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The Shack
 
 

The Shack [Kindle Edition]

William P. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (909 customer reviews)

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Review

'Brilliant! One of the most faith-enhancing books I have ever read'

(Bear Grylls 20080929)

'Clearly the book is speaking loud and clear to a lot of people'

(The Independent 20080719)

'Bunyanesque ... bold, imaginative, humane and funny.' (Church Times 20081125)

'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 20081125)

'This is the most heart-warming, inspirational story I have read in decades. If you only read one book in the next year....read THE SHACK' (J.John 20080727)

'By far the most captivating, deliciously written and theologically refreshing page turner of a novel I have ever read.'

(Gerald Coates, Pioneer 20080911)

'Dangerous, dangerous way to do off-the-hook theology, I love it! It's not just what happens when a theologian becomes storyteller: this is what happens when a survivor who has experienced God decides to tell a story. This should be required reading in spirituality/theodicy classes everywhere. The Shack will quickly become a modern classic, and it will inspire imitators. But very few will match the competence of this work.'

(Siku 20081001)

'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, Recording Artist 20081001)

'This story reads like a prayer - like the best kind of prayer, filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it.' (Mike Morrell, Zoecarnate.com 20081001)

'Reading THE SHACK during a very difficult transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my soul.' (Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist 20081001)

Review

'Brilliant! One of the most faith-enhancing books I have ever read' -- Bear Grylls 20080929 'Clearly the book is speaking loud and clear to a lot of people' -- The Independent 20080719 'Bunyanesque ... bold, imaginative, humane and funny.' -- Church Times 20081125 '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 20081125 'This is the most heart-warming, inspirational story I have read in decades. If you only read one book in the next year...read THE SHACK' -- J.John 20080727 'By far the most captivating, deliciously written and theologically refreshing page turner of a novel I have ever read.' -- Gerald Coates, Pioneer 20080911 'Dangerous, dangerous way to do off-the-hook theology, I love it! It's not just what happens when a theologian becomes storyteller: this is what happens when a survivor who has experienced God decides to tell a story. This should be required reading in spirituality/theodicy classes everywhere. The Shack will quickly become a modern classic, and it will inspire imitators. But very few will match the competence of this work.' -- Siku 20081001 '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, Recording Artist 20081001 'This story reads like a prayer - like the best kind of prayer, filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it.' -- Mike Morrell, Zoecarnate.com 20081001 'Reading THE SHACK during a very difficult transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my soul.' -- Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist 20081001

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
244 of 274 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIction - not systematic Theolgy 3 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
It is a controversial book in a lot of ways, particularly in its depiction of God the Father appearing to Mack (the central character) as a black African-American woman.

"The Shack" is endorsed by leading evangelicals, including Eugene Peterson (The Message) and Michael W. Smith from the USA and the evangelist J. John in the UK. Equally, it has been derided as Heresy by others, including Mark Driscoll (Mars HILL Church, Seattle) who I count amongst my Christian heroes.

What did I think of it? Well, at the risk of offending somebody - here goes....

Without giving the whole story away, the plot follows Mack, whose daugther Missy is abducted and murdered. For the following few years Mack is enveloped by "The Great Sadness." One cold winters morning he receives a letter from God inviting him back to the shack where his daughter is believed to have been murdered, though her body was never found. At the shack, Mack meets God - Father Son and Holy Spirit, and over the course of a weekend, his encounter with them transforms his life.

First - lets get the difficult and dodgy stuff out of the way. I found the depiction of the Father (Papa) as a black woman more than difficult to deal with. The first person of the Trinity is depicted throughout Scripture as a Father. In "The Shack", God explains that He is Spirit, and that any depiction of Him in human terms is purely for our benefit. In Scripture, there are ocassions where God shows clear 'feminine' characteristics, such as Jesus using the image of a mother Hen protecting her chicks, and defining his heart for Jerusalem in that picture. In the Old Testament, God is depicted as a mother desiring to breast feed and nourish her children. In Creation we read that God created Male and Female in His image.
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288 of 326 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Meynell TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How on earth do you articulate what it is like to know God? I'm not just referring to knowledge about God - but knowledge of God. And I mean, really articulate it? Preachers are quick to remind us it's all about relationship not religion, and rightly so. But what does that actually mean? We all know what we think it means, but what about in practice, in reality, in everyday life?

One problem is that God is God. That sounds dumb, but it's one of the great Godness things about God that he is beyond us, beyond the finite. But because we are not, everything we say about him is going to be limited to some degree by our human limitations - we are finite creatures whose very language is confined by our existence, not his. We simply do not have the words to encompass an infinite God, let alone describe the experience of knowing him. But that does not mean our words are pointless or empty. They can still paint pictures and evoke reality.

Of course, our predicament is transformed when God himself gives us the vocabulary. He alone can bridge the chasm between the infinite and finite. And that is what the Bible essentially is. He speaks in words that are both intelligible to us and that articulate divine reality; and the glory of the Incarnation is that God does this to perfection. By accommodating himself to our level, Christ made the invisible visible, the remote tangible and the infinite finite. So when we relate to human friends, we have intimations of our relationship with our divine friend.

