71 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
User Gravatar
AussieMal said in February 4th, 2010 at 8:56 am

I’m about a year behind many reading this book, and I loved it. I believed that God was using it to speak to me, and bring to my attention his desire to, above all, live in relationship with me. Wm Young has a God-given talent that he has used to invite people into a healing relationship with God. Not just the popular Jesus, but a a God in three persons, Papa, Son and Spirit. I am a Lutheran pastor and I would class my theology as conservative. While aware of some interesting angles on God in the book, it is nothing to deflect me from the core message of God’s word; that God so loved the world he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. I believe that Young does a great job of amplifying the message of the Bible; God’s Good News! To a mature Christian, The Shack in no threat. To an unbeliever or a new Christian, it opens up God’s love and grace in a delightful way, and should encourage them to discover more about this marvellous God. To those who comment on the book without reading it – stop! You have no right to critique something of which you know nothing but assumptions. To those who are disturbed by the book; that is understandable, as the message of Jesus is disturbing- foolishness even. But be sure that it is not your skewed western cultural religiosity that makes you judge this book and others. I have worked for years with indigenous people, and I reckon that they would have no trouble getting the portrait of God that Young paints. A novel is just another art form, is it not?

User Gravatar
Toni said in February 10th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I just read “The Shack” and enjoyed it very much. As a work of fiction, I did not read it to enhance my faith or theology. My theology is solid and my personal relationship with God through the blood of Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and my daily walk is guided by the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. With that said, again, this was a work of fiction with some very probing concepts that are worthy of self-examination. Instead of condemning the author for something he has not done, it would be much more effective if the conversations were turned toward our own lack of love and encouragement and forgiveness of one another. I came away from this book taking a closer look at the way I have responded to God’s love and the way that I have treated and reacted to those around me. I was ashamed to see myself as one who has lived as a judge over others instread of seeing them as God sees them. Do any of those critics have the courage and humility to admit that? And it is my deep sense that those “theologins” who are the loudest critics, should first refrain from judging this book or the author if they have not personally read the book, and then come down off of the high pedistals that they have put themselves on. They are probably made very uncomfortable seeing their religious institutions condemned and their power trips revealed! Thank you Mr. Young for a delightfully written book that reminded me about how much God loves me!

User Gravatar
Anne said in February 14th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I loved this book. I was raised Catholic and remain grounded in my faith, have read the bible, and I am completely open and interested in all religions. In spite of the fact that Christianity was the religion of choice in this book, what I took away were the overarching themes (goodness, love, having a relationship with God, patience and forgiveness) which are not only themes of Christianity but any religion – even the atheist, in my opinion – and no matter what you conceive God to be. Whatever book I may read -Bible, Torah, The Shack- those are the themes I take away and why I loved this book.

User Gravatar
Lisha Hendrix said in February 15th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I just finished the Shack and loved it. I am a born again Christian and know the Lord. I also know that the Lord meets you right where you need him every time and that is exactly what I read in the Shack. Sure it is not always accurate with what the bible says, but the message is dead on. God meets you right where you need him through all circumstances. We all know the bible is the only true word of God, but that does not mean the Lord did not use someone else to get his message out and draw other people closer to him who are now reading their bible and going to church. I don’t believe you can be very objective if you haven’t even read the book in its entirety.

User Gravatar
Ken said in February 18th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I have just finished the book, not because I wanted to read it, I am in a group that is reading it.

This is the message I got from it. Truth does not matter, you can believe anything you want, just believe that God loves you and you will get to heaven.

There was no confession of sin, not asking Christ to save you, no calling out to Him in repentance, so just how is Mack suppose to get to heaven?

I did not find this book to be that great a read and am amazed at how it could touch any life.

To really find out about God’s love read the Bible.

User Gravatar
Jim Wehde said in February 19th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

“First, I would challenge you to pray that God would give you discernment as you read it. Second, I would challenge you to spend equal time in your Bible. If you spend 5 hours reading The Shack, then spend 5 hours reading your Bible.”

A little reminder here – the Bible itself is dead letters on the page without the Spirit to give life to it. You need just as much discernment and Spirit with the Bible as with any other writing. Remember, nobody could have faulted the Scribes and Pharisees for their bible knowledge – yet that knowledge helped them conclude that Jesus could NOT be the messiah.

Paul Young, in writing “The Shack”, is reacting, and perhaps OVER-reacting, to an authoritarian view of a God who is ready to smack you at the very slightest wrong turn from his pin-point will. But the overstatement can be the springboard for discussion in the Body of Christ, which is where Young is headed, I think.

