Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
CAJ 7:2 (Fall 2008) p. 83
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity. William P. Young. Wind Blown Media, 2007. 264pp. $24.99. ISBN 978–0-9647292–4-7.
Eugene Peterson is captivated by The Shack and says it “has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!” Emmy Award Winning Producer of ABC Patrick M. Roddy declares that “it is a one of a kind invitation to journey to the very heart of God. Through my tears and cheers, I have been indeed transformed by the tender mercy with which William Paul Young opened the veil that too often separated me from God and from myself. With every page, the complicated do’s and don’ts that distort a relationship into a religion were washed away as I understood Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for the first time in my life.” People from all walks of life are raving about this book by unknown author “Willie” Young, son of a pastor/missionary, and born in Canada. He is a graduate of Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.
The Shack falls into the category of Christian fiction, an area which seems to be on the rise in the contemporary Christian culture, mainly because it communicates a message in a casual, easy-read, non-abra-
CAJ 7:2 (Fall 2008) p. 84
sive manner. From his personal testimony, Young attempts to answer some of life’s biggest questions: Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is the Trinity? What is salvation? Is Jesus the only way to Heaven? If God, then why evil? What happens after I die?
In the final section of the book titled “The Story behind THE SHACK,” he reveals that the motivation for this story comes from his own struggle to answer many of the difficult questions of life. He claims that his seminary training just did not seem to provide some of these answers. Then one day in 2005, he felt God whisper in his ear that this year was going to be his year of Jubilee and restoration. Out of that experience he felt lead to write The Shack. According to Young, much of the book was formed around personal conversations he had with God, family, and friends (258–259). He tells the readers that the main character “Mack” is not a real person, but a fictional character used to communicate the message in the book. However, he admits that his children would “recognize that Mack is mostly me, that Nan is a lot like Kim, that Missy and Kate and the other characters often resemble our family members and friends” (259).
The story centers around a note that Mack, the husband and father in the story, received from Papa, who is suppose to be God the Father. It reads, “Mackenzie, It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next week...
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