The Shack by William P. Young has emerged as one of the bestselling Christian books of the last several years. It seems as though everyone is reading or has read it.
But is it helpful? Lifechanging? The Pilgrim’s Progress for the 21st Century (a la Eugene Peterson)?
I don’t think so. But I appear to be in the minority of the evangelical community in general. This post isn’t intended to expand on my opinions of the book (I may do that later), but to consolidate some other thoughtful reviews of the book (some even positive).
I’ll update this post as I run across other reviews that I find helpful to the discussion. If you think I’m missing any, please leave a comment.
Here’s a few mostly critical reviews that I largely agree with…
Tim Challies – Probably the most thoughtful and thorough review I’ve found. Be sure to download the extended PDF version
Straight Up – From James MacDonald’s ministry
Insight for Living – Chuck Swindoll’s ministry
Breakpoint – Chuck Colson says “Stay out of the Shack”
Boundless – A ministry of Focus on the Family. Post entitled “Ramshackle Theology”
Fred Sanders – Four Walls, Five Reviews. This one is my favorite. Uses humor and satire to review the book from five different perspectives. I love the “Green Eggs and Ham” version.
Mary Kassian – Great review. Captures a lot of my concerns
Scott Kaufman – On Ronnie Floyd’s blog
Al Mohler – This one is an audio file.
Gary Gilley – Pastor of South Valley Chapel
Norman Geisler – Review from the well know Apologist
Stand to Reason – Greg Koukl’s ministry
Hank Hanegraaff – the Bible Answer Man
Mark Driscoll – Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle (video)
Voddie Baucham – Note that the video quality is poor and that Voddie incorrectly mentions Steven Curtis Chapman as endorsing the book. He apologizes and notes that mistake on his blog.
Matt Slick – Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM)
Scott Lindsey – At the Resurgence website
James DeYoung – A professor at Western Seminary, and more interestingly, a personal friend of the author. (This one is long – 39 pages!)
Michael Youssef – Pastor of Church of the Apostles in Atlanta and President of Leading the Way Ministries.
Todd Friel – Video. This isn’t really a review of the book so much as a critique of the author. Todd reviews an interview in which William P. Young clearly denies penal substitutionary atonement.
Doug Wilson – Very insightful review by the well-known and sometimes controversial author, educator, and pastor.
Gary Thomas – Author of Sacred Marriage.
To be fair here are a couple of thoughtful, positive reviews. I only have two here because, quite frankly – other than a million reviews that say’ “I loved it – it changed my life – it made me feel all mushy inside.” – these are the only positive reviews that I have found that deal thoughtfully with the book.
Michael Patton – I usually agree with him, but not this time (except I do agree with the title).
Michael Spencer – iMonk’s take on the book.
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