The Shack: Book Review

I just finished reading this book. I want to first address that there is a ton of stuff on this book already online. Some say that this is not in line with the word. Please keep in mind this book is fiction. Now on to the review. The writing is pretty good. It is written very simply and I think that the style fits well with the almost letter type quality it has.  The story is simply bout a man who loses his daughter due to her being murdered and he is called to go back to the scene by God himself. It takes you on a wild ride of internal struggle, grappling of faith, and mystery in the whole of the trinity. Please make sure you don’t take everything in the book as literal. There are times where the author sounds almost universal in regards to religion, but I assure you something in this book will grip your soul and twist it. Something in this book will make you rethink your walk and evaluate your faith.

You have to read this book. go buy it…


17 responses to “The Shack: Book Review”

  1. Chris Avatar

    Paul’s coming to have dinner with our staff, elders and spouses in April. That is going to be an awesome night.

  2. worshipcity Avatar

    Dude that’s wild. I just got hit up on Facebook by a friend of mine wondering if I’d read it. I hadn’t even heard of it and thus began this messaging we’ve had all week and here you go popping it up on your blog.
    I suppose I will have to check it out.

  3. one24worship Avatar

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I did see where Eugene Peterson & Micheal W.Smith endorsed it, too…

    “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s that good!” Eugene Peterson

    “The Shack is the most absorbing work of fiction I’ve read in many years. My wife and I laughed, cried and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. The Shack will leave you craving for the presence of God.” Michael W. Smith

    Pretty weighty endorsements, if you asked me.

    Anyhow, thanks again and have a great weekend.

    David Guion

  4. Charlene Avatar

    Could not put it down. I lost a son and went through asking all the same things and the same three brought me through. Different names I just called them, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The best friends a person has in this life.

  5. Joshua Burke Avatar

    The novel, The Shack, is getting tremendous amount of play nationally. The book is currently ranked number eight in sales on The story is a fictionalized account of a man, Mack Phillips, who is emotionally dealing with the brutal murder of his young daughter. Mack is overwhelmed with questions about the suffering of the innocent, and as a result, has an unusual encounter with the Holy Trinity in a shack. Yes, I said a shack. In the novel, the Trinity is an African-American woman (the Father), a Middle Eastern man (the Son), and the Holy Spirit is an Asian songstress named Sarayu. The book has major theological problems: modalism, rejection of Biblical hierarchy, overemphasis on free-will to the neglect of God’s sovereignty, and a misunderstanding of the concept of submission, feminism, etc.

    If your folks have gotten fascinated by this book, I would suggest addressing these theological problems on May 18, Trinity Sunday. Get a good simple systematic theology like Wayne Grudem’s. For the everyday layperson, Grudem does an excellent job of explaining the key issues surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity. Read again the church’s classic understanding of the Trinity. In the simplest manner possible, explain the main points concerning the Trinity using basic scripture texts. Your congregation will not be bored. Your folks will be excited about being equipped to defend the Historic Christian faith. You do not need to mention the book, The Shack. However, you may want to show the cultural relevance of your sermon by pointing to the current controversy.

    As Article One of The Thirty-Nine Article states:

    Faith in the Holy Trinity:
    There is only one living and true God, who is eternal and without body, indivisible and invulnerable. He is of infinite power, wisdom and goodness. He is the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. Within the unity of the Godhead there are three persons who are of one substance, power and eternity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These dangerous theologies must always be countered, not debated or considered but countered. In our 2000yr history these things have come and gone; an important thing to remember is that we need to take our time, not just years but centuries, and see how these things play out… we have all the time we need to figure out these problems… yes it may appear that the end is near but it has always been so. This teaching (Modalism) has of course no grounding, and it is refuted at length by Tertullian as Heresy.

  6. klampert Avatar

    It’s FICTION!!! and i felt warm and fuzzy after it…and it’s FICTION!!!

  7. CJ Avatar

    Klampert, it may be only FICTION, but that doesn’t mean you throw out Biblical truths out the window just to sell a story. The story — fiction or not — would have been just as good had “The Shack” stuck with the true nature of God as given to us through the Bible.

    Satan is the father of lies and he does everything he can to deceive Christians who do not know their Bibles. Unfortunately, this book will lead many more astray than it will in helping people.

    As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the light and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The Shack tells a different story than this — one of New Age themes and universalism where Jesus is not the only way. That is clearly false and no “warm fuzzies” will cure that deception.

