The Shack – Review

I probably never would have picked up this book if it were not for my friend Robert Doell’s recomendation.  Robert works at Lifeway and everytime I go in there he has something new to recommend.  Which is great, because I like reading books that others have read.  So the most recent recommendation was The Shack by William P. Young.

Now this book had several things going against it from the get-go.  The biggest hinderance is that I don’t really dig fiction lately, and I don’t know if this was fiction or not, but it’s kind of marketed that way.

It was kind of hard to really get into, because the story took a while to set up, and I really didn’t understand why I should care about this Mack guy (the main character).  But I was comitted to finishing it so that I could have an intelligent conversation about it, as it is growing in popularity.

After getting through the set-up, I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, so please be patient.  Mack goes to a cabin where he experienced a great tragedy in his family, and he has an encounter with the Trinity.

The way the author presents the trinity is fascinating.  The most intriguing thing about it all is their relationship/community/love-fest.  They are presented as unique in character but one.   It’s pretty cool.

But this book is really great as it works through the issues that Mack has to deal with to move past the tragedy in his past and with his family.  The book talks about grace, forgiveness, redemption, free-will, salvation, and all kinds of good stuff.  So it’s a pretty heady book if you get way into it.  But it’s still very accessible.  That’s probably the greatest strength of using the story format.  It allows for the point to be made with out beating the reader over the head with it.

This would be a great book for a book club, or for people who are going through recovery programs, and even grief counseling.  So should we read it?  Sure.  Are people going to disagree with it?  Yes.  Are people going to take a lot of it way to seriously?  Probably.  But we can still get a lot of great truth and encouragement from this story.

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2 thoughts on “The Shack – Review

  1. Sorry, I just couldn’t get past all the non-Biblical characterizations. Why was it necessary to come up with a new name for God? There are dozens in Scripture. A quick internet search on the names reveal why. Both the names refer to Hindu goddesses. Think the author is trying to tell us something that he doesn’t really come right out and state? For this, and a number of other reasons, I found this book disturbing and dangerous. Fortunately, few of the people whose opinion I respect are reading this book. I certainly would not recommend it.

  2. I found the book very enjoying and it drew me to a deeper relationship with G-d. The revelation knowledge that I experienced was spirit quickening, as well as, enlightening. If you are grounded and rooted in the word, then you should have no problem with this book, because it is just fiction. If you know the truth, then the truth shall keep you free of all deception. Also, if you truly know G-d, this book should not distort your view of Him. The author never said that this was a replacement to the Bible. It is a Fiction novel, not non-fiction. Additionally, the author never stated that this book was the core of Christianity or any other religion. I found compassion, brokeness, forgiveness, love, grace, and mercy to abound in this novel. I believe that we all need something or someone to challenge us, during our spiritual walk, and draw us closer to Him. The Shack will prompt you to experience an encounter with the “true” living G-d and cry out to Papa. Shalom!

    If you are looking for theology in a fiction novel, the book is not for you. READ YOUR BIBLE!

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