The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

( 3447 )


Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change ...
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The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

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Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

First released as a self-published book in 2007, this simple fable about a man, a shack, and a godly visitor has already garnered one of the most striking word-of-mouth sales surges in recent years. This mass market edition will extend its success.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780964729230
  • Publisher: Windblown Media
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 15,340
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Wm. Paul Young was born a Canadian and raised among a Stone Age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of former New Guinea. He suffered great loss as a child and young adult and now enjoys the "wastefulness of grace" with his family in the Pacific Northwest.

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Read an Excerpt

The Shack

By Young, Wm. Paul

Windblown Media

Copyright © 2011 Young, Wm. Paul All right reserved.
ISBN: 9781609414115



Two roads diverged in the middle of my life, I heard a wise man say I took the road less traveled by And that’s made the difference every night and every day

—Larry Norman (with apologies to Robert Frost)

March unleashed a torrent of rainfall after an abnormally dry winter. A cold front out of Canada then descended and was held in place by a swirling wind that roared down the Gorge from eastern Oregon. Although spring was surely just around the corner, the god of winter was not about to relinquish its hard-won dominion without a tussle. There was a blanket of new snow in the Cascades, and rain was now freezing on impact with the frigid ground outside the house; enough reason for Mack to snuggle up with a book and a hot cider and wrap up in the warmth of a crackling fire.

But instead, he spent the better part of the morning telecommuting into his downtown desktop. Sitting comfortably in his home office wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt, he made his sales calls, mostly to the East Coast. He paused frequently, listening to the sound of crystalline rain tinging off his window and watching the slow but steady accumulation of frozen ice thickening on everything outside. He was becoming inexorably trapped as an ice-prisoner in his own home—much to his delight.

There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.

Of course, it is also true that storms interrupt business, and, while a few companies make a bit extra, some companies lose money—meaning there are those who find no joy when everything shuts down temporarily. But they can’t blame anyone for their loss of production, or for not being able to make it to the office. Even if it’s hardly more than a day or two, somehow each person feels like the master of his or her own world, simply because those little droplets of water freeze as they hit the ground.

Even commonplace activities become extraordinary. Routine choices become adventures and are often experienced with a sense of heightened clarity. Late in the afternoon, Mack bundled up and headed outdoors to struggle the hundred or so yards down the long driveway to the mailbox. The ice had magically turned this simple everyday task into a foray against the elements: the raising of his fist in opposition to the brute power of nature and, in an act of defiance, laughing in its face. The fact that no one would notice or care mattered little to him—just the thought made him smile inside.

The icy rain pellets stung his cheeks and hands as he carefully worked his way up and down the slight undulations of the driveway; he looked, he supposed, like a drunken sailor gingerly heading toward the next watering hole. When you face the force of an ice storm, you don’t exactly walk boldly forward in a show of unbridled confidence. Bluster will get you battered. Mack had to get up off his knees twice before he was finally hugging the mailbox like some long-lost friend.

He paused to take in the beauty of a world engulfed in crystal. Everything reflected light and contributed to the heightened brilliance of the late afternoon. The trees in the neighbor’s field had all donned translucent mantles, and each now stood unique but unified in its presentation. It was a glorious world and for a brief moment its blazing splendor almost lifted, even if only for a few seconds, The Great Sadness from Mack’s shoulders.

It took almost a minute to knock off the ice that had already sealed shut the door of the mailbox. The reward for his efforts was a single envelope with only his first name typewritten on the outside; no stamp, no postmark, and no return address. Curious, he tore the end off the envelope, which was no easy task with fingers beginning to stiffen from the cold. Turning his back to the breath-snatching wind, he finally coaxed the single small rectangle of unfolded paper out of its nest. The typewritten message simply said:


It’s been a while. I’ve missed you.

I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together.


Mack stiffened as a wave of nausea rolled over him and then just as quickly mutated into anger. He purposely thought about the shack as little as possible, and even when he did, his thoughts were neither kind nor good. If this was someone’s idea of a bad joke, he had truly outdone himself. And to sign it “Papa” just made it all the more horrifying.

“Idiot,” he grunted, thinking about Tony the mailman, an overly friendly Italian with a big heart but little tact. Why would he even deliver such a ridiculous envelope? It wasn’t even stamped. Mack angrily stuffed the envelope and note into his coat pocket and turned to start the slide back in the general direction of the house. Buffeting gusts of wind, which had initially slowed him, now shortened the time it took to traverse the mini glacier that was thickening beneath his feet.

He was doing just fine, thank you, until he reached that place in the driveway that sloped a little downward and to the left. Without any effort or intention he began to build up speed, sliding on shoes with soles that had about as much traction as a duck landing on a frozen pond. Arms flailing wildly in hopes of somehow maintaining the potential for balance, Mack found himself careening directly toward the only tree of any substantial size bordering the driveway—the one whose lower limbs he had hacked off only a few short months before. Now it stood eager to embrace him, half naked and seemingly anxious for a little retribution. In a fraction of a thought he chose the chicken’s way out and tried to plop himself down by allowing his feet to slip out from under him—which is what they had naturally wanted to do anyway. Better to have a sore butt than pick slivers out of his face.

