Should You Read The Shack?
Laura MacCorkle is Crosswalk.com's former Senior Entertainment Editor.
- 2008 Jun 22
You’ve heard about The Shack. It’s the work of fiction written by salesman-turned-first-time-author William P. Young that’s already gone into its fourth printing.
You’ve heard that it carries the endorsement of Eugene Peterson, translator of the popular paraphrase, The Message.
You’ve heard it’s “the new allegory”—a Pilgrim’s Progress, if you will—for the 21st century.
You’ve heard that it’s “life-changing” and will help you “see God in a new way” from well-meaning friends who have read it.
You've heard that churches are having their congregations read it. And students at some Christian schools, as well.
But you’ve heard some disturbing information about it, too. Words like heresy and bad theology from well-known leaders, theologians and authors in the evangelical community.
So, like me, you might be fairly confused and don’t know what or who to believe.
Back when I first heard about The Shack, I really wasn’t interested after reading a brief synopsis. Also, the chatter hadn’t started yet. Nor had the controversy.
But the roar has finally gotten loud enough now (from both sides) that I wanted to do some investigation and see what the ruckus was all about for myself. And I’ve found many scholarly and thoughtful sources that have helped me to understand what’s really going on in The Shack.
Hopefully, these will help you, too:
- “Stay Out of ‘The Shack’” from BreakPoint Commentary by Chuck Colson
- “The Shack: Ramshackle Theology” by Tom Neven, Boundless Webzine’s “The Line” blog
- “A Look at ‘The Shack’” as heard on “The Albert Mohler Radio Program”
- "'The Shack': What God Should Have Said?" by Walter Henegar, By Faith online magazine
- "A Reader’s Review of The Shack” by author & blogger Tim Challies (this is a FREE, downloadable 17-page review/guide that is beyond thorough. Tim addresses each heresy in The Shack and compares it to what Scripture really says. If you only read one critique, please read this review.)