerful scene in the book, from a psychological perspective, was from the chapter entitled “Here Come da Judge”. Past a waterfall and it a dark room Mack meets the personification of wisdom. She is beautiful and calming. Mack is asked about his children, about his love for them. Mack unwittingly describes the Father’s love for His children, yet when asked if God loves all His children the same Mack becomes furious and denies the prospect with reckless abandon. How could God love all His children the same when He allowed Missy’s abuse and murder? This made no sense psychologically.

When asked to judge Mack feels shocked and totally inadequate. Wisdom’s assault was unrelenting. Do those who beat their wives or children deserve judgement? What about those who…..abuse and kill girls? “YES!” screams Mack, “Damn him to hell!” Mack had no problem pronouncing judgement on such a monster, for it is this type of man who caused him unmentionable psychological pain. The problem is, says Wisdom, how far back do you go? To judge one is to judge God. God will enact justice, to be sure, but in light of the sacrifice of Christ. The episode ends in Mack taking a baby-step toward Christlike selflessness in offering himself in place of his children, the end object of the judgement path. The psychological impact must have been enormous for Mack (and for the reader).

In the beginning of the book we read about a man who had basically shut down, enjoyed ice storms for the solace they bring, and had resigned himself to the sentence of animosity toward God. His mind was always in the bulls-eye of the great sadness. He did not know where or when his depression would descend, but after this episode of meeting the personification of wisdom, he began to experience a psychological breakthrough. The depression might return, but the renewing of his mind aided in the defense against its permanence.

An emotional take-away.

The Shack is an emotional book. One cannot help but to feel for Mack and Nan. The reader shares the hurt they carry and empathizes with their agonizing questions, however logically unreasonable they might be.

After the reader finishes The Shack, he or she will most likely feel quite spent. The emotions of the water rescue, the loss of Missy, the hope she is ok! Missy is not ok, she has been murdered. The essence of the murder and abuse of an innocent girl pervades the book. All questions of justice and God’s providence are stemming from the murder. This is the framework and the reader experiences all the words of God while still reeling from this preventable tragedy.

Since this is a reflection, I Reuben, must interject here. Reading The Shack was an emotional experience, I read in bated breath, laughed, choked back tears, experienced anger, and deep liberating joy. Even the next day, my worship to God had changed. Since this section is on emotion, I find it difficult to put this into third person speech. I cannot understand how one reads The Shack devoid of emotion. All the best parables are emotional! Yet, the emotion of the story is a cause for caution.

Evaluation and Recommendation.

The Shack is recommended with some caveats. It is a parable, a story, and a work of fiction. The book is not intended as theology, yet it contains specific theological statements. For example, Jesus says “I have no desire to make them Christians” (p. 182). The term Christian is not a purely human invention, the term Christian is explicitly biblical (see Acts 11:26, 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16). James Be DeYoung even asserts Wm. Paul Young is an universalist in his book Burning Down the Shack, a claim which Wm. Paul Young denies (DeYoung, 2010, Kindle location 94).

The emotion of the story is so strong, the imagery so striking, the scenes so memorable, a reader could misinterpret some of the statements and see them as doctrine. The Shack contains very little scripture quotes. If one understands it as a parable, and not as systematic
theology, the point of the book can be quite liberating.

Ultimately The Shack is about forgiveness. God forgives all who repent, and because of His example, we can forgive even the vilest of crimes. God does not will anyone parish (see 2 Peter 3:9). It feels like a thousand pounds removed from the shoulders to fully realize redemption is God’s domain. We declare the gospel, yet the work of the gospel is done (John 19:30).

The Shack is recommended to those who are grieving and are stuck in their spiritual growth. In his book Finding God in the Shack, Randal Rouser praises The Shack for addressing “the dark night of the soul” and for bringing us face to face with the possibility of forgiveness for even a child killer (Rouser, 2008, Kindle location 71). It is not recommended to new Christians, for they are best served through biblical discipleship. It is best the reader approach the work with the full knowledge of its fictional persuasion. A concern would be one would quote passages of The Shack instead of the Word of God, seeing this parable as a special revelation, which it is not. The Shack is a shining example of the power of story to accomplish a strong point. The best parables are emotional and evoke reactions. On this account, The Shack does its job superbly. The power of forgiveness rings true in its pages, “Forgiveness is not about forgetting…it’s about letting go of another person’s throat” (pg. 272).

References
DeYoung, J. B. (2010). Burning down “The shack”: How the “Christian” bestseller is deceiving millions. Washington, D.C.: WND Books.
Rauser, R. D. (2009). Finding God in The shack. Colorado Springs, CO: Paternoster
Young, W. P. (2007). The shack (C): A novel. Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media.
Young, W. P., & Young, W. P. (2012). The shack: Reflections for every day of the year. Newbury
Park, CA: Windblown Media.

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