There isn’t the slightest hint in the book of “Truth doesn’t matter” – but there is the hint that God may love us through our stumbling. There are real concerns with the book – Mack does not fall at the feet of God when faced with Him at first – but Paul Young is your brother in Christ, and is gracious enough to have the discussion about this if you just ask him.

I dare you.

User Gravatar
stoltzfus said in February 20th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I agree 100% with the comment left by Jesus.. 🙂
I grew up in a very religious setting, and I am becoming more and more certain that God is big, he is great, far greater then any of us can imagine or understand. It is quite clear that the writer of this book was deeply hurt by religious “christians” as many are. I believe “christians” are probably more responsible then any other group for keeping people separated from God.. it is a shame. Not only a shame but a sin. I am sick of hearing people tell other people who God is and what he is like, because they know him perfectly, due to all their theological studies and whatever. I believe we all can know God personally, and he might appear slightly different to each one of us, due to the fact that we all have different needs. That does not mean there is not only one true God, but means that God is great, very GREAT! I am afraid the more we become certain of what God is like and then try to force that on others, the more we are putting him in a box.. I am certainly not saying the Bible is not God’s word and completely true, but it was also not written by God, but by people who wanted to describe their relationship with him. I do not believe we can ever come to a full and complete understanding of God by studying the bible alone, each one of us needs that spiritual connection with Him, “knowing him” personally.
I read the book.. and loved it!

User Gravatar
Tiffany said in February 25th, 2010 at 2:38 am

I have just finished The Shack. I believe that criticism comes harshly from too many people on this “controversy.” It is OBVIOUS this book is fictional, and yet, the author portrays HIS relationship with God. I myself have felt the presence of God in which He speaks to me. Not as tangibly as the author writes in audible voices, but in my soul. And as I have not read the Bible through and through I have not encountered a place where God is described in image; furthermore, I similarly understand the author’s experiences as an abused child. Afterall, my biological father abused me in every way defined. It was in the guidings of Jesus in my heart that led me to forgive my real father and accept the love of the most important Father. But did I constantly brood over my Bible or sit in pews with hypocrites? No, as time went on I did not. I chose to incorporate God into everything in my life. Not just on Sundays. Not just as a devotional time. Not just when I needed Him most. In this sense, I have a very real, very personal relationship with Jesus. He is my friend and my King all the same. So did William Paul Young commit blasphemy by publishing his portrayal of that very relationship he has with the Lord? I do not believe so, but then again I am not the Lord to judge.

With Blessings to keep an open heart but guarded mind.

User Gravatar
Tiffany said in February 25th, 2010 at 2:42 am


I BELIEVE your comment to be absolutely true.

User Gravatar
Timothy A Trautman said in July 8th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Don’t you DARE put The Shack and DaVinci Code in the same category.

User Gravatar
Shaun Tabatt said in July 10th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Wow! This is the first comment in some time on this particular comment thread. From my perspective, I would put The Shack in the same category as The Davinci Code. Both are works of fiction. Both present what I feel are misleading, anti-Biblical views of God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit. My major concern with books of this type is that readers let them influence their view of God, when these books should not be allowed to have that level of authority. As I’ve said before, in the midst of our Biblically illiterate culture, most operate in a theological vacuum and have to build their theology and worldview from somewhere. I feel it’s a shame if that vacuum is filled with the likes of The Shack and The Davinci Code rather than the Bible.

User Gravatar

[…] Continued Controversy over the Shack? – 1005 Page Views […]

User Gravatar
Mark Ketchum said in April 10th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I read the Shack before any of the controversy. I liked it and it helped me think about God in a different way… a good way… especially the comparison of the bird choosing to walk instead of fly to Jesus choosing to be limited as a natural man. I don’t think that Shaun and those who haven’t read the book have a leg to stand on in arguing against the book. I would say that no book replaces the Bible, but that this book leads nobody astray. I am reformed (mostly) and have a good foundation in a mature relationship with Christ and reading this book does not fill a vacuum but rather adds to a vast study of God and His Word via the Bible and other authors. If a Christian author writes that Christ only died for the elect and another author writes that Christ died for all of mankind… I don’t either one off because I believe they are wrong… maybe “we died” is wrong… but that is not the point of the book.

User Gravatar
Shaun Tabatt said in April 26th, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

User Gravatar
Al said in June 18th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I am about halfway through The Shack at this time, and I will reserve my review until after I’m done. One thing about this forum that I find interesting: Most of the negative comments are from people who haven’t even read the book!

