Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: The Shack

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: The Shack
Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2005
Posts: 385
Back To Top

Has anyone read The Shack by William Paul Young?  We are discussing for book club on Thursday and I still haven't figured out what I think of this novel.  Your opinion or insight is appreciated!


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. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!  ~Amazon

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,646
Back To Top

I started it, but just couldn't get into it. Never finished it......but I'm sure that's just me. I know it's a very popular book!

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
Back To Top


I have not read it, but I am told it is an interesting read.

I am also told that it has the appearance of being a Christian book, but some of the messages are not biblically correct and others are downright heretical. So read with a grain of salt.

Subject: The Shack
Date Posted: 3/4/2009 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 21
Back To Top

Really liked this book, once I got into it could not put it down.  Not religious but a really unique way of looking at religion and coming to terms with God and the death of his daughter. I have and will recommend it.

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 1,748
Back To Top

I'm not even 100 pages in yet but I like it so far.

Date Posted: 3/5/2009 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
Back To Top

I have read it and found it very insightful.  As a Christian I certainly don't take it as Bibical correct because it IS fiction.  But - it helped me to see that sometimes I don't see God in all the ways He might reveal Himself to me.    The premise of the book was a bit hard for me to handle to start with, but by the end of the book I comfortable with it.   More than OK - I felt I learned something about myself from it.

Date Posted: 3/5/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 137
Back To Top

I also have read it.  It was a very different take on religion and coming to terms with mortality.  I have to agree with Cozette that the book helped me to see God in different ways.  Some may find it disturbing, I found it to be very interesting.  I couldn't put it down once I started it.  The ending was not what I had expected.  I would recommend it.

Date Posted: 3/6/2009 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2009
Posts: 243
Back To Top

Emily, I thought I was the only one. I got about halfway through and it just seemed...I don't know...just wasnt for me at all.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 1,361
Back To Top

I'm glad this topic came up. I was just lent this book by a Christian friend.  He also said to remember it's fiction, but to try to gather some insight from it.  He has given me some other books I rather enjoyed, so I hope this one is the same.  Thanks for your opinions, everyone.

Subject: The Shack
Date Posted: 3/14/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 18
Back To Top

I also really liked this book. I agree that you have to remember that it is fiction - but it made me think about somethings differently. It did take me a few tries to get into it and it wasn't until another friend of mine was reading it and talking about it that I got going. I think it is a book to talk about when you are done.

Date Posted: 3/15/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 729
Back To Top

Honestly it just wasn't for me. I just found an article that was stating pretty much what I was thinking. www.letusreason.org/bookR21.htm

Date Posted: 3/15/2009 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2009
Posts: 10,656
Back To Top

I don't beleive the author ever meant for anyone to take the story literally - at least I hope not, and maybe that's why I enjoyed the book.  It's about forgiveness.  It's really that simple.  Could you forgive the man who raped and murdered your little girl?  God wants us to forgive one another, no matter what, just as He forgives us, no matter what. 

The author uses some great imagery in describing the three personifications of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  That, I think, is what I liked most about the book. 

Is it great literature?  No.  Does it contain a life-altering lesson?  No.....at least not for me it didn't.  But I enjoyed it, all the same.

Subject: The Shack
Date Posted: 3/16/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

I read, skeptical after so many friends raved about it. It took me until the last chapter to "get it." It is always a challenge to think about spritual things in a unique way, without being naive. I would recommend it.

Subject: so far so good
Date Posted: 3/16/2009 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2007
Posts: 124
Back To Top

I am listening to this on audio cd now and so far I am really into it. It's shaping up to be quite a good read (or listen I should say!) :-)

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 4:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2008
Posts: 127
Back To Top

My husband bought this book and read it in 2 nights and let me tell you I don't think he has ever read a novel in his life! He's always reading business/finance books but he LOVED this one. He didn't say much about it other than it was really really good and I needed to read it but it just doesn't seem very interesting to me but I am curious to see what book could actually capture his attention because he's not a very religious person so I was shocked:)

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 4
Back To Top

I loved this book!  I agree with Carlene M. that it's not great literature, but Mr. Young expressed the same views that I have been trying to express when I speak to groups.  Namely that we are ALL God's children, and He loves each and every one of us.  Also, contrary to popular opinion, God is not a white man in flowing robes -- He can and will appear in a way that we can relate to.  Even though we use the masculine pronoun to describe God, God is neither male nor female, and can be either.  I love Mr. Young's potrayal of God as a black woman, since Mack (the protagonist) had a bad, often abusive, relationship with his father and could not relate to God as a father figure.  

I also loved the fact that the Jesus in the Shack is the Jesus of the Bible.  Jesus is a guy who could relate to everyone except the "uber-religious". 

The underlying theme of the book is one of forgiveness and relationship.  These are two ideas that are missing in the world today.  The Shack is not a book for everyone, but it is one that I recommend. 

Last Edited on: 3/17/09 8:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 1,362
Back To Top

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a good FICTION book. This book should be read knowing that it no where near biblical. Some aspects hint at the Holy Trinity, but nothing to back it up. If you read it for enjoyment and don't take it too literally it is a fun read. There are some insights that are very good for you. Parts of the book are not page turners, but if you can make it past that, you should enjoy it.

A friend sent me this book as a gift. In turn, I offered it to my first PSB buddy that requested it. I ended up giving the credit back to the receiver of the book and she was going to also pass it along for free. It is just the kind of book that makes you want to do that.