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Catholic Review of: Shack

Item Details

Author:  William P. Young

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This item received 3 stars overall. (05/14/2009)

Orthodoxy: A lot of questionable material.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Karl EricksonBy Karl Erickson (OR) - See all my reviews

Synopsis

High expectations, bad theology.

Evaluator Comments

I was looking forward to reading William Young’s bestseller The Shack, as I had heard positive reviews from both friends and family. Perhaps most importantly, though, the tale is set in the beautiful Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, an area known as “America’s Little Switzerland.” It’s a remote and picturesque region of pristine wilderness covering thousands of square miles and including both the Eagle Cap Wilderness and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Ever since I first ventured into the Wallowas (pronounced Wul-OW-wuhs) some years ago, the region has captured my imagination. When I picked-up the The Shack while on vacation in Texas, I was looking forward not only to a good read, but to rich descriptions evoking the unique imagery of the Pacific Northwest.

 

Unfortunately, I quickly encountered one serious theological error after another--and a surprising number of editorial mistakes. The problem, however, is that one has to frequently read the book with a critical eye in order to catch the seriousness of many of these concerns.

Sadly, there is not space enough to address everything I would like--from the feminine representation of God the Father to the narrative blunder when it comes to Mack’s recognition of the shack in the note. This review will provide more than a half dozen major reasons why it’s definitely time to tear down The Shack, a rambling sermon in the guise of a story, and why it’s also just as important to to take a stand against the modernism so clearly reflected in its pages. (Read the whole review -pdf)


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