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The Shack (2008)

by William P. Young, William Paul Young (Author)

Other authors: Brad Cummings, Wayne Jacobsen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,226537343 (3.43)306
Mackenzie Allen Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.… (more)
  1. 40
    Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory (soflbooks)
    soflbooks: David Gregory's short story about a man who accepts a dinner invitation with Jesus is better written than The Shack and sticks to evangelical theology.
  2. 10
    Thrones For The Innocent by C. W. Kesting (Desmorph)
    Desmorph: Thrones for the Innocent is a stunning compliment to The Shack. It addresses the metaphysical mysteries of ontology and theology without preaching. Where The Shack speaks directly to and about God and the Christian Trinity; Thrones is both subliminal and aggressive. Thrones helped me deal with the frustration I felt in my own heart about the paradox of the existence of evil and and all-loving all-powerful Creator. Thrones is very spiritual and yet avoids struggling with the convolution of structured religion. it should raise some eyebrows as well as quiet some tortured hearts.… (more)
  3. 10
    Rooms by James L. Rubart (paulstalder)
    paulstalder: ähnliche Handlung: Ein Mann kommt in ein Haus und kommt mit seiner Vergangenheit ins Reine
  4. 00
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Another story of searching for meaning after personal tragedy and questioning why bad things happen.
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» See also 306 mentions

English (517)  German (6)  Portuguese (Brazil) (5)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (535)
Showing 1-5 of 517 (next | show all)
Wow.

It's been a decade or more since The Shack was first released and I finally decided to read it. I remember there being such a fuss about this book from some in the Evangelical Christian world, but I loved it. I don't read a lot of fiction, and I'm so glad that this was among what I've read. If other stories are this moving, I may read more!

In this story the author writes from a Christian perspective to try and understand God's love for humanity, the power of forgiveness, the beauty of Heaven, the purpose of humankind, and how God's very nature can give us an example of how we can live with each other.

There were times I laughed, but more times I cried.

Thank you to the author for sharing this story. ( )
  DwaynesBookList | Aug 14, 2020 |
I wanted to understand why this book has been so popular within and beyond evangelical circles and to give it a fair shake despite the criticisms I'd read. I don't want to simply trash it--I think it contained some truthful insights. I can see how it could be helpful for those who've been scarred by hurtful images of God and unloving experiences in the church. And I'm glad for the truthful and liberating glimpses of God's grace. But those bits, unfortunately, can't override the problematic and misleading ones.

The basic weirdness of portraying all three persons of the Trinity as incarnate...to say nothing of the racial/ethnic stereotypes I kept cringing over...is a common critique of the book. But what bothered me more was the canard "relationship = good, rules/ritual/religion = bad." This tired, reductionist reading of Jesus and discipleship seems to me to be divorced from any honest appraisal of history. From my own experience, I can say that such an approach, while it can be inviting to an alienated believer, can prove more harmful than liberating in the long term.

I didn't see anything in this book that a seeker couldn't find far more abundantly and artfully displayed in an orthodox writer like C.S. Lewis. But rather than condemning it, I hope it can help those of us in the church to offer a fuller picture of religion -- in which relationship, rules, and ritual all have their place -- to those who yearn for it. ( )
  LudieGrace | Aug 10, 2020 |
This was the book my mom loved. I was a little anxious about it, because Christian books tend to lay it on thick. This one was no exception, haha! But the way it was executed pulled it off. The way God was portrayed was on one hand beautifully multifaceted, and on the other incredibly ridden with cliches. It gave me a lot to think about, and showed God's love in a beautiful way.
Its funny how bothered I was with the foreword declaring everything to be written as a memoir, and I find myself thinking how much more comfortable I would've been if it had said 'based on a true story'. Any writer fictionalizes, it's inevitable, but dare to account for it!
But overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I'd recommend it to Christians and non-Christians alike, for an interesting perspective on Papa :) ( )
  stormnyk | Aug 6, 2020 |
Sappy and sentimental. Poorly written. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
The judgement and forgiveness scenes are life changing. I initially read this book because I used to visit Wallowa lake as a child. But this book has stuck with me it is a great book for those searching for spiritual truth. ( )
  lilwolfmisty | Jul 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 517 (next | show all)
Young's too-weird-for-the-pulpit thoughts about how Adam's rib and the female uterus form a "circle of relationship" have the appeal of knobby heirloom-produce in a world where much religion arrives vacuum-packed. His theories—how to believe in Adam while supporting particle-physics research; why the Lord is OK with your preference for lewd funk more than staid church music—accomplish what mainstream faiths tend to fail at: connecting recondite doctrine to the tastes, rhythms, and mores of modern life. ... And though the novel, as a novel, is a sinner's distance from perfection, it's an eloquent reminder that, for those who give some faith and effort to the writing craft, there is, even today, the chance to touch and heal enough strangers to work a little miracle.
added by eromsted | editSlate, Nathan Heller (Jun 3, 2010)
 
Would I recommend this book? No, I would not. It is full of theological problems as well as an irreverent and casual attitude toward God. Yes, there are nice things in it and people might even be helped by the book. But so what? There are some nice things in Mormonism, too. Should we encourage people to read the Book of Mormon because Mormonism might help someone feel better? Not at all.

Sadly, experience has shown me that most Christians aren't interested in biblical fidelity. No, I'm not talking about biblical nit-picking. I'm talking about fidelity to the revealed word of God to the point where we don't contradict what is plainly stated in scripture!

We Christians should regard the word of God as the final authority on all things, and any supposed accounts of actual occurrences should be compared to scripture, not our feelings, wants, and desires. In the case of The Shack, the book falls woefully short of scriptural truth in many important areas and has the strong ability to mislead people regarding God's nature, work, and plan for us.

Again, I do not recommend it.
 
Focusing on just three of the subjects William
Young discusses in The Shack, we’ve seen that
errors abound. He presents a false view of God
and one that may well be described as heretical. He downplays the importance and uniqueness of the Bible, subjugating it or making it equal to other forms of subjective revelation. He misrepresents redemption and salvation, opening the door to the possibility of salvation outside of the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are left with an unbiblical understanding of the persons and nature of God and of His work in this world.
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William P. Youngprimary authorall editionscalculated
Young, William PaulAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Cummings, Bradsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wayne Jacobsensecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mueller, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This story was written for my children:

Chad-the Gentle Deep,
Nicholas-the Tender Explorer,
Andrew-the Kindhearted Affection,
Amy-the Joyful Knower,
Alexandra (Lexi)-the Shining Power,
Matthew-the Becoming Wonder

And dedicated first, to:

Kim, my Beloved, thank you for saving my life.
And second, to:

"...All us stumblers who believe Love rules. Stand up and let it shine."
First words
Foreword:

Who wouldn't be skeptical when a man claims to have spent an entire weekend with God, in a shack no less?
March unleashed a torrent of rainfall after an abnormally dry winter.
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Book description
Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!
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