“The Shack” Review

Most of you know that I LOVE to read and though my time is limited with a 1 yr old, I still make time, though not as much. I’ve decided to throw in a few book reviews of books that I think are worthy. I will try not to spoil any plots in the process for those of you who decide to read the book. If you’ve read the book or have some thoughts on it, I’d love to hear them.

A few days ago one of my BFF’s recommended that I read the book, The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. That night, I begged my husband to stop at Sam’s to pick up the book. (I HATE paying full price for books.) Though it was sub-zero temps outside, he did! (This is a man that truly understands my love for books-have you seen his stash??!) He didn’t even make me get out of the car as he went inside and got it for me! Yes, you can probably get it at the library, but I’m guessing that there’s a huge waiting list at our library right now and I didn’t want to wait!

I LOVED IT! The book dives right in with the daughter being kidnapped in the first chapter while Mack (the father) was saving his other daughter from drowning. Then ensues The Great Sadness which weighed heavily upon Mack for many years. His life changed when he receives a note from “Papa” asking him to meet him at the shack where his daughter was presumably killed. Mack has to make the decision whether ignore the letter, go and see if the letter is from the killer, God or some sicko just messing with him. He obviously goes and meets God (Papa), Jesus, and Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) where his life changes forever.

Just when you think you’re about to the end of the book and the author has wrapped up the storyline in a tidy little bow, BANG! Surprise! It’s a, “What?! Where in the world did THAT come from?” moment! You will find yourself counting the pages thinking that there is just not enough pages to cover the rest of the story line, but it does. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book in a place you are uncomfortable crying. There are spots in this book that even people who don’t cry may need to grab the kleenex.

Mack’s life changes forever in the book, but yours just might, too. There are many messages throughout the book that relate to modern-day, real life. The book addresses the problem of evil, forgiveness, trust, blame, and other issues Christians struggle with in a way that is comforting, explanatory, and logical. Let me just say that if you are a hard-core Calvinist, this is NOT the book for you. Or, maybe it is. Maybe you’ll open your eyes to a new way of thinking or some new thoughts. You never know. The book can be very freeing as well as confrontational. Sometimes it takes courage to read books that you know may change you as change can be hard work and take serious thought. It’s worth it.

Did I agree with ALL of the theology? No. It’s rare that I do though! But, for the most part, it’s great. It gives a more compassionate, loving view of God rather than the harsh, angry God we sometimes bring with us from the Old Testament. I think changing that view to an all-loving, always working in our best interest God is paramount and more accurate. It focuses on having a relationship with God rather than religion. In my view, the main emphasis is on how much God loves us, each individually. Remember, God is especially fond of you!

Let me know your thoughts. Have you read it? Will you read it? Did it change you?

There’s a book discussion at Bethel University on Feb. 23 on this book. If you would like more information, let me know.

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