Christianbook.com. People either loved it or hated it, there were not in between opinions. I seriously don't think there is another book labeled Christian that has as many consumer reviews as it has.
I finally decided to read the book for myself and see what all the fuss was about..... and I hated it. The premise was cool..... a man meeting God at the place where his little girl was killed........but that was all that was good.
(My reviews are here: The Shack: My review, Revisiting The Shack, and a review of it that was also on Chuck Swindoll's page.)
First there were the curse words. I am one of those extreme Christians who believe no Christian should ever use curse words, and that no author who is writing a Christian book should include curse words... and this book had quite a few.
Then there was the author's portrayal of God: All through the Bible, God is portrayed as masculine: He, His, Father..... There are those who argue that God has no gender, which I am not sure there is any proof of that, but regardless, God always refers to Himself in the masculine........ but William P Young does not.
In The Shack, God is a black woman who speaks like an uneducated black woman........and man, did that rub me wrong. (and no, it wasn't the black part.... it was the woman and uneducated part).
And then there is Jesus: Young does portray Jesus as a man, but as a blundering one who makes mistakes and has no clue about some things (and who is oddly white, and not black like His Father......mother?)
The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a woman, which if God is three in one and uses the masculine pronouns for Himself, it would only make sense that the Holy Spirit would have a masculine pronoun.
I have been amazed at the many Christians who love this book, have no issues with it, and will in fact defend what I and many others view as heresy. (In fact, there will be those who are offended by this blog post because they like the book so much).
With the making of the book into a movie, The Shack has been getting a lot of attention again. As I was thinking about the book and movie, a thought hit me that didn't before: by Young's portrayal of the Trinity, and more specifically God the Father, Young is making God in his own image, or an image he seemed to prefer for his book.
If you study the names of God/Jesus, they cover a lot, and each name shows a different characteristic of Him: Rock, Shepherd, Father, Prince of Peace, Jehovah Jireh, and many more. The Bible is full of different names and characteristics of God. Nowhere is God portrayed as an uneducated black woman with poor speech.
Why couldn't Young have written this book and stayed Biblical? Why couldn't he have portrayed God as the loving Father of the Bible, instead of as an uneducated black woman who can't even talk right? Why did Young feel the need to make God in his own way instead of what God is really like?
This statement is not original with me, but I believe it with all my heart: There is a danger of bringing God down too low and making Him too common. Yes, God became a man, but not a bumbling idiot like Young portrays in his book, but God is not common........ and Young brought God down way too low in his novel.
It isn't popular to speak up about this book and movie, but I firmly believe it is heresy, it is bringing God down too low, making Him into our own image, and should not be labeled Christian, but heresy.