- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Windblown; First Edition UK edition (17 July 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340979496
- ISBN-13: 978-0340979495
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1,776 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Shack Paperback – 17 Jul 2008
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'Brilliant! One of the most faith-enhancing books I have ever read' (Bear Grylls)
'Clearly the book is speaking loud and clear to a lot of people' (The Independent)
Bunyanesque ... bold, imaginative, humane and funny. (Church Times)
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)
'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)
'By far the most captivating, deliciously written and theologically refreshing page turner of a novel I have ever read.' (Gerald Coates, Pioneer)
'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)
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)
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)
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)
The powerful bestselling novel of how a grief-stricken man's encounter with God changes his life forever.See all Product description
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When Mack gets a note from papa to go to the shack where his daughter went missing, he doesn’t believe it is from God. Despite his anxiety he still goes and meets the trinity. We know Jesus was male and Jewish, because he lived, but to define God as one particular race or gender is to put him in a box of our own making. This will undoubtedly be a challenge to Christians, but not such a problem to unbelievers. There is also a strong relationship between the trinity which is demonstrated when they sit down to eat with Mack. As Mack point out they do not need to eat, but they do it for the joy of being with him. This is one of the main themes of the book, love, joy and relationship.
His time spent at the shack will challenge his view of the trinity and change his view of hardship, injustice and forgiveness. ‘Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgement, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis of identity and value.’ Mack asks the father if he is ever disappointed to which he replies never, as he already knows what is going to happen so has no unrealistic expectations. Papa’s continuing mantra throughout the book is that he is ‘especially fond of him.’ This causes Mack to ask the question was there anyone he wasn’t especially fond of, to which papa replies no he can’t think of anyone.
Jesus is male and Jewish and can be portrayed as nothing else, as he is a historical figure. That he works with wood is again no real revelation as we know from history that he was a carpenter. The theological basis in the middle of the book is very profound in places, but such explanation does slow the pace. Mack asks Jesus ‘Does that mean all roads will lead to you?’ to which Jesus replies, ‘not at all. Most roads don’t lead anywhere.’ This is one example of the humour found throughout the book, despite the tragic circumstances of Mack’s life.
The Holy Spirit is both caretaker and gardener. Creating beautiful blooms, but also clearing the land where necessary. Mack comments on the garden being a bit of a mess, overgrown and the spirit says that is because it is his life. The three take him on a journey to show him the world as they see it. By touching Mack’s eyes the spirit reveals the world in a different light giving him the opportunity and capacity to be reconciled to his estranged father. This is perhaps the weakest bit of the book, because there is a sense of by just meeting his father he is able to forgive him. Up to this point the book has asked a lot of hard questions around justice and fairness and perhaps the ground has already been prepared for this reconciliation.
The ending is both satisfying and challenging. It is hard to read this book without a sense of awe, wonder and a box of tissues. The film interpretation is equally as good, if not quite as deep as the book.
There were a couple of things that have particularly stood out in my mind... I thought the way of introducing the serpent to Adam before the Fall certainly reminded me of ways that I have turned away from God at times in my life - not due to sin, not due to anything actually happening e.g. just by worrying about what *could* happen - through just looking inward to myself and not looking outward to Him/Them, and not renewing my mind in who He is/They are. The second one is the mirror. I know what it feels like to look in a mirror such as Lilly does and see what she saw in my reflection. I now, however, see myself as God sees me, too.
This book has challenged me intellectually, has got me speaking to God about creation in a whole new way, and also has shown me (on a level I had previously not experienced) how much I am LOVED by God. It also touched pieces of my heart and mind that have been bruised and broken and reminded me I have a Healer who will restore me if I return to Him.
Were some parts a bit confusing? Yes... but I was reading it a bit quick!! But it will mean that when I go back... there will be delights that I will read that I missed this time... and I am looking forward to it!
Life changing book: I love that God who is called "Papa" is so approachable and full of love and grace and forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit is a joy to read about and behold, and Jesus is your everyday Carpenter but full of wisdom, and has a great sense of humour too whilst gently teaching us his ways and how each and every one of us can help each other on our journey in this world.
I have ordered numerous copies of the book to complement the Shack DVD., and personally thank Amazon Prime for keeping up with the deliveries, as fast as I get new copies, they are snapped up in my chapel and within my friends, thirsty to know more about a gentle and kind God full of love, grace and forgiveness. I have personally taken this book everywhere I go when I am on holiday, also its beside my bed, as I like to dip into it if I am feeling stressed with life stuff, it always helps me to see the joy of God's love and that we are never alone, and once more I have a spring in my step metaphorically. This book changed my life two years ago, let it change yours. Love and blessings.... Ava..
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