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THE SHACK: CLASS 4

COMMON TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION: (Mt. 4) Is being present with God for you more like Mack’s time in the cave, his experience in walking on the water or his conversations with Papa? Jesus went into the wilderness to be alone with God and to be tested. In what ways was this similar to Mack’s experience in the cave? Describe any similar experiences you might have had doing soul work? (151)


GROUP 1

CHAPTER 10, WADE IN THE WATER. (139-150)

Have you had a walking on the water type experience and is that normal for those following Jesus? If you were Mack, would the better choice have been taking the risk to walk on water or playing it safe by walking around the lake? What good, if any, was there for Mack to risk water walking since he could choose to safely walk around the lake to the other side? Does God require risk taking? (140-141)

*Do you spend most of your time and emotional energy on the past, present or future and why? What works best for you to be present to spend time with God? Is being with God something that just happens for you or do you make time to spent time with God? (141)

How do you know God or anyone really loves you? Can fear be both bad such as a phobia and good such as the fear of God? Do those rejecting God’s love have more fear of the unknown, death and the like than those that believe God loves them? (1 Jo. 4:18) (142)

Judging by your carbon foot print, do you care for the earth like it belongs to God and you are a steward, or do you see creation as a gift that you can treat or mistreat any way that best suits you? (144)

*Why is submission necessary for genuine relationship and how is that working for you? If it is necessary, why doesn’t submission seem natural? (145-146) What is required to practice submission? (149)

Do men and women fundamentally have different problems or needs that get in the way of relationship with the opposite sex? (146)

What does re-turning mean for you as a way to better develop relationships? How often is re-turning necessary? (147)

We all have roles, so do roles have a place in any genuine relationship? Is it possible just to “be” without having roles and what does that mean for marriage? Can there be social order without roles or can civil society just be governed by genuine relationships?(148)

In what aspect, if any, is the male and female relationship to be akin to the circle of love relationship in God? In our culture do we see male and female more as necessary counterparts or as basic adversaries full of irreconcilable difference? (148)

*Why did Jesus dislike the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” What is necessary to follow Jesus and not just follow his example? Do Christians follow Jesus or his example? Can you be a follower of Jesus and not be dying daily and what does that mean for you? (149)

GROUP 2

CHAPTER 11, HERE COMES DA JUDGE. (151-169)

*What does the cave symbolize and why did this chapter happen in almost total darkness? Was the cave an area of Mack’s soul? (151)

What side of the judgment desk do you prefer to be seated on? (152) Do you prefer to judge or be judged? (Mat. 7:1-5) (158)

Why did Mack believe that God does not love all his children well? Is this a God problem for both nonbelievers and believers? (156)

Why did Mack assume he was meant to enter the cave seeing the faint door? (151) What did it have to do with his children? (157)

What are some of the problems with judging others? Is it really possible to judge behavior and not the person? (159)

What are some consequences for you and those close to you when you judge God and humanity and yourself? (160)

What was keeping Mack stuck in The Great Sadness ? What choice did he need to make to get unstuck? Can you relate to Mack in being stuck at times in doing soul work and how did you get unstuck? What is your part and God’s part in getting unstuck? (161)

*When it comes to judgment is it a good analogy to compare the love of God for all his children with the love Mack has for his own children? Why and why not? Does this analogy work for you? (162)

In what way did Mack judge well? Is judging well against our human nature? Why did Jesus seem so different than God? (163)

What is the connection between the death of Mack’s father and what happened to Missy? (164) If Mack did nothing wrong, why did he want or need Missy to forgive him? Is forgiving yourself harder than forgiving others? (168)

What does it take for Mack to embrace God’s love in the midst of pain? How does that work for you when in spiritual pain? (165)

What do you think about this life being preparation for what is to come given your view of the afterlife and human potential? (167)

*What is God’s purpose in judgment? As a saint can you judge with the same purpose when you judge the world? (1 Co. 6:1-5) (169)

GROUP 3

CHAPTER 12, IN THE BELLY OF THE BEASTS. (170-182)

What defined Mack before leaving the cave? What were the consequences? Why did he let it define him? By what do you think he will define himself in the future? By what do you define yourself and how is that working? By what does God define you? (170)

How was God present in Sophia and how was she different than Papa and Sarayu? Did Mack see God in Sophia and if so how? (171)

*What made the difference now when Mack cried about Missy? Was he overly confident now as he walked into the water? (173-174)

Why do you keep “crap” inside like Mack? What does it take to get beyond it and learn to “live loved.” Is it a hard slow process? (175)

Why hadn’t Mack heard God before who had been talking to him a long time? What is necessary for you to really hear God? (176)

How would you describe a person that is truly human and is that the same thing as being a Christian or someone else? (177)

Is the church a help or hindrance in getting “crap” inside out so you can process it by the grace of God and if not, why not ? (178)

In what ways is the church the one Christ came to build and in what ways is it different? If it is different, why? Can it change? (178)

*Since human created religious, political and economic institutions will all pass away and which “many use to prop up their illusions of security and control” is it better to attempt reforming them or should you just avoid them whenever possible? (1 Co. 7:31) (179-181) )

What does it mean to live life in the fullest? How do you best do that in the real world given inhumanity and the trinity of terror? (180)

*What does it mean for you to be a Christian and for Jesus? How is that working for you? Can non-Christians also follow Jesus ? (182)


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