User Gravatar
KT said in July 8th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Just finished the book. My story: a while back, I was walking the “independent” path from God and had been for a long time. (The Shack wrote about this very well.) Then at my darkest moment, I finally gave up and admitted to God that I needed Him. In an instant I was struck with a light and healed of my pain in such a miraculous way that I know I was touched by God. It absolutely proved to me God does exist and that we do have a personal relationship with Him. Amazing Grace. How exactly? Intellectually I don’t know – I just know we do through feeling and faith. As I’ve been on a journey of attempting to intelligently understand God to the depth that I now am able to feel Him – I realize that every time I read a story in the Bible, I understand it differently according to the phases in my life, according to my current experiences and ability to comprehend a deeper meaning. We can never intellectually know the full and true meaning and technical aspects of God. We are too human. We can feel His Love, and know the peace that comes from a personal relationship with Him. And we can patiently continue on our journey of discovery until the day everything will be revealed. The Shack expresses all of these things marvelously, and in a way that people can relate to. And yet, the Bible is the Truth – and we can hear from all the theologians about who has the exact right understanding as to what that Truth is… and then we can war about it if we want to. Or we can embrace it all and see this controversy as a great way to spark a meaningful conversation about the nuances and differences, and what did that really mean? and what does the Bible say about it? and what did God really intend? … which guess what – brings us closer in a relationship with each other and God. Why do some of you sound so fearful of a book? God is working His way into our hearts through many means. Thank you to those who raised the concerns out about what is really the Truth… I’ll keep that in mind and go back to the Bible for some reading and inspiration and knowledge… and meanwhile I will remember, enjoy and savor the personal connection I felt in that one instant God touched me (fact) – through The Shack – which strung out that instant through an entire weekend with Mack (fiction). Pretty cool the things that make us think, relate, feel and discover… and look to God for more answers.

User Gravatar
nina said in July 16th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

It amazes me how I know Christians who find harry potter and twilight acceptable. But I read the shack and I’m the one with the problem.

User Gravatar
Shaun Tabatt said in July 25th, 2011 at 9:05 am


I think Christians should be cautious with Harry Potter and Twilight as well. Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, the things we watch and read influence us. While I’m sure somebody has made an argument that this entertainment may be permissible, I don’t believe it’s edifying for the Christian.

User Gravatar
Shaun Tabatt said in July 25th, 2011 at 9:12 am

Thanks for sharing part of your story. I know that many can relate to Mack in the story, but I am still very cautious about The Shack as I’ve stated numerous times throughout this comment thread. In my opinion there are far better books out there. One fiction book I’d highly recommend on the Christian journey is Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Also, there are numerous Christian biographies that are beneficial reading as well. I especially like many of the biographies published by Christian Focus.

User Gravatar
Andrew M said in August 9th, 2011 at 3:34 pm


You previously wrote: ‘Most of the fiction I read is related to Biblical Archaeology or history. Other than that I read primarily non-fiction related to Biblical studies and non-fiction related to computers and networking.’

Why are you afraid of reading the book? Is it because it deals with the living and the now, rather than world of the old and the dead that you surround yourself with?

If it brings one person closer to God, whatever the issues you have with the dogma, then The Shack has succeeded. And from the many comments written by readers of the book, its success appears to be bountiful.

You wrote previously: ‘There seems to be a much wider acceptance of the book in the more Arminian and Open Theistic circles and much more caution expressed by those on the reformed and Calvinist side’.

A Christian is a Christian. Period. Forget man-made distinctions. Accept that the essential message of Jesus as depicted in the New Testament is one of Unconditional Love and Compassion, and you will understand underlying message of The Shack in it’s proper context. Accept that ‘religion’ is ultimately about your personal relationship with God and how you treat others, and has nothing to do with labels or dogma or theology. It is ultimately about humanity.

User Gravatar
Diana said in October 9th, 2011 at 11:15 am

I just finished reading The Shack and found it eye opening. I did not agree with the “we are one” thing; I believe God and Jesus are two separate entities of one mission/goal. The portrayal of God as a large black woman was clever and, I believe, meant to help us break free of the stiff dogma dictated to us by the religious leaders whose mission, in my opinion, is power and control. I have been told that the church has done more to stifle spiritual growth than to enhance and grow it. Without a certain level of spirituality mankind will not survive the events of the near future.

If anything, it gets you to think for yourself which is a very rare thing these days. God and Jesus are real, this planet and its people are in a whole heap of trouble. We should just strengthen our connection to Him while there is still time before the battle.

I don’t think the human mind can even conceive the kind of love that God and Jesus have for us but this book is an interesting start. Pick out the “pearls” of wisdom and disregard the rest.
Love and Light.