The Shack by William P Young

Aug 23, 2016
I'm very sorry, but I was a bit mixed up there. There is a follow-up to "The Shack" but I don't have it to hand. I wonder why I was led to reply with duff gen ? Sorry.
Amens/Likes: Cturtle
Is this another book or an article you can read online?

I have read 'the Shack', but not seen the movie. I have reservations about it but some christians adore it. I also read another one he wrote called 'eve' but it wasnt really my cup of tea.

I guess am in two minds about christian 'novels' or fiction. The other week I tried to read 'the red tent' by Anita Diamant and I couldnt get into it. I was thinking, its just someones imagining what the Bible said because while the characters had the same names they werent close to the Bible story at all.

It was the same with the movie 'esther and the King' which totally changed the Book of Esther and added characters that werent in it and some of the characters did things they did not do in the Bible. Im like hello therse were real people you cant just make them into fictional characters of a novel and then try to pass them off as true to life when youve totally changed their characters.
Aug 23, 2016
Both "The Shack" and "The Shack Revisited" are books on my Kindle. It is many years since I read "The Shack", but I remember discussing it with my brother, and I seem to remember there was quite a lot to discuss amicably.
"The Shack Revisited" may be inspected on Amazon and one is given a free view of the foreword and prologue.
There is the boast that it "enlarges and articulates more fully the vision that William Paul Young created in THE SHACK. An exploration of the Trinity, the nature of God and our relationship to him, this book picks up where THE SHACK left off, and answers many readers' questions".
If I had the paper-back edition, I would add it to the church library but I would hope to add the "Revisited" copy to deepen the discussion in a House Group.


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Here's a review from CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network)....

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The only thing concerning about the Shack that I picked up, was a kind of universalist agenda.

I personally would rather people get their theology from the Bible rather than through man. Paul pretty much explained it in Romans and also in Hebrews its clear. I dont want to go to a house group and study a book other than the Bible, as done that before (someone elses suggestion) and wouldnt do it again.

Maybe some people need a novel to connect with God, but turning to fables is not how you get sound doctrine.

But I suppose people are at different levels of their understanding of God, however, sometimes we just cant lean on our own or even mr youngs understanding of God. We need to go to the Lord Himself and His word.
Amens/Likes: Cturtle
The Bible is a library.
The word Bible means 'library'. Those 66 books are really all you need!

My co-worker church member suggested we call the library 'the source' but my problem has been he really likes 'the shack' but another church member really hates it. Shes horrified its in the library.

I suppose everyone has their likes and dislikes and I have to be impartial or amoral about books as I cant read every single one. But I did say to her, we dont have Harry Potter in the library, why would we, she came up to ne and basically said we did, but when I looked it wasnt there, we wouldnt put it there. So maybe she doesnt know what shes talking about. Maybe she hasnt read the shack herself so how can she judge.

Anyway. I dont know its tricky, some church members want fiction and complained there werent any. And then some church members dont want anything but what conforms to their narrow doctrine.

I want to draw a line somewhere, as at another church library we decided we just wouldnt have fiction. The public library down the road had plenty of it, if people were that desperate for it they could go to the public library. At first I thought 'christian novel' was a contradiction of words, but then what would you call 'pilgirms progress' although that one is very different from say 'chronicles of narnia' which seems like its mythology.

I did have a book that was called 'the gospel according to the simpsons' and actually did read it. I think people can potentially find the gospel anywhere as probably there has been christian writers working on the simpsons tv show. But then again maybe people are trying to find the gospel in other places and ignoring the Word Himself which somehow bothers me, a little because its like saying God isnt enough, I need some lies or fantasy mixed in with truth to make it more palatable.
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Hmm anyway, maybe its something I just have to let God deal with. I thought, well if I remove 'the shack' from the library what am I going to do with it. I've already read it so Im not going to read it again. If the church member that doesnt like it doesnt want to read it then she doesnt have to. And the one that raved about it wanted it there. But nobody else seems to be taking it out, and I think as long as it doesnt have occult spells or porn in it I dont have a problem with it there because we do have Bibles and heaps of other books for people to read.

Unlike 'esther and the king' which had vashti do a striptease in the film. That was not in the bible. Joan collins played Esther, who also had a boyfriend in the film. She did not have one in the Bible story.

