Finding God in the Shack: Seeking Truth in a Story of Evil and Redemption

Overview

The Shack has touched millions of readers with its portrayal of a compassionate God in the face of great evil. Many have identified with the main character's Great Sadness, the terrible burden of grief that often accompanies and follows a deep loss, for the Great Sadness is part of the human condition. And it compels us to ask, Where is God? Who is God?

Roger Olson, who has faced his own Great Sadness, finds a good deal of comfort in this much beloved, story as have so many ...

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Finding God in the Shack: Seeking Truth in a Story of Evil and Redemption

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Overview

The Shack has touched millions of readers with its portrayal of a compassionate God in the face of great evil. Many have identified with the main character's Great Sadness, the terrible burden of grief that often accompanies and follows a deep loss, for the Great Sadness is part of the human condition. And it compels us to ask, Where is God? Who is God?

Roger Olson, who has faced his own Great Sadness, finds a good deal of comfort in this much beloved, story as have so many others. Some may ask, however, Is God really like that? Is that really how God responds to evil? Can God be trusted?

Olson also views The Shack with a theologian's eye and finds much sound truth. He delves into many of the significant issues raised by the book such as forgiving those who have done us great evil, how God acts in the world, how God is three persons in one and what difference this makes to us. While he offers his own criticisms of the book, he largely finds the truth about God in The Shack.

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Editorial Reviews

Scot McKnight
"If you have questions about The Shack, and if your questions are theological, and if some have suggested that this book is full of heresy and you are wondering about the book, then you need to read Roger Olson. The reason this book is the one you need is because Roger Olson is a very good theologian and Roger Olson has read the book (some critics haven't) and Roger Olson is not on some defense of the book or 'out to attack' the book. It is one of the only discussions of the novel that is both theologically alert and fair minded."
Robin Russell
"Written by theology professor Roger Olson at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, the book attempts to defuse concerns over The Shack's unorthodox depictions of God and the Trinity. Dr. Olson correctly points out that much of Mr. Young's novel is actually quite biblical."
Kenny T.
"Author Roger Olson takes the reader on a play by play of William Young's The Shack as he explores the book's many complex and controversial issues. The discussion is illuminating as well as intriguing."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830837083
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 162
  • Sales rank: 1,270,747
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger E. Olson (Ph.D., Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity (both InterVarsity Press) and The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology (Westminster John Knox).

He is also coauthor of 20th-Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age and Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (both with Stanley J. Grenz, InterVarsity Press), and of The Trinity (with Christopher A. Hall, Eerdmans).

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Table of Contents

1. Why a Book About The Shack?
2. Where Is God in Senseless, Innocent Suffering?
3. Is God Really a Family of Three?
4. Is God in Charge but Not in Control?
5. What's Wrong with the World and Us?
6. Does God Forgive Everyone Unconditionally?
7. What Does God Want with Us?
8. Will Child Abusers Be in Heaven?
9. Isn't Jesus a Christian?
10. Where Is the Church in Experiencing God?
11. Is Trusting God All Sweetness and Light?
12. How Should We Respond to The Shack?
Study Guide to Finding God in the Shack

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    Good book to help with small group study

    Our church small group is reading The Shack and my husband and I (who already read The Shack) are using this to lead the discussions. It has been very helpful for this. We divided The Shack and Finding God in The Shack into 6 blocks for biweekly group meetings and have enjoyed the discussion it has fostered. It helps to separate the "theologically correct" from the stuff that "feels good but might not be supported by Christian literature and Bible teaching" that you can find in The Shack. We are not seminary trained but have had no problem understanding the issues raised in Finding God. It has an overall positive view of The Shack's purpose and means, and while it points out some weaknesses, is not overly critical. There are no formal small group teaching aides for The Shack but this has worked quite well. It does have discussion questions at the back that can be used, but we have come up with our own each week. If you are interested in looking deeper into Young's book and learning more about what is Bible-based and what is not and why, this is a good place to start.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Put together pieces of the puzzle of the Shack that were missing to me !!!

    I had a few questions after finishing THE SHACK. This book helped answer most of the questions I had.The verses in the Bible he quoted were very effective! I plan to keep both books (together) for possible lending to my friends.

    All in all I feel Mr. Olson did a great job !!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    WOW!!!

    Wow, this was an awesome book. Look beyond the physical being of the character and get the underlying message. I think it gave me a better outlook on bring the three (God, the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost) into a better more understanding perspective. Not only is it a good read (story line), but it delves into one's relationship with the Three, and the idea of forgiveness. I loved the part about being mad Judge, get to that point and you will understand what I mean. It was made so real....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    More than a book--and experience.

    This book is abuzz like the DaVinci Code and the Passion of the Christ. Although it streches one way outside the box and away from traditional beliefs, it was wonderfully creative and suspenceful and original x10.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    If you loved the Shack, you'll love this

    Great follow-up book to The Shack

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