Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Mackenzie Allen Phillips's 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 this 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 wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

My Review:
I was excited to win this extended edgy metaphor in a giveaway because there has been so much buzz about it. I started reading it, and then put it aside after only two chapters when some other titles caught my eye. Finally, I picked it back up and began reading it from the beginning. Although it's not a lengthy book--only 246 pages--it is wordy. I found it dragged a bit. It is a book of fantasy.

The most important thing about Christian Fiction is that it be biblically correct. This book isn't. For example, the protagonist is having a conversation with the Trinity about which of them is the greater. Jesus speaks:
"Does that make sense to you, Abba? Frankly, I haven't a clue what this man is talking about?"

[God answers]"... Nope, I have been trying to make head or tail out of it, but sorry, he's got me lost." (p 121-22)
God doesn't understand what man is asking? That's not in the Bible I read!

Again on page 182, Jesus waffles when asked if all roads lead to Him and responds, "... I will travel any road to find you."

In John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." It couldn't be any clearer than that.

If you think that you can read this like you would read a Harry Potter book, then it might be the book for you. But that's all it is--a work of fantasy--not a work of Christian Fiction.


Anonymous said...

I haven't read this one, but I understand there's a lot of controversy surrounding it.

Becky said...

I always wonder if I should read a book that isn't Biblically correct. I know some people think you should because then you can talk to others about it intelligently, but I often think I don't want to buy it and spur on its sales. Your review of THE SHACK goes along with what I heard elsewhere. I won't be reading it.

Jo-Jo said...

As a Christian I think I pretty much decided that I do not want to read this book. It is funny, because there are a couple of Christians in my book club that read it and really liked it. I guess that personally, I just don't want to go down that path.

Lori said...

I am almost finished reading this book. And like Sally, it is true fantasy, read it lightly and don't get hung up in the biblical stuff. I am a Christian and just enjoyed the story - that's all it is a story.

Bridget said...

Oh dear me, I have this book and am planning on reading next. I'm glad I read your review first!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break!! It's a great book, I doubt if any of you have read much of the Bible at all. Whether this is fiction or not it should open your heart to talk to God and get into the word and start living a better life with Jesus at your side! The questions of Mack in the book should have you asking yourself about your beliefs and what relationship you have with God. I say read it and read it again!

Deborah said...

I just read this book, because my dad asked me to...he got it as a gift.
I agree with everything you've said. There are glaring doctrinal mistakes that are hard to overlook!
I did like some of the symbolism...the messy garden was his soul.
The author does a good job of explaining why evil exists and why God doesn't step in and stop things, but even that is pretty basic stuff...and though it might be helpful to someone unsaved, or newly saved, who is trying to sort forgiveness out, the rest of the book would just serve to confuse them in other areas.