Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Quit!

I hate to do this (mostly because I'm really sorry I blogged about this book at all), but I'm quitting The Shack. As Pooh would say, this book is "fluff and stuff". It's just plain awful!
Not only is it a clunky read, as far as fiction goes, but it's so full of Biblically inconsistent theology, that I can't recommend it at all. There are a few thought-provoking truths, but they are few and far between. What this book does have is a whole lot of garbage. I've been convicted that finishing it, much as I hate to quit a book, would be to allow trash in my mind. I'd rather not.
Don't buy this book. Don't read this book.

Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked.

~Galatians 6:7

Don't be deceived. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father, who does not change like shifting shadows.

~James 1:16-17

"Watch out that you are not deceived."

~Luke 21:8


Lisa said...

Drat it! I just ordered it on Amazon (used) to see what it was all about! I'm getting too hasty for my own good.

Roehrman said...

That really stinks. Glad you found out for me though. LOL

The Herd said...

I am proud of you for stopping's really hard to not finish something, but I think you did the right thing, and I know you know that. It's just better to have the yucky feeling of wrong thoughts go away than have to deal with finishing the book. Thanks for all the have spared many from reading it:)

Our Family: said...


And yep, sometimes it really is just best to put it down.....

krista said...

Yep...that's a good summation of this book. I barely got past that horrific part but I did finish it. I kept thinking the allegory part would kick in and I wouldn't have to say..."BLEEHHHHH!" at the end.

Thanks for the scripture verses! Those are very appropriate responses to this book.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I couldn't, in good conscience, finish it either. It tears me up that so many Christians recommend this book. It is so not theologically sound and even if it is fiction, I can't "pollute" my mind.

In Christ, Laura

Jill said...

Good for you Ginger! And thanks for letting us know.

Anonymous said...

I find it upsetting that in our humanness, we somehow feel that it is our place to judge how others interpret this book, some of us without even reading it.
Keep in mind, there people that might otherwise be closed off to the idea of God that may start off their journey towards him (or return to him) by reading this book. Tread lightly my sisters- for there are many that watch you.
May God judge between us." Genesis 31;53
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11;2
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1'19-21

Ginger said...


Do you think that lies are better than no God at all? I disagree. Yes, there are many that watch us, that is why I felt it so important to come back and tell the truth about this awful book. God is a woman? Rules were never His idea? He wrote the OT law, and the Ten Commandments, and the very first rule: You may eat from all the trees in the garden, except the one tree in the middle of the garden.
The Shack is deceptive and overly casual in it's depiction of God.
I prefer that nonbelievers be led to the Truth, not some weird idea about God that isn't helpful.
I published your anonymous comment this once, but if you don't have the courage to even post your name. ..
Anonymous comments will not be published in the future. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I will also watch to see if you post an opinion that differs from your own.

Ginger said...

I do publish comments that I disagree with, but I will not publish comments that contain untruths. I feel responsible for those who read here. The goal of my blog is to educate, not confuse, thus the reason I gave this negative book review.
I had originally blogged about this book in hopes that someone would pop in and tell me what they loved about it. That never happened. Then as I got towards the last bit of the book I realized why.
I'm sorry that this post upset you.

Heather G. said...

“Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."I Thes.5:21-22 (KJV)
Papa(AKA GOD) says,“I am truly human, in Jesus.” This is a lie that misleads those who might be "seeking God"-the true God-or those who may be "returning to Him". God is not human in Jesus as Jesus, God the Father, never mentioned as such in the book, and the Holy Spirit are not in any way human. They are the Godhead. Get it? GOD HEAD, noy human head. Young teaches that the Trinity exists entirely without hierarchy and that any kind of hierarchy is the result of sin. The Bible it clear that there is a hierarchy within the Trinity. The Spirit and the Son have submitted themselves to the Father. The task of the Spirit is to lead people to the Son who in turn brings glory to the Father. Never do we find the Father submitting to the Spirit or to the Son. To read and take heart in a theologically misplaced fiction and that plays on peoples deire to see humanity in God is a sad state. If you want people to find truth and hope, what better story than the truth. He became flesh and dwelt (that is past tense for his human form) among us. He was crucified for our sins and he rose again. What better way to find hope than in the true knowledge of our Lord, Saviour and Holy Spirit than to know that He loved us while we were yet sinners and astill committed himself to pain and anguish that we may spend eternity with HIM (not a confused bi-gendered representation) in Heaven. I must stop or I may just Go off on the absurdity of this author who mixes his ancient-clan based theology with Chrisyian principles in order to blind the weak into submission to the falsehoods that the enemy would love for us to embrace. Search for truth. Embrace it wholeheartedly and rest in the light of the WORD of God.