But the adrenaline rush caused him to overcompensate, and in slow motion Mack watched his feet rise up in front of him as if jerked up by some jungle trap. He hit hard, back of the head first, and skidded to a heap at the base of the shimmering tree, which seemed to stand over him with a smug look mixed with disgust and not a little disappointment.

The world went momentarily black, or so it seemed. He lay there dazed and staring up into the sky, squinting as the icy precipitation rapidly cooled his flushed face. For a fleeting pause, everything felt oddly warm and peaceful, his ire momentarily knocked out by the impact. “Now who’s the idiot?” he muttered to himself, hoping that no one had been watching.

Cold was creeping quickly through his coat and sweater, and Mack knew the icy rain that was both melting and freezing beneath him would soon become a major discomfort. Groaning and feeling like a much older man, he rolled onto his hands and knees. It was then that he saw the bright red skid mark tracing his journey from point of impact to final destination. As if birthed by the sudden awareness of his injury, a dull pounding began crawling up the back of his head. Instinctively, he reached for the source of the drumbeat and brought his hand away bloody.

With rough ice and sharp gravel gouging his hands and knees, Mack half crawled and half slid until he eventually made it to a level part of the driveway. With not a little effort he was finally able to stand and gingerly inch his way toward the house, humbled by the powers of ice and gravity.

Once inside, Mack methodically shed the layers of outerwear as best he could, his half-frozen fingers responding with about as much dexterity as oversized clubs at the ends of his arms. He decided to leave the drizzly bloodstained mess right where he doffed it in the entryway and retreated painfully to the bathroom to examine his wounds. There was no question that the icy driveway had won. The gash on the back of his head was oozing around a few small pebbles still embedded in his scalp. As he had feared, a significant lump had already formed, emerging like a humpback whale breaching the wild waves of his thinning hair.

Mack found it a difficult chore to patch himself up by trying to see the back of his head using a small handheld mirror that reflected a reverse image off the bathroom mirror. A short frustration later he gave up, unable to get his hands to go in the right directions and unsure which of the two mirrors was lying to him. By gingerly probing around the soggy gash he succeeded in picking out the biggest pieces of debris, until it hurt too much to continue. Grabbing some first-aid ointment and plugging the wound as best he could, he then tied a washcloth to the back of his head with some gauze he found in a bathroom drawer. Glancing at himself in the mirror, he thought he looked a little like some rough sailor out of Moby Dick. It made him laugh, then wince.

He would have to wait until Nan made it home before he would get any real medical attention—that attention being one of the many benefits of being married to a registered nurse. Anyway, he knew that the worse it looked, the more sympathy he would get. There was often some compensation in every trial, if one looked hard enough. He swallowed a couple over-the-counter painkillers to dull the throbbing and limped toward the front entry.

Not for an instant had Mack forgotten about the note. Rummaging through the pile of wet and bloody clothing he finally found it in his coat pocket, glanced at it, and then headed back into his office. He located the post office number and dialed it. As expected, Annie, the matronly postmaster and keeper of everyone’s secrets, answered the phone. “Hi, is Tony in by chance?”

“Hey, Mack, is that you? Recognized your voice.” Of course she did. “Sorry, but Tony ain’t back yet. In fact I just talked to him on the radio and he’s only made it halfway up Wildcat, not even to your place yet. Do ya need me to have him call ya, or would ya just like to leave a message?”

“Oh, hi. Is that you, Annie?” He couldn’t resist, even though her Midwestern accent left no doubt. “Sorry, I was busy for a second there. Didn’t hear a word you said.”

She laughed. “Now, Mack, I know you heard every word. Don’t you be goin’ and tryin’ to kid a kidder. I wasn’t born yesterday, ya know. Whaddya want me to tell him if he makes it back alive?”

“Actually, you already answered my question.”

There was a pause at the other end. “Actually, I don’t remember you askin’ a question. What’s wrong with you, Mack? Still smoking too much dope or do you just do that on Sunday mornings to make it through the church service?” At this she started to laugh, as if caught off guard by the brilliance of her own sense of humor.

“Now, Annie, you know I don’t smoke dope—never did, and don’t ever want to.” Of course Annie knew no such thing, but Mack was taking no chances on how she might remember the conversation in a day or two. Wouldn’t be the first time that her sense of humor morphed into a good story that soon became “fact.” He could see his name being added to the church prayer chain. “It’s okay, I’ll just catch Tony some other time, no big deal.”

“Okay, then, just stay indoors where it’s safe. Don’t ya know, an old guy like you coulda lost his sense of balance over the years. Wouldn’t wanna see ya slip and hurt your pride. Way things are shapin’ up, Tony might not make it up to your place at all. We can do snow, sleet, and darkness of night pretty well, but this frozen rain stuff, it’s a challenge to be sure.”

“Thanks, Annie. I’ll try and remember your advice. Talk to you later. Bye now.” His head was pounding more than ever—little trip-hammers beating to the rhythm of his heart. That’s odd, he thought. Who would dare put something like that in our mailbox? The painkillers had not yet fully kicked in but were present enough to dull the edge of worry that he was starting to feel, and he was suddenly very tired. Laying his head down on the desk, he thought he had just dropped off to sleep when the phone startled him awake.

