Customer Reviews for

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

86 out of 90 people found this review helpful.

Best book I've read in 10 years!

I had very mixed feelings about reading a book about God that was on the best seller list and was being sold at Costco and Walmart. When I was given a copy by a good friend, I decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about.

I was shocked at how good it w...
I had very mixed feelings about reading a book about God that was on the best seller list and was being sold at Costco and Walmart. When I was given a copy by a good friend, I decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about.

I was shocked at how good it was, especially given all the negative things people have said about it (bad writing style, odd characters, odd theology, etc.). I found it to be an extraordinarily good depiction of the relationship within the Trinity, what that implys for God's relationship with us, and how God's love reaches out to us in our pain and confusion.

I have been a committed Christian since I was very young, but have struggled for years with the certainty that I could never live up to God's standards. By nature, I have been an intellectual Christian v.s. a relational one, and have always been somewhat suspicious and resistant to relationships of any kind, particularly when they involved religion or God.

The Shack's amazing narratives between Mack and God so captured my heart (where did that come from?!), that I've been on a trek ever since to discover more about who this God is (the theology of the Trinity, etc.), how He works in our lives and how I can rest in his love. Its been an amazing journey!

I highly recommend The Shack. Ignor the negative comments about it and make up your own mind. (Don't take my word for it, or theirs!) What is clear from reading the blogs is that it has touched many people's lives, especially those who have wrestled with loss of loved ones or other personal tragedies. There is also many positive scholarly reviews as well as negative ones (seems to be somewhat a function of vested interests in their own books and teachings). If it speaks to your heart as it did mine, it will be worth everything to you.

posted by 283998 on November 1, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

33 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

Author's voice too loud

The author clearly intended to deliver a theological message to his readers in this modern day allegory. And the message is a good one. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us and he loves us enough to give us the gift of free will. But I felt like Young was ...
The author clearly intended to deliver a theological message to his readers in this modern day allegory. And the message is a good one. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us and he loves us enough to give us the gift of free will. But I felt like Young was beating me over the head with his own personal interpretation of scripture. There was no room for me to contemplate. The author just told me what to think. I liked the message, but I didn't enjoy the book. I understand Young is not a professional writer. He wrote this story for his kids with no intention of being published. Still, it was not a pleasurable reading experience for me.

posted by Erika97 on February 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Best book I've read in 10 years!

    I had very mixed feelings about reading a book about God that was on the best seller list and was being sold at Costco and Walmart. When I was given a copy by a good friend, I decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about. <BR/><BR/>I was shocked at how good it was, especially given all the negative things people have said about it (bad writing style, odd characters, odd theology, etc.). I found it to be an extraordinarily good depiction of the relationship within the Trinity, what that implys for God's relationship with us, and how God's love reaches out to us in our pain and confusion.<BR/><BR/>I have been a committed Christian since I was very young, but have struggled for years with the certainty that I could never live up to God's standards. By nature, I have been an intellectual Christian v.s. a relational one, and have always been somewhat suspicious and resistant to relationships of any kind, particularly when they involved religion or God. <BR/><BR/>The Shack's amazing narratives between Mack and God so captured my heart (where did that come from?!), that I've been on a trek ever since to discover more about who this God is (the theology of the Trinity, etc.), how He works in our lives and how I can rest in his love. Its been an amazing journey! <BR/><BR/>I highly recommend The Shack. Ignor the negative comments about it and make up your own mind. (Don't take my word for it, or theirs!) What is clear from reading the blogs is that it has touched many people's lives, especially those who have wrestled with loss of loved ones or other personal tragedies. There is also many positive scholarly reviews as well as negative ones (seems to be somewhat a function of vested interests in their own books and teachings). If it speaks to your heart as it did mine, it will be worth everything to you.

    86 out of 90 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Controversy... really?