  8. Joshua Burke Avatar

    It is quite evident that the book is a work of fiction… but their have been many fiction books that have bolstered false doctrine and decieved many. One of the best examples is the “Left Behind” series; and most people truely believe that there is going to be a “Rapture” when this false dactrine is not even eluded to in Holy Writ, or supported by the Ancient Fathers. So you can see how damaging a work of fiction can be; and how easily deseminated into Doctrine by mere influence…

  9. Carrie Avatar

    I am just now hearing about this book. I read Challies book review and I thought it was insightful and intelligently written both from a literary and theological standpoint. It sounds to me like this guy Young is way far off scripture and really close to Universalism. Ya know, the Bible is really clear that Jesus is in the only way to heaven. And while Jesus did die for all mankind, we have that choice to believe in Him or not. Why do we need authors to “expand” our view of God when He has so clearly made His character known in scripture? I don’t get it. The gospel is simple really. Why does Young have to water it down and complicate it?

  10. Steve Taylor Avatar
    Steve Taylor

    The Shack is filled with the doctrines of demons. You should be ashamed of your ignorance of basic scripture.

  11. Mike Avatar

    The Shack is fiction, but the fictional story merely serves as the vehicle for delivering the author’s theology, and his theology conflicts with the Bible.

    Some people find the book The Shack “life changing”, yet don’t feel the same way about any parts of the Bible. I wonder why that is…

  12. mudpuppy Avatar

    More than halfway through right now and I have to say the uproar about the theology is ridiculous. This book is awesome and only points you to the all-encompassing love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  13. Bryce Adams Avatar
    Bryce Adams

    For you shall know them by there fruits.
    The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
    The book The Shack, fictional as it may
    be, is a love story. Just as the bible is
    the love story of Christ. Religious people
    will not accept this book, for they are still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Those who eat from the tree of life will see the fruits. The author has simply expressed himself and his love for god. And just as Jesus was persecuted for doing so, So will be the author of The Shack. Aside from the bible itself, This is the best book I’ve ever read.

  14. Mrs. H. Melton Avatar

    Fiction or not, why use God in a non-Biblical way and the trinity? Even The Last Temptation of Christ was fiction, yet it’s main focal point was on Jesus and it was in my opinion downright blasphemous. Heck, if the authors/or producers of this heretical book and movie used another name like ‘Joe’ or some other name, then it wouldn’t be so bad.To me, it’s just another author cashing in on defiling the Holy Bible as we Christians know and believe it. Jesus was mocked once and will not be mocked again!

  15. Don Blosser Avatar
    Don Blosser

    Yes, Bryce,
    You are right. You will know them by their fruit.
    And clearly by the contents of The Shack, W.P. Young demonstrates every appearance of being a blasphemous, demon-deceived rejector of the gospel who has constructed an idolatrous false god of his own imagination. Strong words? Yes, but let’s do some fruit inspecting.
    The Jesus of the Shack is sorta clumsy. He drops things. He spills food on people. There’s that one fish he’d really like to catch but just can’t seem to. And the other two members of the (false) trinity don’t seem to hold this (false) Jesus in very high regard, calling him “clumsy” and “old greasy fingers”.
    The Jesus of the Shack is kinda homey and comfortable, but tragically earthbound. Kind of an Inspector Clouseau meets Prometheus. And definitely nothing like the risen Christ of Revelation chapter one who blazes with holy heavenly glory.
    Now “Papa”- Aint she somethin’! Yes she is, though I’m not sure what. She/he is definitely not the God of the Bible. This papa spits on the Bible every time she blatantly contradicts it, saying things like, “I don’t need to punish sin”. This papa apparently isn’t too good at either recognizing or mentioning sin because she never once got around to mentioning Mack’s having murdered his earthly father with poison. This papa claims to have never left Jesus when he died on the cross, thereby denying the Biblical doctrine of Christ’s substitutionary atonement and making pointless all that Christ suffered in spirit, soul, and body. This papa bad mouths the Bible and the Church. This papa isn’t bothered by Mack’s sarcasm. In fact, this papa actually apologizes to Mack. This papa is one weird mother!
    So what fruit do we have? The bitter and strange fruit of yet one more attempt to pull down Christ from His glory and excellence. Yet one more attack on his finished work of Calvary. Whose fruit does that sound like to you????
    Please, spare me all the details of how loving papa and her other two sidekicks are. I didn’t need the Shack to know that God is loving and desires relationship over ritual. There’s this other bestseller I learned that from: The Holy Bible. All the warm fuzzies of the Shack are just the milk to help the rat poison go down.

  16. Joel Klampert Avatar

    Don…We now have more than enough counts of what your thoughts are on this book…

    You may not have needed shack to know God’s love but it sure seems you did need it to give yourself something to do.

    Please find another site to discuss and discourage.

  17. Don Blosser Avatar
    Don Blosser


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *