Anglican Samizdat

June 22, 2009

The Shack

Filed under: Books — David Jenkins @ 10:37 am

I’ve just finished reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It comes with high recommendations from, among others, Eugene Add an ImagePeterson who compares it to Pilgrim’s Progress and from Dale Lang whose son was murdered in 1999; his wife, Diane – a model of grace and forgiveness – stayed with us a few years back when she spoke at a conference in Ontario.

Although the casting of God the Father and Holy Spirit as female and the folksy writing style conspired to put me off the book, in the end I wasn’t put off because the novel tackles difficult subjects with some imagination.

The main themes are coping with evil in this world, in particular the loss of a child, and the relationship between the persons of the Trinity and how that relationship extends to us. Theologically, Paul Young seems to teeter on the edge of universalism and I would like to have seen the devil make an appearance – as it is, humanity gets all the blame for the Fall.

The lachrymose may need a box of tissues since the theme of the novel is emotional and it is dealt with in an emotional way.

So is it a modern Pilgrim’s Progress? Maybe not, but it’s still worth a read.

Update: for another perspective, see John K’s thoughts here.


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