Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Shack & Conflicting Reviews

People in our church are reading The Shack and are recommending it to others. As always, I'm skeptical about any book that folks claim resemble Pilgrim's Progress or other great works by great Christians. I'm especially skeptical when they claim that it "explains the Gospel in a new way."

I have not read the book. I am not planning to read the book. It is on the NY bestseller's list (as is our youth pastor's book, Mistaken Identity) so I think it does merit some attention, whether it be to the positive or negative.

I've scanned the internet for reviews of this book so that you can read both the positive and the negative and decide whether you want to read it for yourself. As for me, I don't need another book to "explain the Gospel in a new way." God says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn't change. He doesn't need His message explained differently. He did it right the first time.

The praisers:


The author

Wayne Jacobson

If you're a member of the Homeschool Lounge, you can read this review by Robin Sampson.

Those who dissent:

Chuck Colson

YouTube video

Hidden Heresies of the Shack Book

From the Lighthouse

Insight for Living (Chuck Swindoll's ministry)

I find myself on a roll finding those who posted negative reviews, but I'll stop here. As I said, you'll have to make your own decisions concerning this book.


Marianne Thomas said...

Thanks for commenting at Writer-Mommy!

toby said...

The Shack is a powerful story about one man's need to understand forgiveness and how everything fits into the grand scheme of things (i.e. God's plan).

Actually, it is the author's telling of that man's story.

I have found that reading overviews, reviews, etc of stories never do them justice because you don't know how their story will affect you.

You also don't know how God might use this book with you.

I have passed this book on to others, and the two who have read it have said "this book, the concepts, philosophies, in it could help change the world."

Might be worth the read.

One of them even has the city library in Grayling putting it on their shelves.

One said they are going to buy copies for anyone they know who has lost a loved one, because this book, they feel, could probably do them great good!

Thanks for the link, Rita!

FromThe Creek said...

Here are some more interesting reviews for this book. Notice that the only one writing out of anger is the one writing the positive review for it.

If you take all the reviews and line them up, I think the same elements will be discussed. This is a "feel good" book about whatever religion you want to be a part of. However, many christians are taking it and teaching church groups from it. That is where the problems start...

If you want to "feel good" this book. If you want to spend eternity in heaven with would be better served to read the Bible and forget about these types of books.

FromThe Creek said...

I just noticed that it cut off the end of the link. Just do a search for it on and you will find it there.

Toby said...

Was this really said...????

"If you want to "feel good" this book. If you want to spend eternity in heaven with would be better served to read the Bible and forget about these types of books."


This book is F A R from "feel good"! It is very upseting, causes you to think deeply (I have a Master's Degree in Theology and I was up till 3 or 4am thinking about the ramification of what was said), and it opens wounds that many find hard to deal with (forgiveness being a HUGE one).

It also gives some hope to those who have lost loved ones in their lives that there is something bigger going on.


I'm still shocked that you said what you said, and meant it...

FromThe Creek said...

I am not trying to beat a dead dog to death here...but this book was written by a man who does not claim to be a Christian. That is the main point that needs to be emphasized in all of this. In fact, he said that he does not link himself with any religion.

The second point that needs to be made very clear is that it is a work of fiction. Much like the DaVinci Code book and should be left in that state...fiction. Why in the world should I go to church to be taught from a fictitious book?

The third thing that I am looking at here is where do I want to be focusing my time and energy. If my goal is to go to heaven when I die...why would I read a fictitious book written by an unbelieving man.

If I am stepping on toes here...that is not my intent.

We can not understand forgiveness apart from the to read a book that is written by an an effort to gain this understanding...makes absolutely no sense. I spent years of my life trying to learn how to forgive my victimizers and it wasn't until I studied the scriptures that I could bring myself to actually do it. While I understand that forgiveness is never my case it was extremely difficult. These were not run of the mill trespasses that I am talking about here.

You must understand one thing about me though, I have absolutely no time to read self-help opinionated books. That includes a wide variety of books, whether Christian or secular.

Rita T. said...

I have to agree that forgiveness was best expressed when Christ died on the cross...and triumphed over the sins of every single human being who has, does, or ever will live.