The Shack – William P. Young


5/5 Stars.

Though I found the book to be a bit cliche and corny at certain points, I will say that a book hasn’t moved me like this one has in a long time. It actually made me feel something aside from just interest in seeing what happens next.

The work tackles some very deep philosophical questions like why bad things happen to good people and the problem of evil in the world. I think that for the most part, these issues were addressed in an eloquent way. Though, I have to say that I was pretty surprised when I saw a few articles about how this book is heretical. Really? Claims like that get me fired up because the people who make those claims seem to think that their interpretation of “reality” or the Bible are the “correct” interpretations. I’ve always thought that was dangerously close to playing God. I digress…

Though fantastical, I found myself being able to “go there” throughout reading this book about Mack’s journeys of reconciliation. I think the author did a pretty good job illustrating the messages he wanted to convey through various activities and conversations that Mack experienced.

I think what made my reading of this work so poignant was that it actually made me look at myself, and I don’t usually get to that point with most books. I realized my capacity to judge quickly and continue to hate even when it does not serve me well. It also made me recognize how I’ve looked to other people (relationships) to help me heal myself or look for meaning. Not that relationships aren’t meaningful, but my inner peace and serenity should not be solely based on them.

I do have to wonder, though, if the people who hate this book are put off because it criticizes institutionalized religion. I have to wonder if the people who hate this book are just so indoctrinated in that way of thinking that they would be offended at the mention of anything else. I loved how “Jesus” in this book didn’t identify as a Christian. Why would he?

I think I enjoyed this book so much because it seemed to do more of the spirituality thing than religion thing for me which I found attractive. I felt sort of free to interpret as I would and it fit in with how I normally make sense of things and the world. Though, I do try to be open minded to thinking of things differently: like recognizing how I often over-emphasize romantic relationships like I’m thinking most women do.

Anyway, this was a quick, emotional, but easy read. Definitely worth it. Maybe I’ll even see the movie.

5 thoughts on “The Shack – William P. Young

  1. I provided chauffeur service for two days when Paul spoke to a Christian Women’s group about a year after The Shack was published. His personal story he shared with me then is even more poignant than the book or movie. Once upon a time he put his story on his webpage, I’m not sure it’s still there.

    Have you read any of his other three books?



      1. I’ve not read any of his other three books, but when I finish reading the books I’m working through now, I think I’ll start with Lies We Believe About God, or Cross Roads.


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