Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Shack

The Shack.

One of the most polarizing Christian novels to have come along in a long time.  You either love it or you hate it.

The story of author William P. Young is a compelling one.  Raised as a missionary kid in New Guinea, he endured sexual abuse at the hands of the tribe his parents were serving, suffered untimely deaths and losses, and the result was a faith that was deeply shaken and a life that became a train wreck.

Young originally wrote The Shack as a story for his children.  Following an adulterous affair, his wife, Kim, declared that he must change and forced him to confront all the painful issues of his past in order for him to heal and begin to make sense out of tragedy.  The Shack is a product of that confrontation.

In The Shack, the protagonist, Willie, endures a painful tragedy called The Great Sadness and, as a result, has a personal encounter with God.  The details of that encounter as well as the way Willie deals with his tragedy are met with extreme criticism from many religious arenas.

In my opinion, the book starts a bit slow and the description of The Great Sadness is very hard to read.  It is painful and I was tempted to put the book aside.  However, once past the graphic description of the tragedy, I was mesmerized and could not put the book down.  The end of the book presented yet another twist which was totally unexpected.  I pondered it for weeks after I finished it.

You must read the entire book in order to develop a complete perspective.  I will wait until comments indicate that several have read the book until I post my comments.  I don't want to give away any details that could possibly color someone's interpretation.

Of one thing I am sure: you cannot walk away from the book without a strong opinion.


  1. Loved this book - it stretched me and intrigued me. God is so big and we tend to limit Him so much. I like a big God who out thinks me, out creates me, and out does me entirely. I like a God of the impossible who out loves me especially. Now, the question is, can I at least try to be like Him and love others the way He loves me - no limits, no box thinking?! Quite a challenge.

  2. Thanks, Janice. I, too, LOVED the book.

    Question for those who have read it...Did you think the book portrayed God as three or as one?

  3. I also LOVED LOVED "The Shack" Couldn't put it down....definitely think God was portrayed as one

  4. We will leave "The Shack" discussion open for another week. Unfortunately, broken pipes and multiple holes cut in walls of the house make for little to no reading/study time. :-( I think that a book review every two weeks instead of every week probably makes more sense in these crazy busy lives of ours. :-)

    So...continue to share your thoughts on The Shack for another week. We will pick up with Forgotten God next week.

  5. Have read recently of those who hated The Shack. I would like some feedback from you, too. Why did you not like it? I do understand the theological stretches...they are definitely there. But other than that, talk about some of the other reasons you didn't care for it. Disagreement makes for good discussion!