The 'red tent' had jacob touching himself too so I thought um...I dont want to read any further. Ms Diamant obviously has a wild imagination.
Aug 23, 2016
Lanolin, It's been some days since the above, but it challenged me at the time, and I've been reading things again.
Basically, I have subconsciously been wondering how fiction should fit in with our search for the Truth.
Then it struck me that the parables told by Jesus were indeed fiction. Some of His listeners couldn't see the point, and went away unimpressed. The disciples themselves asked Jesus to explain some of the parables, and later saw their purpose, and remarked that Jesus was then speaking in ways they could understand.

Would it not be similar that there will be some who don't see the point or think it is reasonable to have fiction in the library, gaining nothing, while the views of others are widened?

Through my recent re-reading. I have come to see "The Shack Revisited" as the equivalent to a parable being explained, and am impressed by the author's way of adding to the story with his telling of his own experiences.

I appreciate "turning to fables is not how you get sound doctrine", but there will always be differences in the ways people accept the teaching of The Holy Spirit, and I wouldn't want to stand in the way of sound Belief.
Hmm thats true smiler, I think though is a fine line between the parables that Jesus told and much of the fiction thats around today.

I was in a christian writing group and we were encouraged to write fiction pieces but I was not always comfortable doing this, I personally thought sometimes that is a bit of a cop out and sometimes people were just making things up for the sake of it and it wasnt believable. Its a bit of a grey area. I used to read fiction ALOT I mean nearly all the time but coming to Christ I find I dont need to read it anymore. Even christian fiction I found I had problems with because I read the Bible first...i remember reading one about Martha and the author embellished her life and got her married to Timothy and I thought would quote all these scriptures but the writing just didnt make sense.

I can read Pilgrims Progress and understand the spiritual meaning behind it and nothing in it is contrary to His word, but with something like the Shack to me it seems heading in a different direction. I dont know what bible Mr young used possibly it was different from mine..I found that novel quite american-centric and couldnt relate to it really.

I have read a few Francine Rivers books which are sometimes in the 'christian romance' category but again I find them very american and even a bit questionable some of them in the way she portrays women. Yet some of them are geat especially the ones she based on real life stories, like her own family saga.

Maybe am just being picky!

When Jesus told a story like the parable of the talents, he was illustrating something. He wasnt making something up for the sake of telling a yarn. And stories like the prodigal son, lazarus dying, have too much truth in them to be thought of as mere fiction. He would also say 'a certain man' but you could tell they were real men or groups of people that he had observed personally he just didnt give names to them.

Fish Catcher Jim

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Feb 7, 2015
Then it struck me that the parables told by Jesus were indeed fiction.
Hi Smiler,
How can this be? Fiction as made up stories as in not true?

Look at the times. These folks understood agriculture, after all it was what they knew and did.

Jesus said I only say what I hear the Father say. Well then I would believe God in all His Wisdom knew how to speak to these folks in such a way that they could understand.

Everything about God starts from a seed. From our rebirth to faith and so on.
Even our understanding starts as a seed and grows.

Anyway just another view.
Blessings to you
It would be less of a problem for me if mr young hadnt fictionalised the shack and just wrote his testimony instead. In the book he made out like the character met God but in way that actually didnt really happen, but its made to appear in the book that it is a true story.
Now if the author had actually lost a child and truly met God in a shack in the way he described, then we could all meet God like that. But we know its just the authors imagination. Which is the conceit of this book.
In writing a story which is made up, it forces the reader to 'suspend their disbelief' if they want to know more of the story. So you kind of know well this story isnt true but you want to make it real so you can engage with it or at least finish the book. How much we suspend our disbelief is up to us how much we enjoy being lied to or manipulated. And it will come down to whether we are entertained by it or if it makes us feel good, or, like people who choose to read horror for example, how much it can scare you, or thrillers how tricky the plot is, or in romance whether it has a 'happy ending'. The author then gets the credit for creating a story that can sell to readers.

Unfortunately a lot of writing these days is published so it can make the best selling list and keep publishers in business.
Mr young wrote another book which is in the sci fi category. Science fiction and theology or speculative fiction. Basically he took the story of eve in the bible and manipulated it so that..this is where it get confusing, someone from the future time travels to the past. If he was trying to illustrate something it was abit lost on me when the Bible is actually quite clear on Eves actions and what she did and how everything that came after God made a way to redeem.

Now if these stories are actual true stories they dont really need to be fictionalised at all and could be memoirs or testimonies or biographies. Or histories or practical books. But when people ficitonalise them they somehow trivialise them.