A while back I posted some links to reviews and interviews concerning the best-selling but controversial novel The Shack. My intention in posting these links about The Shack is neither to defend nor discredit the book, but rather provide my readers with resources that will help inform them about what has become an important book in pop culture. The Shack has stirred much discussion about both the nature of God and human suffering, so I think its helpful to encourage folks to become educated about the book and its author. (See more of my personal comments below.)
I’ve recently come across a couple more intriguing reviews and thought I’d share them with you:
In this post, The Scriptorium offers a variety of perspectives on The Shack from five “fictional” reviewers.
The Gospel-Driven Blog offers an interesting perspective from someone who knows The Shack‘s author and his thinking well: Dr. James B. DeYoung, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary (Portland Campus). In his review, Dr. DeYoung claims that William P. Young once embraced universalism, but has since disavowed those beliefs. DeYoung further claims the novel was once riddled with universalism, then was re-edited to remove the universalism, but still has traces of it left behind. Read his entire review and see what you think. You can find the review here and links to an interview with Dr. DeYoung here.
A commenter recently expressed his hesitation to read the book and asked me what I thought of it. Here’s what I said:
I would suggest you read it and see what you think. It’s a pretty quick read. For me personally, I appreciated the story of a man who suffered deeply and wrestled with God as a result. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions about God, but Job wasn’t always thinking correctly about God in the midst of his pain either. [I would add, also, that we’re certainly willing to read non-Christian works, fiction and non, about human suffering and God and let them challenge our thinking and drive us back to the Word of God for clarity. We can let The Shack do the same] Also, this is not fiction on the level of C. S. Lewis or Gordon MacDonald or others, so lower your expectations. Enjoy the story and appreciate the questions he raises about reconciling a loving God with human suffering, but be discerning about what the story teaches about God. Being the reader you are, I’d love to see you review the book on your blog.