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"The Shack" Book Challenges How We View God

Updated on March 24, 2009

This Book Will Challenge & Encourage You!

The book called "The Shack" was written a couple years ago by William Paul Young.  I read this book and have many good things to say about it.  This book challenged my viewpoint of God and helped me see Him in new, incredible, and holy ways!  What a wonderful reminder of God's amazingly good character, His great love and mercy!  The main character was restored into an intimate, loving, knowledgeable relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ, and I felt like it had that same effect on me as well!

The story begins quickly and thrusts you into the life of a very common man, Mackenzie ("Mack").  Mack is a middle-aged, hard-working man who lives with what the book calls "The Great Sadness".  This Great Sadness occured a few years back, when Mack's youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted & murdered at a family camping trip (taken practically from right under Mack's nose). 

The book describes the intense police search for the missing daughter, and details how Mack's life essentially fell apart because of the tragedy.  He is a man who blames God for letting Missy get taken & killed, and does not trust Him to be capable of providing for or loving any human beings.  This great sadness, plus Mack's fear, confusion, and hatred of the Lord causes him to live in a numb, dejected state of mind.  Life has lost its meaning for Mack, and he simply goes through the motions of living. 

Then, something miraculous and terrifying happens.  Mack receives a letter from someone who calls himself "Papa," and asks to meet up with Mack at the Shack, the very place where his daughter's remains were found, in a remote part of the wilderness.  Despite the possibility that it could be some horrible, cruel joke, or could be the killer's way of luring Mack himself out into the wilderness, Mack decides that the note may, in fact, be from God Himself, and decides to take a weekend trip to the Shack. 

The rest of the story takes place at this "shack", and is where God Himself meets, talks, discusses, cries, and laughs with Mack (throughout the course of one weekend).

The way the author presents the Trinity (God the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) is extremely unique and unlike anything I have ever encountered in Christian literature before.  I really appreciated the author's views of God's physical image, personality, sense of humor, intelligence, and character.  The author uses intelligent and simple conversations to teach Mack (and us) the Truth about God's character, thoughts, and purposes for our lives.  

I hope that this book will appeal to skeptics, believers, people who are questioning, unbelieving, or doubting.  Please pick up this book and read it for yourself, no matter what you believe or think about God and Christianity.  It will be very eye-opening!  

I thought that some parts of the book were sort of slow, but I also think that it gets better as you go.  The conversations with God get more & more complex and deep as you go, which I really enjoyed.  You won't be disappointed!

Check out the book's main website at to find out for yourself!  I pray that it touches & enlightens you as it did me!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The book was phenomenal and highly recommended it to everyone and anyone who wants to learn more about Papa

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I've juust finished reading this book that i have had for almost a year. It was a very touching story, but I just don't understand it much. I pray that Papa will enlighten me, and show me my path in my life. I've always felt that I'm not smart enough to get it. I feel lost most of the time.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      I've heard a lot about this book. I've got to give in and read it.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      I've read the book and I agree, it's amazing! The conversations are funny, thoughtful and touching. As you say, an incredible read no matter what your beliefs are.

    • Rik Ravado profile image

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      Helpful review - I've meant to find out more about The Shack - Must pick up a copy - thanks!


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