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Shack, The Paperback – Jul 1 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 228 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive; 1st edition (July 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964729237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964729230
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 228 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fefertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack. This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!" Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

About 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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very touching book. Good story line. I rather enjoyed the religious aspect of the book. I felt it was incorporated quite lovely. There is definately someone from above caring for us. It is just something we believe.
Even if you are not religiously inclined, you will enjoy the book as the circumstances that happened in the book....could happen to you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a book that takes you on a journey of religious possibilities. It is interesting what the mind can do to your believe system when it is separated from the physical. What is true is what you believe on your journey. This book is an interesting journey.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first book in years, yes years, that didn't bore me after the first 20 pages. I can't remember the last time I read an entire book but this one was done in 24 hours! It is so well written that you almost feel like you are right there with Mack as he experiences first a tragedy and then discovers that while things can happen that make us sad, with understanding of God and God's love for all his children, the sadness can be replaced by peace. So many questions are addressed such as life purpose, why 'bad' things happen, the limitations we place on ourselves, the result of having free will, and so much more. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The most insightful book I have ever read when trying to make sense of tragedy in life and how God fits into the picture. It really helps deal with the bitterness and anger that accompanies us when something unjust happens to us.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of the people who dislikes religious organisations, rarely goes to church, and have been unsure where a loving God fits into the dreadful things that go on in the world. I picked up this book by mistake, and read it with the intention of writing a harsh review advising others to save their money. It turns out that I was wrong. This is a very readable book, which addresses questions such as "Why did God let this happen?" and "Does God really have an interest in what goes on in the world?" without being preachy or pious. I was delighted by the humour contained within the pages, which made the sadness in the story bearable. Buy a copy for yourself and a friend! I'm not going to tell you what happens - you'll have to read it yourself.
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Format: Paperback
The Shack is a book that people appear to love or hate as evidenced by the disparity of reviews. Most are 5 stars and those who give it less appear to invariably give it 1 star. To stand out from the crowd, I've decided to give it 4 stars although I easily could have given it 5 stars.

While the book is written as fiction, it clearly is both a theological and psychological book intended to counsel and direct people toward a more personal relationship with God. Difficult concepts are illustrated in a way that make them easier for the reader to understand. This is the book's strength as well as its weakness. Calvinistic theologians appear to take offense at some of the concepts which is not surprising. Calvinism is more about approaching God intellectually and coming up with an answer for every question you can think of, and then some that you probably wouldn't.

It's evident to me that the author takes care in presenting the pictures and conversations with God and seeks to do so in a manner that is helpful. Clearly, it is impossible to present something, such as the Trinity, in a manner that doesn't fail at different levels. In that sense, I can understand the concerns of those who naysay the book, apparently afraid that refrigerator magnets of a black woman, Jesus and an asian women will appear in kitchens across the nation and possibly even replace Gideon Bibles in motels. The horror! Seriously though, there's good room here from some concerns and cautions to not take the message of this book beyond what I believe the author intended.

More than a theological treatise, the message I took away from this book, is that God is personal, accessible and big enough to stand up to our anger and judgement if we want to bring it to Him along with our pain and accusations.
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Format: Paperback
The Shack is clearly an influential book, and judging by its prodigious sales a lot of people are reading it. As well I noticed that it has (especially in Canada) received a lot of controversial reviews. There are those who love it, and those who hate it passionately. It seems that a lot of this depends on the reader's theology. I would like to critique this view not based on its theology, but on its inspirational value as a work of fiction

First I would like to start by arguing that this is a work of fiction and that fiction is not the same as nonfiction theology (which some reviews seem to claim). The purpose of a nonfiction theological work is to teach through instruction and argument. Fiction, such as The Shack, however is meant to inspire the imagination through the use of vivid and attention-grabbing tales; fiction strives to rouse our emotions and this allows us to consider issues in a different way. For this reason- and I hope this is already clear- The Shack is not a conclusive theological thesis, but a pointer towards a new way of thinking which can then be either validated or invalidated by looking more into the thoughts and feelings we derive from reading it. It is like listening to Silent Night on Christmas Eve as opposed to listening to a university theology lecture. It is what it is. What is important about this book is how it makes us feel and think.

It is within this context that I would like review The Shack. I do not really care whether it mirrors my theology or not, I care about how the book was written and whether it evokes emotion and personal reflection.
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