The Shack The Shack question


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What is your impression of The Shack, by W. Paul Young
Leslie Duncan Leslie Oct 21, 2012 11:08AM
I read The Shack, by W. Paul Young, when it came out, but until this day, it still haunts me because of how abstract the story goes. I know writers for centuries especially the biblical times and greek mythology stretch the imagination of the readers but I'm still struggling to pull it altogether. Was Mr. Young diliberately trying to achieve this unusual characterization and imagery like we see in the Bible and other such writing.



The Shack made the Trinity life-like and thought provoking. Any book that gives a fresh perspective has to be considered a must read.


First of all, you have to tell yourself that this book is fiction. The author is not saying that it really happened. My husband and I just finished reading 'The Shack'. I read it in one day; I could barely put it down.

This book is not about accepting Christ; it is about forgiveness. My husband commented to me (he read it first) that everyone needs to have the experience the main character encounters. I am in agreement after finishing the book. We are not wanting everyone to experience the tragedy that brought forth the experience; just to have a one-on-one [or should I say, Three-in-One ] relationship with God. The author depicted the sex of his characters according to their persona in the story; but most importantly, the way the main character would have best related to Christ, due to what he experienced growing up.

Many are saying the book is out of context with Biblical principles. You need to read it just to experience what the character experienced. Read it just as you would any other book. Don't expect anything; just read it.

I have someone who is very important in my life and plan on purchasing this book for them. I truly feel it may bring the healing into their life that they so need.

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Tammy It may be interesting for me to go back and read this book again. I read it when a friend gave it to me during a time of great loss, in hopes I'm sure ...more
Jan 21, 2015 01:57PM

I read this book twice. The second time was for a book study at church. In our discussions, I found it interesting to hear different impressions of why God was portrayed as a black woman. As someone else mentioned, it because of the man's childhood experiences with men. He needed for God to come to him in a nurturing, compassionate form. We all agreed that this was part of who God is and that he is able to "meet" you wherever you are on your faith journey and then guide you from there. I found this to be one of the main themes of the book and I loved it! It is a novel and I am, in no way, saying that God changes form to accommodate us!


It is, in my opinion, a lazy post-modern vision of God and the Godhead. I also find it very telling that it became a bestseller (I read a borrowed copy). Bizarre, indeed.


Definitely thinking Outside the Box, but an amazing insight into the character of God and the nature of forgiveness.


I loved the book...it took me a long time to read as I found my self re-reading a lot of it. It had some eye opening ideas that took me some time to ponder and grasp. I need to read again and this time it would be more enjoyable!


I loved The Shack. It made me think of things that seem minute in every detail but in life is truly just part of the universe. Forgiving and believing is the same as saying Truth, hope and Love, and love being the greatest of the three. I know that I am a better person for reading this book.


I've read this book twice, and the first time, it made my mind stretch and open to possibilities I had not truly considered. However, keep in mind it is a work of "fiction" and the author wrote a very intriguing story. My second read was more enjoyable and I gained more from the messages that are interspersed throughout the book.


There is a 1-hour testimony given by Paul Young that is on the internet. Every time I recommend this book to others, I also show them the video because his testimony explains a lot about meanings within the book that people have trouble with. Very profound.


Good story/imagery, average writing.


I loved this book. I read it through in one night shortly after my daughter's adoption was finalized. I know this sounds like a strange time to read a book like The Shack, but I was dealing with a lot of grief over the loss of 4 pregnancies. I longed to get past the grief enough to celebrate the amazing life of my daughter that God had just blessed us with. These concepts of forgiveness were so important to me to transition from grief to joy.


This book was nothing that I expected it to be, now it is on of my favorites and I encourage more people to read it. It might be fake but the store is awesome.


Fun to read fiction, and I liked the concept, however hard to grasp they are. The "theologies" presented in this book is appealing, but I thought that at some point the author drew a "personal God", and some of the conversations could become confusing. As a christian, I'm pretty concerned with some people who might get confused with all the stuffs they talked here. It's not a bad book, not great either. But I really liked the Trinity and relationship explanation. They were good explanations.


