Review: The Shack – My Thoughts

The ShackThere are two types of people in this world. The people who loved The Shack and the people who hated The Shack. The Shack was written by William Paul Young and is available from Amazon for 8.99$.

I read this book a few months ago and had planned on writing a review but never got around to it. A couple days ago I was thinking about how I wanted to review this book when a friend of mine on Facebook linked to a video of Mark Driscoll’s negative review of this book. His post led to a very lengthy conversation that fueled my desire to write my thoughts about this book and write about the reviews that I have read about this book.

First, I would like to talk about my personal experiences with this book. As I said, I read The Shack a few months ago and thought it was a fairly decent read. The Shack is about an average church-goer named Mack and a horrible tragedy he goes through, referred to as the “great sadness.” Mack receives a letter from “Papa” (a name his wife used for God) asking Mack to meet him at the shack – where a pivotal part of Mack’s great sadness took place. At first Mack thought it was a cruel joke, but eventually convinced himself to go and see what it was all about. This is where Mack experienced the Triune God. To be honest, I was not too impressed with the writing style. I found myself bored and disconnected during some points of the book. At the same time, I also felt sympathy for  Mack and his great sadness. I was really interested in understanding what Young was trying to say about God and God’s relationship to mankind. I do not believe Young changed my views about who and what God is, in fact, I found myself agreeing with Young because I already believed most of what he was writing. At the same time, a lot of my views would probably be considered unorthodox, although I would say they are completely Scriptural. There are many traditional Christians in the world who would find Young’s views completely heretical (and some already have). Let me just say that I would recommend this book to anyone who does not mind having their beliefs challenged, whether they are Christian or not. I think this book would be extremely helpful to those who have gone through a great tragedy in their lives. Especially in seeing how God might be working in the background of those tragedies.

In my next few posts I am going to discuss the negative reviews that I’ve read about this book. They all usually stem around the same topics, so I am going to use Challies’ review as my primary source. In my opinion it is the most thorough and touches on all the topics that every other negative review touches on – kudos to him, right? Challies breaks up his review into four main sections: Subversion; Revelation; Salvation; and Trinity — so I will base my posts on these sections and will write a final post with concluding remarks about The Shack.

Table of Contents:

  1. My Thoughts
  2. Subversion
  3. Revelation
  4. Salvation
  5. Trinity
  6. Conclusion


  1. Heather says

    Looking forward to this series of posts!!

  2. No, the series is not long or boring. But, I am looking forward to any replies that you get.


  3. No fair Alan – you’ve had a sneak peak :).

  4. Brandon says

    maybe we can get a sneak preview when you come over next weekend?!?!? :-)

  5. Actually, they’re all scheduled to be posted by Friday (one a day). So you won’t need a sneak peak…


  6. you forgot about the third type of person in the world…those who never read The Shack

    • Well, there are people who never read The Shack but still hate it… so the lines are blurry :)


  7. Debbie Kaufman says

    Ha ha. I’m laughing at the last comment. Good post and I too am looking forward to the rest having read the next one before this one, I’m going a little backwards.

  8. Debbie,

    Thanks, glad you got a laugh out of that one :) and I go backwards all the time.