Book Review: The Shack

I just finished reading The Shack by William P. Young. I’m not sure where to start in writing about this book. I guess I’ll start by saying that I’ve never cried so much during a book. I found myself almost constantly fighting back tears while reading this book especially the whole second half of it.

When I started reading The Shack I was on an airplane nearing Prague, I felt excited and joyful. I read the foreword and the first chapter of the book and knew right away that I couldn’t continue. I was getting choked up already.

I picked it up again about 2 days ago and continued reading knowing a little more of what I was getting into this time. This second time I picked it up I really struggled with it. The writing style felt a little clunking (which is understandable since this is the authors first book), but really the sometimes awkwardness of the writing just added to the rawness of the story. It felt painful to read – the hurt was so raw and real. Then God showed up and I could feel myself really fighting the picture of intimate love that the author used to portray God – I found myself asking what about justice? What about wrath? What about holiness? And otherness? And an appropriate distance between the God who is other and sinful creation? But, slowly I was drawn in… I was touched and moved, often to tears, at the picture of God I saw here.

I am still processing this book. I’m not really sure what I thought of some parts of it, but I know that overall it really touched me. I would be very curious to know what others thought of this book. If you’ve read it please feel free to tell me about your thoughts on it and your experience with it in the comments.

Rejoicing in the journey - Beth Stedman

A lot of other people are writing about this book. Here are a few other reviews of the book that you might find interesting:

Here is a review about the Shack which I thought made some great points and raised some good concerns.

Mark Peterson wrote his thoughts on The Shack here and here.

There's a review on Promomusings here with a lot of interesting comments as well.

Andrew Jones writes his thoughts about the book here.