I thought the imagery and fictional story brilliantly communicated the personalness of God. Especially His help in forgiveness. He walks us through the path of forgiving others and ourselves before the personal Jesus Christ.


I really enjoyed reading the book. I'm working hard to be open-minded and forgiving of hurts. I'm also interested in seeing how others view spiritual beings and life. It is amazing how much more I grow in understanding of people and diversity when I'm open to other's perceptions. Granted it was fiction, but still there were some good messages there. I'm in favor of any tool out there that brings souls to a better understanding of immortality and eternal life.


I loved this book - it really opened my eyes to a lot of things.. I found it so inspiring that he was able to come to terms with the tragedy and still find his way back to Christ.
It helped me understand and reevaluate a lot of the events in my life with open eyes and a healed heart.


N.T. (last edited Mar 05, 2014 05:12PM ) Mar 05, 2014 05:12PM   0 votes
Between Lions and Lambs

I think those who loved and disliked "The Shack" will find my novel, Between Lions and Lambs, an engaging and thought-provoking read. It deals with the image and representation of God in a more realistic manner and addresses how hypocrisy in religion can skew our relationship,as well as perspective, of who God really is. Like many of us who have experienced hurt within the church and its members, this may shed light on the motives and demons even the religious face and allow you to not fault God for the actions of His creation. God bless.


deleted member Jan 08, 2014 06:37PM   0 votes
I was hoping to love this book like everyone else..unfortunately, it's on my "HATE" list. I like the message it tries to convey: Forgiveness and accepting Christ..but the story itself..hated it.


Don't worry Amanda, my best friend did not like it either. When this book came out, I ran to B/N to get it. After reading it, I passed it on to my friend, and she didnot like it because of the way they put God as a black woman. I told her that maybe he/she is, who knows...In my heart, I believe that so many think that all top folks have to be caucasian,,,God, Jesus, Noah, Peter, Paul, Mary, Adah, Ruth, and the list goes on.....its not like there wasn't any color in that era, but one of the 3 wise men...I think folks are going to be fooled when they hit the pearlie white gate...I can think outside the box, because YOU NEVER KNOW....


Nancy (last edited Oct 29, 2012 05:17PM ) Oct 29, 2012 05:16PM   0 votes
I thought it was a very good book with a new way to view the heaven's existence through the eyes of someone in going through a difficult time. The author said it too lots of editing, and I can see where he had a difficult time trying not to go overboard with back story.


This book was a light unto my feet. Helped me on my journey. Not 2 years after reading it did I experience the same thing. Tragic, a different kind of tragic, however truth of whether or not I was capable of forgiveness came into play. The book was written beautifully and so easy to understand, for me anyway.


I thought this book was poorly written, saccharine, cloying and annoying. The only section I found interesting was the part where he was relaying the memories of the day his daughter was kidnapped.


I really liked reading this book. For someone like myself who is grounded in my Christian faith this book was one where I could enjoy reading a story about how one can come to faith with a Whimsical kind of story line. At first it was hard to follow, but once I got into the book I really enjoyed it. This book is not meant to bring the unsaved to salvation but rather to allow readers to enjoy a book with fictional characters that depict a relationship with God.


I read "the Shack' 4 & 1/2 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I never realised anything remotely wrong with it save for some strange descriptions. The characters representing the trinity were my absolute favourites of the book. I found them to be simply refreshing esp Suraya (no one has seen God, atleast no one alive has), so we can't say with certainty we know what gender or colour God is (that's if he has one!). Only found out how "BAD" the book was after reading some comments and reviews on GR. Just goes to show. A book can mean many different things to a whole lot of people at the same time. IMHO; take what you can from it and leave the rest. It's certainly isn't for everyone.


I loved the book.


Loved it.


would this book be at a public library?


Very poorly written, obviously not edited, and trite. Sad that this book has gotten the attention it has.


I read this book a while ago and it is one of a few books I would read again. Like others before me have said, this book is about forgiveness and it did give me a new way to think about the Holy Trinity.
I can't see why some are so against this book, I didn't feel pushed to change my personal belief about God or the spiritual journey that my life is.


