CCM: Did that carry over into any off-set conversations with those involved in the production?
Lots of them. One “Are you kidding?” moment… I’d made a connection with a theologian named Brad who lives up in British Colombia, that’s where my family is, also, and where the film was being shot. He was out with friends of his, his best friend Dwight, along with Dwight’s wife Laurie who have a cabin up at Cultus Lake. Brad and his wife Eden were spending a couple of days there, out in the woods. [During that same time], Lionsgate had [surprised me] with an invitation to spend another day on-set.

I just endorsed Brad’s book, A More Christlike God (buy). I loved his work. He’d read and loved Eve (buy), and so we had this dialogue going but I’d never met him. So, I emailed him because he’s a seminary professor in London, so I didn’t even know if he was going to be in the country. He immediately responds and says, “Can I come pick you up at the airport?” Lucky check.

We got it all set up and then ten minutes later I get another email from him that says, “So I’m up at Cultus Lake, we’re on a walk right now about two-and-a-half blocks from Dwight’s cabin, and here…” And there’s a photo of Brad and Dwight—who I don’t know yet, but who is a business guy, Brad’s best friend, and the one who introduced Brad to The Shack back in 2008—and they’re in the middle of the woods by a big yellow sign that reads, “The Shack.” They didn’t even know, but one of the set locations that they were filming was two-and-a-half blocks away from where they were, at that moment, at Cultus Lake.

William Paul Young, The Shack, CCM Magazine - image

“The Shack” author, William Paul Young

Then he said, “You know, Dwight and Laurie have been profoundly impacted [by the book]. Laurie is a spiritual formations director, and Dwight’s a business guy…but three years ago the youngest of their children took her own life in the middle of the woods. They’re absolutely stuck. Dwight’s stuck. He thinks that if he could just read The Shack again, it would help him get unstuck, but he can’t get past Chapter One. Laurie is just angry. She’s just angry.”

He continues to write, “Would there be any possibility that you could spend a few minutes with them while you’re up here?” I responded, “I don’t know what site location I’m going to. I won’t know that until the night before. I don’t know how this is all going to work out, but we’ll find a way to make it happen.” [After arriving and spending all day with Brad], that night I get the call sheet and it reads, “We’ll pick you up at 9:30 and take you to Cultus Lake.” So I’m going to be going right up to the site that is two-and-a-half blocks away from where the four of them are.


3 Responses

  1. Jo Tell

    I have not read the book, nor will I, and I most certainly will not watch a movie based on this man’s imagination. Hank Hannegraff summed it up perfectly.

  2. JustJim

    We all like to live in a diorama picturing God and our personal spiritual beliefs as we have been taught and what we have chosen to learn through our life’s experiences! This book and movie will challenge an individual to open their minds eye and theoretically examine the possibility of God as portrayed thru the experience portrayed in Mackenzie’s life! I am closer to Our Heavenly Father because of it! Movie is very well cast and portrayed!

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