I read this about 10 days ago, in just under 4 hours.
First up, someone else’s review:
From Tim Challies review of the Shack:
(A PDF, 17 pages, but worth the read)
A shorter version here.
Focusing on just three of the subjects (salvation, trinity and revelation) William Young discusses in The Shack, we’ve seen that errors abound. He presents a false view of God and one that may well be described as heretical.
He downplays the importance and uniqueness of the Bible, subjugating it or making it equal to other forms of subjective revelation. He misrepresents redemption and salvation, opening the door to the possibility of salvation outside of the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
We are left with an unbiblical understanding of the persons and nature of God and of His work in this world.
But this is not all. The discerning reader will note as well that the author muddies the concepts of forgiveness and free will. He introduces teaching that is entirely foreign to the Bible, often stating with certainty what is merely speculative.
He oversteps the bounds of Scripture while downplaying the Bible’s importance. He relies too little on Scripture and too much on his own theological imaginings.
All this is not to say there is nothing of value in the book.
However, it is undeniable to the reader who will look to the Bible, that there is a great deal of error within The Shack. There is too much error.
That The Shack is a dangerous book should be obvious from this review. The book’s subversive undertones seek to dismantle many aspects of the faith and these are subsequently replaced with doctrine that is just plain wrong.
Error abounds. I urge you, the reader, to exercise care in reading and distributing this book. The Shack may be an engaging read but it is one that contains far too much error.
Read it only with the utmost care and concern, critically evaluating the book against the unchanging standard of Scripture. Caveat lector!
Nicole reviewed it and I love her review, read it here, it’s really good.
This website is just people discussing the book, but I’m sure the comments are good.
Stuff Christians Like reviewed it. David, a commenter wrote “so the question for me is, does this book’s emotional/relational meaning outweigh the theological troubles?”
Another pdf I just found, a new theory has been formed: Christian Universalism. Read it here, from this site. (if you don’t read any other site, read this one)
At Insight for Living
Most of the reviews I have read on the World Wide Web are positive or at least lukewarm, but the comments from said reviews are doing wonders in drawing people back to the truths of Scripture.
What I’m a bit dismayed about is the Missy Project.
I, at first, thought it was some sort of ministry to help abducted children. Alas, it is not. It is shameful self-promotion. (I am curious to know if the author is donating some or all of his book proceeds)
I originally didn’t want to read the book, but friends have read and raved about it, so…
My mind still needs to time to wrap around it and am looking to sit and chat about all the post-it notes tagged in the book with another believer who just read it.
Fast forward to today:
Ok, I’m finally getting around to putting into words musings about this book.
I could go into every chapter and tell you where I think the doctrine is wrong, way wrong. As you can see from the picture I have tagged doctrine or theology talked about in this book.
(DM, if you would like to discuss the book in greater detail, I can bring it with me in Sept.)
So for people who say “What’s the big deal, it’s just fiction”. I disagree. When you mix theology with fiction it can get sticky.
I liked the book, I read it in 1 evening, liked the overall story. The author knows how to set up a story and run with it, to tug at heartstrings and keep you reading. I even have no qualms about the author describing the trinity the way he did. For crying out loud, it’s his book, so let him describe the characters the way he wants. I actually feel a bit guilty I liked it so much 😉
The author has the liberty to say what he said and believe what he believes and to write it in a book.
To promote the book or to read the book ‘as gospel’. Wrong. To say it’s the next ‘Pilgrims Progress’. Wrong.
From the reference above by Challies: The book is a dangerous book. I say the book is only dangerous IF:
1. It’s the only book you ever read about God (because its not about the God of the bible)
2. The god of this book is the only god you believe in. (this book is not the gospel, please read the gospel)
Of course that is just my humble opinion.
L. and I were trying to figure out how to ‘label’ the theology in the book and when I looked up Christian Universalism, it hit us, that’s it, perfectly. Does the author subscribe to this theology? I don’t know.
But the theology in this book is very Arminian/Christian universalism.
I believe Arminianism and universalism takes away from the sovereignty of God. It places control in mans hands, not Gods, like God is our little puppet to control and grant us our wishes. That whatever we do in life (free will) then God can swoop in and clean it up, make it right/good. With His only attribute being His love.
The author leaves out attributes of God that are important to His character. He is Lord, Master, Father, King, God to us. He should be portrayed as such when we are talking about Him. The word respect pops up in my head. We don’t respect God. And I’m ashamed of that.
The Home Engineer