    Controversy. This book has certainly caused plenty of it. Just go look at the reviews on amazon.com and see what I mean - over 1700 reviews have been done on this book - and while over 200 only gave it one star - over 1200 gave it 5 stars. And I find most of the people that don't like this book tend to be filled with the spirit of religion and they couldn't see fresh insight and wisdom if it punched them in the face.<BR/>For me personally, this book was an eye-opener to things deeper spiritually. I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus when I was 8. I have never gone into a deep backslide, things haven't always been perfect, but I've never strayed from God. But I think there are some basic truths in the Bible that we as people tend to overlook, or maybe its just that we can't grasp it in our human minds - but these are some of the things that made this book so amazing to me...<BR/><BR/>1) Jesus is pictured as a man who desires to be our friend and confidante. Plain and simple. How many of us actually talk to Jesus like we would talk to our best friend over a coke? The Shack illustrates that.<BR/><BR/>2) The Holy Spirit is visualized beautifully as moving and vibrant with colors, changing and shifting and like a hummingbird - impossible to catch but all around. There are conversations that will open your eyes to who the Holy Spirit really is.<BR/><BR/>3) Probably the biggest controversy is over how God is portrayed and I think that is tragic. We try and put God in a box (a very small box) and in this book God breaks out of that box - and it really showed me that we don't allow ourselves to see all aspects of God - CS Lewis portrays Jesus as Aslan the lion, God created man, woman and all animals - why do we limit him to a man?<BR/><BR/>Forgiveness, Grace, Peace, Love and many other issues are dealt with in ways that will blow your mind. The beauty of this book is that it is fiction - FICTION people! There is a story, plot and characters to drive the spiritual wisdom and insight in it. Too many critics have tried to discredit this book as having false teachings and theology - to them I say this :<BR/><BR/>It is a fictional work - not the word of God and William Young has never claimed otherwise!<BR/><BR/><BR/>****Be warned - this book is a two read book - you read it once to get the storyline and mystery figured out and glimpse some of the wisdom available - you read it a second time to soak up the insight and underline a lot! ****

    54 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    Everyone NEEDS to read!!!!

    If you have ever had any questions about who, how and why god is, this book brings it to light. Please don't get taken by the negativity and controversy surounding this book, those people did not truely read this book with and open mind. Put aside your religous conditioning and just read. It is an amazing book that I could not put down. This book is a metaphor and should be read with that in mind. I absolutely loved it. It changed my life and my understanding of god!

    49 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    The Shack

    One of the most important books I have read in a long time. Great book to read and share/discuss with your friends. It is wonderful to read a book that has God as a compassionate, loving God not an authoritative, judgmental one. The best depiction of the Trinity I have read anywhere and a good explanation of how God can use even the worst events to bring about good. Plus the book is easy to read and hard to put down.

    38 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Author's voice too loud

    The author clearly intended to deliver a theological message to his readers in this modern day allegory. And the message is a good one. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us and he loves us enough to give us the gift of free will. But I felt like Young was beating me over the head with his own personal interpretation of scripture. There was no room for me to contemplate. The author just told me what to think. I liked the message, but I didn't enjoy the book. I understand Young is not a professional writer. He wrote this story for his kids with no intention of being published. Still, it was not a pleasurable reading experience for me.

    33 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    An amazing story with a spiritual twist... A real delight for th

    An amazing story with a spiritual twist... A real delight for the mind.

    32 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2012

    Hated it

    This book was soo boring. I had heard that it was popular, so I kept forcing myself to finish it, thinking it would eventually get better. It didn't. Also, this is not a "Christian" book. The auther implies in the book that all religions lead to God and therefore it really doesn't matter what you believe. That is not what Jesus taught or claimed. Jesus said "I am the way, the Truth and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME. This book has a lot of theologic issues as well.

    28 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    NOT THE FEAR OF GOD; THE LOVE OF GOD!!

    This amazing book reads like a "near death experience." There are those who don't "get" this book and its message, obviously from very few of the reviews. I feel sorry for those people. But, if you have been sincerely seeking to hear God's Heart, to get a true feel for His Reality then this book fills the bill perfectly. This is the BEST revelation, WITHOUT BEING PREACHY, which turns so many people off any more, that I've read.probably EVER. This is what God is all about!! Not THE FEAR OF GOD!!! THE LOVE OF GOD!!! This book is truly amazing as 98% of the reviews reveal and the magnitude of people who are STILL reading it!

    24 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    an important story!

    "The Shack" starts out as an intriguing crime mystery story, but then turns into much more. It does mention some characters from Christianity in the book, but they are mostly used as metaphors that people can relate to, it doesn't get into any specific religious dogma. It's the universal truths in the message that's conveyed so beautifully in the story rather than specific doctrine. <BR/><BR/>I can see why my friend recommended the book to me. She knows some of what my childhood was like. I related to a story that discusses forgiveness between a father and child. The character in the book has a lot of emotional wounds to heal. As the character finds a path to healing, so did I as the reader.

