I’ve heard quite a bit about William P. Young’s book The Shack over the past year. I decided to put it on my Christmas list (and Santa got it for me). I read it this past weekend, so I thought I’d post a few of my thoughts on the book.
It is very difficult to talk about the book without giving away major pieces of the plot. For that reason I’ll be be a bit vague at times.
Content – The Shack is the story of a man, his pain, and God. The story is just that, a story. It is not a theological work. Sure, there is truth to be found in the book. I particularly like the way justice is portrayed. I think Young’s description of the Trinity and freewill are thought provoking. And that’s what this book does, stimulate thought. If this book stirs up a desire to know God more fully, then it has succeeded. However, if this book shapes your perception of God more than the Bible does, you have a problem. Some of Young’s writing has a scriptural basis, yet much of it is speculation and imagination. I think this book is best appreciated by people with at least a moderate understanding of the gospel and the Bible.
Writing – At times some of the dialogue feels a bit awkward and forced. In fairness, that’s how life is sometimes. If you followed me around for a day and transcribed all my conversations I bet you would say: this dialogue is too awkward and forced to be authentic. So I won’t fault Young for that. I like most of the plot development and the pacing of the story.
Conclusion – I recommend this book. It is a quick read and prompts thought. I wouldn’t say it has been radically life changing, but it did make me think.