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The Shack 21st May, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Life.

the-shack1I think the simple word “wow” would be enough of a review from me for this book.  Having just finished up school I’m enjoying devouring books without deadlines.  I’ve had The Shack sitting on my bookshelf since I got back from Israel.  I’ve carried it back and forth when I’ve traveled, planning to read it but never getting round to it, and so it was the first book I started when school got done.

It’s a wonderfully quick read, very engaging and inspiring.  I’ve received emails since it came out some praising the book as a wonderful tool to encounter God, while others condemning Willie Young as a heretic for the “theological errors” in the book.

Well… I loved it.  It is a beautifully written book, that has left me hungry to know God deeper.  And most likely I will reread this book a number of times in my life.

I think the debate surrounding the shack has to do with the way people read it.  If you come to the book and read it as a systematic theology, you will most definitely find error.  But note first that the error is first yours in reading a novel as a systematic theology.  If you come to the book and read it as a novel that attempts to paint a picture of the complexity and simplicity of the Trinity and our relationship to the Triune God, you are in for a treat! (But be careful that you don’t get so involved in the mastery of the story, that you begin to use the book as a Systematic Theology!) It is a book that attempts to shed fresh light on the wonderful God we serve and at one point the book is clear that it “is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes” (p93).

I have been touched and challenged by the book.  Touched by the depth of God’s love for me and the extent of His sacrifice.  And Challenged to love more and to forgive more!  It is my prayer that people would read this book and be drawn into the arms of God!



1. bobby grow - 21st May, 2009

Hi Scott,

Just found your blog through Multnomah’s ‘sphere’.

While I agree that the Shack is not intended to be an systematic theology (different genre), that does not mean Young should be allowed to communicate ‘doctrinal’ things (i.e. the thought behind his novel) that are in error. For example, he speaks of God in ‘modalistic’ terms (which is actually a known heresy), which does not introduce anyone to the God of the Bible disclosed in the person of Christ. Beyond that, Young denies (and this would be ‘latently’ shaping his thought in the Shack) the Substitutionary Atonement of Christ (he apparently opts for the ‘exemplar’ moral model). Here is an video, and interview clips of Young in which he explicitly and consciously denies the Substitutionary Atonement:

In Christ,


2. Scotty - 13th June, 2009

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