Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: The Shack by William P. Young

Review by Tasha

Title:  The Shack
Author: William P. Young
Pages:  272
Publisher: Windblown Media; 1ST edition (July 1, 2008)
ISBN: 0964729245
Age: 16+

Front Cover
The front cover of this book gave me an strange/mysterious feeling.  With the darkness of the sky and a beat-up, abandoned shack, I sorta had the feeling that Jason was going to meet me there. (yikes!) Which made me curious to what story would unfold on the pages within.

This book is a story of a man's struggle (Mackenzie aka Mack) to deal with his past, a horrible tragedy, and his faith and belief in God.  Lured to the shack (by a message received from God) years after dealing with his loss and hardships from his youth, he goes seeking answers to the questions that he has been pondering for many years.  He experiences what is believed to be a divine weekend with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. 

Brief Overview. (Spoiler Alert)

Mack received a note to go to "the shack" (where the Great Sadness occurred).  The kicker is that the note was signed by "Papa" aka God.  In his reluctance (I would have been too) he went to "the shack", not knowing if it was God or someone playing a cruel joke on him. No one is there when he arrives but the painful evidence of what was found there four years ago.  Mack is suddenly overwhelmed with pain and demands God to reveal himself, if it were he who wrote the letter.  Moments later, he falls into a deep sleep (as it seems) and goes on an experience with not only God, but Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well.

The conversations that Mack has during this weekend with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (I call them "The Big Three") are simply remarkable.  He ask many questions that I am sure that we have all wondered at some point or another like, "Why is there so much struggle and unremarkable pain in the world?"  The responses to his questions and the patience that was shown while he sought understanding was incredible.  Think of it like this: Here you are as a simple human, questioning  asking God (creator of all things) why things are the way that they are and even to some extinct judging and holding God responsible for them.  See my point? Mack finds out that he has indeed done both of these things and by the end of his weekend and experience with "The Big Three", he has a new found love, respect, and trust in God. 

Another area that this book focused was relationships.  Not only between a man and woman, but among friends, family, coworkers, etc.  How our relationships with each other should be caring, loving, and kind no matter the offenses committed. (Hard right?)  To live in the present.  Not the past or future, but the now.  The relationship that was revealed to Mack between them ("The Big Three") was the example of how we should live among each other. Mack found himself amazed at their peaceful coexistence.

My thoughts

This book knocked me off my feet!  I cannot express to you all the emotions that I felt while reading this book! From sadness to joy, my heart barely could stand it.  Dealing with a death of a child is completely incomprehensible for me.  I have a child and I cannot even imagine that kind of sorrow and pain that this man had to cope with.  Even more so since he felt responsible for the tragedy.

Could you imagine having the opportunity to walk, talk, eat, drink and be merry with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?? (In the physical form as we know it?)  The ability to ask God all the questions you wanted answered, or to thank Jesus for dying on the cross, or to ask the Holy Spirit, "How do I know it's you speaking to me?" or many other questions you could not quite figure out? I cannot, but if it were to happen, I would want it to happen very similar to what Mack experiences in the shack. 

This book is not filled with bible verses telling you to convert your life and come to Jesus today!  This book however, is life changing. I can easily say that it has impacted my life and I have already started to re-evaluate a few of my own perspectives.  I recommend this book to this to everyone!  Both believers and non believers.  I strongly feel that there is much to gain from reading the experience that Mack encountered in The Shack.

 My Recommendation: 5 Books

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