    22 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Do NOT Read!

    Read Burning Down 'The Shack': How the 'Christian' bestseller is deceiving millions [NOOKbook]
    by James B. De Young. This author was actually friends with the author of 'The Shack' and gives you inside truths about 'The Shack's' many UNTRUTHS. If you don't really know or understand the Scripture of the Bible, 'The Shack' will trick you. It's charming storyline is laced with biblical sounding undertones, but they aren't the TRUTH. Wm. Paul Young twists and distorts the Holy Scripture given to us by GOD Himself. Please don't let this FICTION fool you into thinking this is what the Holy Scripture means. The Bible warns us about heresy such as this....it's blasphemy. It's purely fiction...don't let it stir ANY spiritual feeling in you. Look at it as a fiction, it's nothing more than fiction. Rate and review it as a fiction...don't let it evoke your non-fiction, true Chrisitian beliefs. It's like mixing water and oil....can't do it!

    21 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2008

    Wonderful read

    This is a fictional piece of work...so for those who direct you to 'read the Bible' ...they may want to relax and enjoy the fictional story of healing, beauty and love within this work. This book is well written and gives comfort through the journey of its characters. Part parable, this work can offer us a look into our own 'shack' and where we might find understanding and a way to move forward, just as the characters do in this tale. Its a great book - a smooth read and a worthy place to spend time and energy. Enjoy the book and allow yourself to read fiction and enjoy the story and its experience.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    Best Book next to the Bible that I've read in a long time

    This book has opened my eyes in so many areas. A person must read it with an open mind and heart. It is a book that I would highly encourage everyone to read.

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    RENEWED BY FAITH

    WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO US WE AUTOMATICALLY BLAME "GOD", WHY? BECAUSE WE CAN'T FACE THE FACT THAT WE MIGHT HAVE MADE A BAD DECISION! WELL READING THIS BOOK MADE ME REALIZE THE THINGS I SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR. READ THIS BOOK, REREAD THIS BOOK, GIVE IT AS A GIFT AND READ IT TOGETHER, BUT WHATEVER YOU DO MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS BOOK!!!! IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY YOU LOOK AT RELIGION EVEN IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN A HIGHER POWER.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was awesome. Reminded me of The Great Mystery, which

    This book was awesome. Reminded me of The Great Mystery, which is one of my other favorite books. The Shack is a bit more preachy than I like, but the message is worth anyone's time. Wonderful story!

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Misleading to new Christians

    This book paints a picture of God that is not biblicaly based and could cause problems for new Christians who dont know better.

    17 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    Amazing! Highly recommend this book!

    A friend of mine loaned me her copy of this book and told me I had to read it...She couldn't have been MORE right! I loved the book so much that as soon as I finished it I bought my own copy for my personal library. I have already loaned the book to three of my friends, who have all shared that they loved it too! I read between 4 to 5 books a month...all different types, from murder mysteries to christian romance....and this book was, by far, my favorite!

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Changed my life!

    I can't believe the readers who would put God in a box. God is bigger than that. God is bigger than this book, but this book opens a door to heart and head allowing God to be I AM. Just couldn't stop thinking about ideas that book brought up, and I went to my bible and prayer. God only confirmed my exuberance over seeing HIM.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    In 30 years of reading Christian literature, I've never seen a more effective way to communicate the love of our Heavenly Father, Son and Spirit! .

    This author writes a fictional account of the most horrific circumstance a parent could imagine, the murder of their small child, then uses it as a teaching tool to communicate who God is and where God is in the midst of our pain. William Young has obviously learned these biblical truths the hard way... by walking through great trials in his own life. Since reading the book, I've purchased and given away over 2 dozen copies.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    Life changing read

    This book hooked me from the moment I opened it. Seeing the power of God in the forms of various entities is refreshing and eye opening. Making a personal connection to the story was inevitable for me. i cried of joy, sorrow, and pure awe. This is a wonderful read that will stir your heart, mind, and soul.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    pick up the paperback for your loved ones

    I have puchased numerous copies of the paperback for my friend and family who are troubled and going through their own personal hardships. After reading they seemed to understand God's love and nearness. There is a passage which is pointed out to the character that he says that God has forgotten him... God responds that it was your pain that you could not see me, but I was always there.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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