05 April 2009

'The Shack', blasphemous?

More than seven million copies of William P Young's book, 'The Shack', have now been sold around the world - and it's still selling well.

Most of those who've read it have found it helpful in opening their eyes to the love and nature of the Father. But some have found the book disturbing in various ways. One cause for concern has been Young's depiction of the Trinity.

In a recent blog post, Candice from Kansas writes

So many people I know have read The Shack, but I'm opting not to because I can't get past the blasphemous depiction of the Trinity. I've heard people say, "It's only a fictional book", as if that makes it all okay. I've also had a friend tell me recently that reading it "changed her life". Which is it? A harmless work of fiction, or a palatable twisting of truth?

I would begin by gently asking, 'How can you have an opinion on the book's depiction of the Trinity if you haven't read it for yourself?' All you can do is base your opinion not on the book itself but on someone else's opinion (in this case a review by Dr Gary Gilley). If my only knowledge of 'The Shack' came from reading Dr Gilley's review I would certainly be a little anxious about it too. But having read the book first I would have to say Dr Gilley is quite selective in his choice of quotes. I don't really recognise the book or Young's intentions in the words of the review.

Candice, if you do read 'The Shack' for yourself (and I hope you will) may I also suggest you listen to a radio interview with Paul Young in which he tells how and why he came to write the book? I'd be most interested to hear what you think.

Maybe later you could post again on your blog and share your own thoughts about the book and its author. Tell us what you think is good and what you think is not.

I don't believe this book is either 'a harmless work of fiction' or 'a palatable twisting of truth'. I think it's something far more wonderful and amazing, the Lord himself opening his heart to hurting, helpless, humans. Paul Young didn't write it for publication, but Father had other ideas. The full story is there in Paul's interview.

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