OK. I've joined the millions of folks who've read The Shack by William P. Young. Here are some of my thoughts and opinions.
First, I really liked this book. It is very different, to say the least. There were some things I didn't like (I'll get to those in a minute), but for the most part I found it a good read. Mr. Young is a good writer, although he got a bit wordy in some places and I admit that I...gasp!...skipped sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs! As an author, I hate to admit to doing that, because I understand how important each word is to the author telling the story. Sorry, Mr. Young, but ya gotta watch out for "fluff" that doesn't move the story forward.
When I opened the book, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't read any reviews other than a few Tweets on Twitter from author friends and such. I didn't even know what the story premise was when I started reading, which I think was a good thing. I had no expectations, so therefore I wasn't disappointed or forewarned about anything.
WARNING: If you haven't read the book and plan to, I am going to get into a little more detail about the story now.
I had no idea that Missy was kidnapped and murdered! Oh, the horror I felt reading that! As a parent, I completely understand Mack's anger and mistrust with God because of what happened to his little girl. And while I hate that Mr. Young used such a terrible tragedy to tell this story, I don't think it could have been told without it.
I confess to being uncomfortable, at first at least, with God--or "Papa", as the character calls him-- being depicted as a big black woman. I mean, come on. The Bible is clear that God is our Father. But I see why Mr. Young did this and I eventually overcame my issue with it.
I also didn't like that Jesus seemed kinda goofy at first. Maybe it was just me and the way I read it, but as Mr. Young described Jesus, I got the image of a Jethro Bodine-like character. NOT the way I see Jesus!!! But, again, as the story moves forward, I was able to get past that and I truly enjoyed the dialogue between Jesus and Mack.
I did like the way Mr. Young showed us the Holy Spirit. Not as an Asian woman (again, my understanding is the Holy Spirit is God, which would make him a him), but as this kind of ethereal, not-really-here-but-here figure.
What I truly loved about the book was the relationship between God-Papa, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Mack. I loved that God took the time to help Mack through his pain. I loved that he was able to see his Missy and know that she was wonderfully happy in heaven. And I loved that by the end of the book, I treasured my relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit even more!!!
So, while The Shack has some theological flaws in my understanding of things, I think this is truly a book worth reading.
Here is a link to a pretty in-depth review that I found interesting. I don't agree with everything this reviewer says, but then we're all entitled to our opinions. Just like William P. Young.