Review of The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
In 2008, I stumbled across a book that absolutely blew me away. The name of that book was The Shack. Fast forward eight years later and I discovered it on the list of books I could review. I was confused at first because I knew the book had been released years ago. I soon realized though that The Shack had been made into a major motion picture, set to release March, 2017. I couldn’t wait to re-read it and give my thoughts on it.
This book is a paperback divided into eighteen chapters with a foreword and afterword by the narrator. The copy I reviewed was a “movie tie-in” copy that included a new cover and eight glossy sheets in the center with color photos from scenes in the movie. The book is a great size with very easy to read print. The storyline revolves around Mack Philips and his difficulty of trying to recover from the tragic loss of his daughter. Blaming God and himself, he goes on a journey to find answers. This journey leads him to a remote cabin where not only God is there waiting on him, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit too. Over the next few days, Mack spends time with each of them as he seeks to uncover answers to all the questions he has about life and all that he’s ever believed.
“The darkness hides the true size of fears and lies and regrets,” Jesus explained. “The truth is they are more shadow than reality, so they seem bigger in the dark. When the lights shines into the places where they live inside you, you start to see them for what they are.” pg. 176
My Final Thoughts
As I said in my introduction, I have already read this book, but this time it meant so much more to me. Receiving a lot of criticism when first released, I expect a similar reaction to occur when the movie is announced. Many people had problems with God being portrayed as an African American woman. The author explained that this was the way God chose to appear to Mack because of his history of abuse from his own father. He felt Mack would not have responded to a father figure. It made sense to me for I have someone close to me who would have reacted the same way. I personally loved this book. Just like any work of fiction, it’s meant to be just that, fiction. It’s a way of seeing the work of the Trinity portrayed through the eyes of the author. It helps us understand Romans 8:28 better (“and we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”) and to know that the tragedies that happen in our lives can be used by God to bring good. I’m very excited to see how this book is going to be turned into a movie, and can’t wait to watch it. Until then, I recommend that you grab a copy of this great book and read it now.
“Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I needed it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me.” pg 187
Book: The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
Author: Wm. Paul Young
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Windblown Media (Media Tie Edition Sept, 2016)
Available from Amazon and other book retailers.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not asked to give a favorable review; all opinions are my own.