EDIT: So no one has a comment or opinion on the part that I have bolded below? I thought it was an important question.
Okay, who else has read it? I just finished The Shack by William Young, and then I went to look up all the reviews that I had only skimmed before. I guess I find it interesting that so many people had such a strong reaction to it. Many people (including at least three who I know personally) simply loved it and found it life-changing. Many others thought it was heresy.
I actually thought it was a neat little story, very readable, with lots of interesting thoughts, but certainly didn’t find it life-changing in any way. As for the heresy, yes, I saw a few things that bothered me. Pretty much any book has some things that I don’t like, but this one did have several spots that I would definitely say were wrong. I found a good blog that covered most of those, if anyone is interested, at http://igniteuk.net/2008/04/29/the-shack-harmless-allegory-or-deadly-heresy/
I enjoyed some of the dialog about the trinity, though there were definitely some wrong ideas in it. I loved one scene toward the end where emotions flow as colors–it sounded so artistic. There were several amusing and quirky scenes that I really enjoyed, which I probably shouldn’t spoil for you if you haven’t read it yet. You just have to sift out the bad theology, and I admit there is quite a bit.
I do think that it’s interesting that there is a huge amount of criticism against portraying God as a woman. Some people seem to be pretty concerned that this is softening us up for goddess worship, which is possible, but most of them don’t seem too worried about the even more basic idea of assigning specific images to God the Father. I had to wonder if vivid word pictures are perhaps just as much of a problem with God as an actual graven image?
I’m certainly not going to tear it to pieces and evaluate it all. For one thing, that’s been done many times before, and I doubt I’d have anything new to add. For another, I don’t think it’s worth the time. It’s just a story. It does have some dangerous territory, but if you read it, read it lightly. Don’t swallow it whole. There are nuggets of good, and sorting out the bad stuff is good practice. I don’t really think it rates all the publicity it’s getting, though. Contrary to the blurb on the cover of the book, I wouldn’t call it a second Pilgrim’s Progress, but I guess I didn’t take it seriously enough to call it a deadly and dangerous heresy, either, as some have.
Perhaps I’m just not deep enough to appreciate the danger, though, who knows? I’ll be interested to hear what others think.