The Shack – A Book Review

The Shack, by William Paul Young is not the typical kind of book that I normally enjoy.  Although I prefer non-fiction (Bible study, history, biographies, etc.), The Shack proved to be a surprising and uplifting story. 

The personal tragedy described in the first few chapters is so disturbing that I had to finish the book, hoping for a happy ending, but not believing that one was possible.  The tragedy endured by Mack Phillips left him yearning for direct communication with God, no matter how elusive that it seemed. 

Mack does have that direct encounter with God, although God, and His message, were not what he expected.  In his unusual encounter, Mack learns about the Trinity, and about love and relationships.  In this process, he learns how to take the risk of honesty; to love God, and to rest in what trust he has in Him, no matter how small.  Young ironically describes this submission as simple, but never easy. 

You can’t find freedom through guilt.  It’s not God’s will to punish sin.  It’s His joy to cure it.  We need to realize all of the mental turmoil and anxiety in our lives that are related to religion, politics, and economics.  We need to stop trying to build our identity through our jobs and our performance

We must learn how to live and to love, without an agenda.  Then we can realize God’s handiwork:  that out of what seems to be a huge mess “Papa” (God) weaves a magnificent tapestry.

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