“Uh… hello?”

“Hi, love. You sound like you’ve been asleep.” It was Nan, sounding unusually cheery, even though he felt he could hear the underlying sadness that lurked just beneath the surface of every conversation. She loved this kind of weather as much as he usually did. He switched on the desk lamp and glanced at the clock, surprised that he had been out for a couple of hours.

“Uh, sorry. I guess I dozed off for a bit.”

“Well, you sound a little groggy. Is everything all right?”

“Yup.” Even though it was almost dark outside, Mack could see that the storm had not let up. It had even deposited a couple more inches of ice. Tree branches were hanging low, and he knew some would eventually break from the weight, especially if the wind kicked up. “I had a little tussle with the driveway when I got the mail, but other than that, everything is fine. Where are you?”

“I’m still at Arlene’s, and I think me and the kids’ll spend the night here. It’s always good for Kate to be around the family… seems to restore a little balance.” Arlene was Nan’s sister who lived across the river in Washington. “Anyway, it’s really too slick to go out. Hopefully it’ll break up by morning. I wish I had made it home before it got so bad, but oh well.” She paused. “How’s it up at the house?”

“Well, it’s absolutely stunningly beautiful, and a whole lot safer to look at than walk in, trust me. I for sure don’t want you to try and get up here in this mess. Nothing’s moving. I don’t even think Tony was able to bring us the mail.”

“I thought you already got the mail?” she queried.

“Nope, I didn’t actually get the mail. I thought Tony had already come and I went out to get it. There”—he hesitated, looking down at the note that lay on the desk where he had placed it—“wasn’t any mail yet. I called Annie and she said Tony probably wouldn’t be able to make it up the hill, and I’m not going out there again to see if he did.

“Anyway—” He quickly changed the subject to avoid more questions. “How is Kate doing over there?”

There was a pause and then a long sigh. When Nan spoke her voice was hushed to a whisper and he could tell she was covering her mouth on the other end. “Mack, I wish I knew. She is just like talking to a rock, and no matter what I do I can’t get through. When we’re around family she seems to come out of her shell some, but then she disappears again. I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been praying and praying that Papa would help us find a way to reach her, but”—she paused again—“it feels like he isn’t listening.”

There it was. Papa was Nan’s favorite name for God, and it expressed her delight in the intimate friendship she had with him.

“Honey, I’m sure God knows what he’s doing. It will all work out.” The words brought him no comfort, but he hoped they might ease the worry he could hear in her voice.

“I know,” she sighed. “I just wish he’d hurry up.”

“Me too” was all Mack could think to say. “Well, you and the kids stay put and stay safe, and tell Arlene and Jimmy hi, and thank them for me. Hopefully I will see you tomorrow.”

“Okay, love. I should go and help the others. Everyone’s busy looking for candles in case the power goes out. You should probably do the same. There’s some above the sink in the basement, and there’s leftover stuffed bread dough in the fridge that you can heat up. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, my pride is hurt more than anything.”

“Well, take it easy, and hopefully we’ll see you in the morning.”

“All right, honey. Be safe and call me if you need anything. Bye.”

That was kind of a dumb thing to say, he thought as he hung up the phone. Kind of a manly dumb thing, as if he could help if they needed anything.

Mack sat and stared at the note. It was confusing and painful trying to sort out the swirling cacophony of disturbing emotions and dark images clouding his mind—a million thoughts traveling a million miles an hour. Finally, he gave up, folded the note, slid it into a small tin box he kept on the desk, and switched off the light.

Mack managed to find something to heat up in the microwave, then he grabbed a couple of blankets and pillows and headed for the living room. A quick glance at the clock told him that Bill Moyer’s show had just started, a favorite program that he tried never to miss. Moyer was one of a handful of people whom Mack would love to meet—a brilliant and outspoken man, able to express intense compassion for both people and truth with unusual clarity. One of the stories tonight had something to do with oilman Boone Pickens, who was now starting to drill for water, of all things.

Almost without thinking, and without taking his eyes off the television, Mack reached over to the end table, picked up a photo frame holding a picture of a little girl, and clutched it to his chest. With the other hand he pulled the blankets up under his chin and hunkered deeper into the sofa.

Soon the sounds of gentle snoring filled the air as the media tube turned its attention to a piece on a high school senior in Zimbabwe who had been beaten for speaking out against his government. But Mack had already left the room to wrestle with his dreams; maybe tonight there would be no nightmares, only visions, perhaps, of ice and trees and gravity.


Excerpted from The Shack by Young, Wm. Paul Copyright © 2011 by Young, Wm. Paul. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3447 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 3455 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    91 out of 95 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 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! ****

    63 out of 66 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!

    53 out of 58 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.

    40 out of 47 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 61 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

    29 out of 67 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    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!

    25 out of 29 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.

    23 out of 24 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'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 65 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2008

    Wonderful read

    This is a fictional piece of 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



    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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