ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The "The Shack" controversy

Updated on December 10, 2015

My Review of "The Shack."

"The Shack" is really a wonderful read. The first 80 or so pages of "The Shack" read like a mystery novel. But then, the fun starts. On page 82 the main character of "The Shack" (Mac) is introduced to the three persons of the trinity, but in quite some odd forms--not at all what you you might expect God to look like (but the premise is that God can take on any form he wants). Then, the author of "The Shack," William P. Young, uses these odd personifications of God to present deep theological points. This is also where the controversy comes in. Some people say "The Shack" has hidden heresies--that it presents a wrong or distorted view of God and also of some theological issues. But, after all it is only a novel and it is actually a fantasy of the imagination--- if that's not giving too much away. If you don't like spoilers you may want to skip this next part, but when you get to the last chapter, you find that the whole thing was a product of a coma induced fantasy. You could conclude that God--the real God as you know Him-- introduced it into the character's mind, or simply that it was the result of the coma. If the latter, however, it would be hard to realize, as one reader points out, how he knew just where to find his daughter's body unless you say that either it was a chance coincidence or that the real God did intervene and put that detail into the fantasy. The whole thing leaves you with a bit of a question. But my question is about the author's intent. If he finished it as possibly being a coma induced fantasy, how would it be an attempt to deceive as some say? You'll have to judge that for yourself. My first impression after reading "The Shack" was that it's wonderful work of Christian fiction which uses fantasy to discuss theological concepts and present theological truth. But, having read what the others are saying (See below), Now, I'm not so sure. Thus I need your help. Please vote in the poll and feedback modules below. Thanks. By the way the quote in the first talk bubble below is mine my impression of the book in a nutshell). The second talk bubble contains a direct quote from Eugene Peterson.

Have you read "The Shack"?

See results

Deep theological discussions disguised as pleasent coverstaions with odd personifications of Diety.

Watch the "The Shack" trailer:

...has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his.

Also check out the following articles and video, pro and con:

First another article in support of the view of the above lense

Then an interview with the author of "The Shack" with comments pro and con.

Watch and listen to this interview with the "The Shack" author:

From "The Shack": "Just because you believe something firmly, dosen't make it true. Be willing to re-examine what you believe."

A book in defense of "The Shack"

Aware both of the excitement and uncertainty generated by The Shack, theologian Randal Rauser takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the pages of the story. He explains why God the Father is revealed as an African American woman, he defends the book’s theology of the Trinity against charges of heresy and he considers its provocative denial of a Trinitarian hierarchy. But at its heart The Shack is a response to evil and so Rauser spends the final three chapters considering the book’s explanation for why God allows evil, how the atoning work of Christ offers new hope for a suffering world and ultimately how this hope extends to all of creation.

Your Turn: What do you think?

Are there hidden heresies in "The Shack"?

See results

Your turn 2: - Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

What did you think?

Love it! Great read.

Love it! Great read.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      wonderful writing. cause one to give serious thought about his or her relationship with God. Love they way it identifies with the simplicity of our relationship with God and yet how we are too complex in our thoughts as well. Have been making recommendations since I read it.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      From a secular point of view, I felt inspired by the book. It helped me in my struggle with the concepts of recovering from tragedy, and forgiveness. Both of these are hard for me to understand or to do. The book helped me move up the ladder.

    Sorry, not my cup of tea.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • WinWriter 3 years ago

        I read parts of it in a bookstore. Not for me.

      • Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

        I read the book and really liked it, at first! But I felt it was presented as a true story, and in that sense was misleading. Everyone I knew who had read it was surprised when I told them it was fictitious. I wish the author had been a little more upfront about it being fiction.

      • Kay 4 years ago

        I've heard enough Christians that I really respect tell me how awful the book was that I have no desire to even read it.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        A dangerous book ,

      • peetred lm 5 years ago

        I really thought it was terrible. Not only was it riddled with fallacy, it wasn't very well written either. I think the only reason it is popular is because of it's fallacies. People are looking for something "different"

      Rate it, if you dare...

      On a scale of 1-8, what did you REALLY think?

      See results

      So, here it is, if you'd like to see for yourself:

      The "The Shack" controversy is listed In:

      Access By Faith and in the Christ Centered Web - Directory.

      Click to Rate This Article