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A critical appraisal of "The Shack" by William P. Young (Los Angeles: Windblown Media 2007, April 10th printing).

1. "The Shack" is great.

"The Shack" is a surprise bestseller in the USA. It is a piece of Christian Fiction about God and pain, the injustice in this world, about the Trinity, forgiveness, inner healing, about God's love and determination to redeem those who are totally lost. A central concept of the book is "relationship", "relationship and love". All the other topics are developed and unfold under that ruling perspective.

The book cover gives this fitting summary:

 

"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!"

It is a fascinating book, and it is a great read. Astonishingly, the author tells us in an interview, that they were a kind of compelled to publish the book themselves, because publishing houses would not accept it... Read more here (pdf ).