I enjoyed the book - and while I don't think it led me in one direction or the other, it sparked some questions in my own brain and facilitated some very good conversations between my family members and myself. That's always a good thing, in my opinion.


I enjoyed this book very much. A paean to love and forgiveness. Yes, I would recommend this read to my friends, and have done so.


Loved this book!


deleted member Mar 22, 2013 11:06AM   0 votes
I loved the Shack and was inspired by the love of the Trinity and the message of forgiveness.


After reading many comments, I just cannot imagine why anyone would not like this book!! (I know everyone has a right to his/her opinion). This book has become one of my absolute favorites (In the top 5 of all books that I have read) I will recommend this book to anyone, I most certainly will be reading THE SHACK REVISITED, I guess my advise will be to keep an open mind when you read this book, I gave my mother a copy and asked her to share or buy the book for someone else and keep it going, it is a great message for all. This Author has a great concept on what God is like, I hope this book gives everyone a little faith, hope and love.


I worked at a recovery place. The teachers all read it. They had different opinions about things in the book. Not one was disappointed with it..
A must read.


I loved THE SHACK. It started with my father-in-laws brother, then it went to my father-in-law, then to me, then to my husband, then to his sister....and after that we bought a few more and it went to my daughter, a friend, and even a few to the men in the homeless shelter. Get your copy today, great book that opens the door back to God after death and loss.


I loved this book too. It was very touching and made me think of how we all interpret things differently.


I did not enjoy this book at all. I read and re-read parts of it but no matter how many times I read this book I could not and did not enjoy it.


I enjoyed it mostly because the view of God in it is different from what most people expect. However, since I was only 14 years old when I read it, I did find it difficult to understand. I think I can interpret it better now that I have studied literature and philosophy.


I EXTREMELY LOVED THE BOOK!!!!! :) ITS THE MOST AMAZING BOOK I EVER READ!!!! :)


I was in a very bad place when I read the book. I really wanted it to be real but alas it is not. I found the "irony" of him getting into an accident right after his encounter in poor taste. Unfortunately, the book did not help me as I was hoping.


I absolutely love this book and read it twice. It is one of my top favorite books. I lost my son four years ago when he was 21 and i truely believe I will see him again in Heaven.


I thought this book was amazing! I'll go as far as even saying it is one of the best works I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I bought the copy when I was on break at work a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. As a secular person, I found myself identifying with the main character's journey. The concept of forgiveness is universal.


I think if you lost someone in your life that this book is for you. I find it to be very healing. I love the insight and affirmations of the story. We need to stop assuming and love no matter what. Forgiveness is also key.


I love the book and recommend it and give it as gifts to friends both Christian and non-Christian...and have even searched for this book in other languages to give to family members.

I like the story because it ISN'T very 'religious' and is more about being a 'good human' and puts very heavy concepts in a way that's easier to understand.


Unfortunately this was a real let down for me ...the concept was good however it was spoiled by the over sentintimental view of how God percieves the world and us within it.. I don't need a book to tell me how God thinks...If you are looking for a revelation I suggest you read, The Revelation to John found in the New Testament..this was written with the intention of giving the readers hope and encouragement, and to remain faithful during times of suffering and persecution....Which I am pretty sure thats what the Shack tried and yet failed to do.
However I will not slate it completely as I am sure there are those that may find solace and comfort within the story ..I clearly am not one of those


I was really looking forward to reading this book, I was told it was very good, so I could not wait, but I just did not like it, I am not even sure what I did not like but it was not for me


I recommend reading "finding God in the Shack" to help with dealing with the concepts found in the Shack. Let me know what you think.

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Darleen Cole warren Where can I find this book and who is it by?
Jan 21, 2015 02:26AM

Yes, the story of Mackenzie is fictional, even though tragic situation like child kidnapping is real, however, I believe this representation of the God-head trinity is a great personal representation that is spot on. Note, this is a Christian novel, so the idea of Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit acting in such a touching, gentle, and loving manner may confuse those who aren't Christians or have a different faith-based belief. But, despite the Old Testament depiction of God smiting people, Jesus' sacrifice changed all that and released God's love into the world. Christians or not, we are all God's children and he loves us no matter what we do--even child kidnappers. God's grace is everlasting.


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