The Shack by William Paul Young

October 1, 2009
By
Book Review: The Shack
Getting good marks on all the accredited “Best Sellers Lists” the book “The Shack” by William P. Young has obviously caught the attention of a fair amount of people. With that said it truly has started a good amount of controversy over the contents of the book.
In the very roots of this book lie the problem that all Christians will face at one point in their life, and that is the benefits God brings with the evil it appears he brings also. So many people just do not understand why God chooses to do the things that he does? How is it that a God that demands so much praise and respect puts his worshipers in such danger? It simply always feels that there is something that he could do, but why doesn’t he? Why does it feel like “if God wanted him, God would have to come find him.”? (Young 82) All of these are questions that passed threw the mind of the main character Mack, and in the end are all ultimately answered.
With just a bit of research after finishing the book I found that the author is a loving Christian father. To help his children better understand their relationship with God; a Christian father wrote the book “The Shack”. Threw out all of the interviews and such it has been made apparent many times that the author William P. Young didn’t have much of an intention to write a book, but that just simply became the easiest way to express his experiences with God. This is not the first time that a book has been written on a personal experience with God. The book “90 minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper is another example of a man lost from within claiming that he truly did have an experience with God.
This book is like the underdog in a football game, you want them to win, but the outcome is so predictable that it is almost not worth watching, or in this case reading. The events that unfold prior to the “Great Sadness” (a chapter in the book) are ones that never would you want a parent to have to go through, and the author does a wonderful job of thrusting you truly right into the situation. After the kidnapping Mack was so distraught it seemed “as if he had opened Pandora’s box and was being swept away into the center of madness” (Young 83). The diction, figurative language, and truly emotionally engulfing situations really make the “The Shack” a wonderful book to read in the beginning. The persisting tone of the book encourages the reader to truly engage in Mack’s spiritual transformation. Through out the story it is stressed that the cause of the evil in the world is human freedom, and it is made apparent the love God has for his children. The solution that is that “you must forgive,” and “realize that each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique”(Young 215). And learn to believe that people are going to do things that seem completely unforgivable, but really if you look at it in the perspective of your relationship its really not that hard to forgive. Young does a wonderful job of making all of those points clear through out the book.
My reason in the beginning for reading this book was simply because I had too for school. When I started to read this book I had high expectations, like most of the readers who read this book. I was hooked like a fish in just the first couple pages. Even though I realize that I have not gone through the same amount of pain or experiences that Mack has. While I was reading it I found myself asking the same questions Mack did about God. As I read this book, I waited with anticipation for the confrontation Mack was going to have with God. But the real truth to this book is that it quite simply plateaus. The beginning was engaging and interesting, and while the end was insightful and brought up interesting topics I started to almost hope for the ending. The Shack is a book recommended to Sunday school classes looking for a quasi-engaging experience that will burn a few weeks of class.





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