Oh, By the way, it is not in our "humaness that we judge this book", it is by the discernuing power of the same Spirit thta raised Christ from the dead and if it dwells in you, you will feel impelled to flee that which is evil and cling to , I must say once again, the TRUTH!

Bob in Oregon said...

The jist of the Shack....
- bad things happen in this life
- that is not how God designed it
- God is there for us in the midst of the bad things... if we release our independence, judgement of God and self-centeredness
- God is especially fond of all of us... sounds sort of like John 3:16.... His love is so great.
- He desires relationship..intimate and personal with each of His children; walking side-by-side as our Papa (or Abba)
- His relationship with us is a phenomenal point of reference for our relationships... particularly w/ our children.

Does the book walk the "casual depiction of God" edge?
Does the book physically manifest God in an unusual way?
Does the book challenge the Christian "norm"?

Yes. Yes. Yes.
I was nearly ready to put it down in the chapter where Mack arrived at the Shack.

Without know Paul Young I cannot say for sure, but I am pretty certain he was intentional about that. The edginess is needed to bust up unhelpful (unbiblical) preconceived notions we have of God.... the Father is an old wise man, Jesus was a handsome blonde haired/blue eyed man...
God is "almighty" and thus relational only in a doctrinal, judicial way. no real relationship as humans typically understand it...His basic character of loving us as children (intimate, not as master or ruler)

Picking brief, partial sentence excerpts to quote and discredit as "wrong" is misleading. Certainly no one is going to find a systematic theology in the book.

In my mind that is intentional. A relationship-based understanding of God rather than a doctrinal-based understanding. Of course, one does not preclude the other, but it is about emphasis.

What are the greatest commands...
LOVE - that is relationship, including our mind I know. :-)

What was Jesus' last prayer for His own...
UNITY - that is relationship
It was not that they may know the doctrines about Me. It was One in the Son....

Young is trying, in my opinion, to offer perspective on God that is oft overlooked in today's intellectual, apologetic, statement of beliefs society. . .

Ginger said...

So you think the Christian norm is to see God only as doctrine? "Christianity is about relationship, not religion" - that's what I've heard all my life.
Casual depictions of our Lord are rampant and easy to find. This was not a new or needed concept in Christianity.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Seeing God as a funny black woman certainly does not lead to respect for Him (or her?). It gives the impression that God is just like us, like a better version of us. God is not just a super human. And He is deserving of far more respect and awe than we give to any human.

The Bible alone is sufficient for making us realize that God's heart is relationship.

Bob in Oregon said...

Let me start by saying I am not trying to defend the book or convince anyone another way. I am trying to discuss broader issues relevant to Christian interaction....

So you think the Christian norm is to see God only as doctrine? "Christianity is about relationship, not religion" - that's what I've heard all my life.

Of course we all hear that quote you reference. BUT, what we hear, what we say and what we do are not necessary harmonious.

For example, you say it is obvious God's heart is relationship. However, when you offered your critique, there was no mention (at least that I noticed) of the relational aspect of the book, which was the entire point! Your critique was all about doctrine. Which was entirely not the point! (at least as I see it).

In the end, doctrine is paramount and people are marginalized. Denominations... in their purest form (not good in this case) they divide Christians in the interest of preserving less-than-essential doctrines.

I think if we look around it becomes more and more apparent doctrine is king.... when Jesus said Love and relationships are king....

And it is additionally interesting (sad) that based on comments herein some have written a book off based on your partial, filtered critique of a book. It furthers the doctrinal/relational divide.

Ginger said...

You're exactly right, Bob. I didn't focus my critique on the relational aspect of the book because the doctrine was so very unbiblical, I couldn't look past the falsehoods to recommend the book. If people need to understand the relational heart of God, they may read the Bible. The Shack, with all it's biblical inaccuracies, is not necessary or helpful. I'll say it again.