On "Dangerous" Art

The book that prompted this post is one that I have not read and do not particularly intend to read. The book in question is the bestseller The Shack – a book that depicts an encounter between a man and God. In this book God apparently appears as the three separate persons of the trinity. Brooks mentioned this book to me more or less in passing and I came across this generally positive review about a week ago. In her review, Lorna Dueck reports that some have called the book theologically dangerous. Sure enough, you can watch Mark Driscoll recoil at the book’s depiction of God the father as a – GASP! – woman.

Whoop de frickin’ do.

God gets portrayed as livestock, slaves, wild animals, buildings, and even geological formations in the Bible yet what is done in The Shack is somehow beyond the pale?! A particularly bad reply to that occurs in the comments section of this post:

“jesus[sic] is god[sic]. what he says about the kingdom is reality. he[sic] is never in any danger of overstepping a boundary. william young[sic] is overstepping a boundary. he[sic] has created an idol in this book. young[sic] doesn’t say, “the kingdom is like…” he creates dialouge[sic]. that[sic] is more than a parable.”

So what, extended allegories are not okay but metaphors are? Should Young have prefaced his book by saying “Dear reader, this is fiction – meaning that I made all this up, it is not a literal accounting of anything that has happened” – or something to that effect?