And that I think is partly what's going on in William Young's THE SHACK. This book brings this divine relationship into breathtakingly vivid reality by bringing God the Trinity right down to earth in human relationships.
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136 of 154 people found the following review helpful
By Joanne
Format:Paperback
I would normally stay far away from 'Christian fiction' genre. A friend lent me this book so I read it. It is incredible.

The story is simple Mack's young daughter is abducted and killed on a family camping trip. Obviously this changes his life and makes him very bitter to God. The book is about a weekend Mack spends with God at the invitation of God at the place where his daughter was killed. It seems a really risky subject matter particularly as fiction. The conversations between God in his three persons and Mack which form the main part of the book are hugely thought provoking and unsurprisingly rather moving.

I found a sense of understanding about some issues that have been doubts in my faith. The overwhelming message is about how incredibly God loves every one of his children - people of faith and no faith. It certainly blows away a lot of the way 'religion' is seen and I found that hugely refreshing.

As soon as I finished reading it I started reading certain sections all over again.

For the reviewer who suspects a conspiracy because the other reviewers who gave a 5* hadn't reviewed anything else - I have, if that somehow makes any difference to my opinion.

I don't know how a reader of other faiths or no faiths would find the book - I suspect fairly irritating, although I feel still a lot could be taken away from it.
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91 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depends on Your Worldview 25 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
Anyone who has not read the book and is considering buying it is probably going to be confused by the vast variation in the reviews (although as there are so many, it shows it generates strong opinion one way or the other).

There are I think two very different types of people who are not going to be able to relate to the book at all. Firstly those who are so atheistic that they find any references to God existing totally abhorrent will hate it (not a book for the fans of Richard Dawkins!). Secondly those whose form of christianity is rigidly fixed in a dogmatic religious framework of white skinned blue eyed Jesus and vengeful angry God will probably equally hate it.

If you are not either of those but someone who is open minded enough to read a book about God even if you do not believe in Him or alternatively a Christian who is prepared to be open minded rather than dogmatic in your view of the Trinity, then you will probably enjoy the book.

Despite what some reviewers have said, the book succeeds well enough as a novel. Whilst you may guess some of what is coming, much is not at all obvious until you read it. (I recommend by the way that you read the Foreward ar the end and not at the beginning - start at page 15 instead.)

It is in the theological areas of pain, suffering, evil and forgiveness that the book has most to offer. Although I consider myself a mature Christian with a good insight into such matters, I still found the book thoughtful and useful for reflection on these issues. If you have never really got to grips with these difficult areas, this book will be even more useful.

The book is now really cheap so if you are in any doubt, buy it anyway and read it. You cannot lose much and it may well prove to do much more for you than you thought!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip into the Unknown
An interesting and thought provoking book. One man's personal view but it contained I think what many people would like to believe.
Published 6 days ago by annette wood
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOK
A VERY GREAT THOUGHT PROVOKING BOOK. WAS GIVEN TO ME BY A FRIEND, COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I THINK ITS A BOOK THAT YOU NEED TO READ NOT ONCE BUT MANY TIMES
Published 9 days ago by Mary
1.0 out of 5 stars Thought it was going to be a good crime story and dealing with...
Reading the back description, I thought this was going to be a good crime story that dealt with a father's struggle after his daughter's disappearance. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Miss Sarah R. Jewell
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shack by Wm Paul Young
Very good book to open understandng when one is ready. Very shocking for some people, but I consider it a very good book. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Ruth Horn
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent read
Very thought provoking. Lots of philosophy questions and answers. Would recommend to devoted people and agnostics too. An interesting view on life.
Published 19 days ago by Mrs. A. W. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Let yourself believe...
I read this book after a friend lent it to me, urging me to give it a go. To be honest, I wasn't that interested and it took me months to get round to picking it up. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Sharon Booth
5.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY GOOD READ
I WAS LOANED A COPY OF THIS WHILE IN HOSPITAL. IT WAS WONDERFUL. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. WHEN I WAS DISCHARGED I JUST HAD TO HAVE MY OWN COPY AND ORDERED IT FROM AMAZON AND OF... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Ms. Sybil Walton
4.0 out of 5 stars a living experience of theTrinity
Very moving. I believe in spiritual experieces. Whether it happened in reality or not it changed Mack forever.Worth recommending to friends
Published 23 days ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars IS THIS TRUE?
This audio book is one that everyone should hear at least once during they're life!
I found it to be exciting and life changing, it has a wonderful story line that grips the... Read more
Published 24 days ago by diana dawn cronin
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Really profound thinking - impressed with the story, very moving and has changed my view of a distant uninterested God.
Published 25 days ago by Norma Rooke
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Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me. &quote;
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You must give up your right to decide what is good and evil on your own terms. That is a hard pill to swallow; choosing to only live in me. To do that you must know me enough to trust me and learn to rest in my inherent goodness. &quote;
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I am Light and I am Good. I am Love and there is no darkness in me. Light and Good actually exist. So, removing yourself from me will plunge you into darkness. Declaring independence will result in evil because apart from me, you can only draw upon yourself. That is death because you have separated yourself from me: Life. &quote;
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