What The Shack Did For My Faith

Posted by Sam Hailes  ·  Be the first to comment

Works of fiction don’t normally create controversy but The Shack was no ordinary novel.

William P. Young originally wrote the book as a Christmas gift for his six children. Initially, the book had no interest from either secular or Christian publishers.

Even 12 months after Young self published the title, few had read it. But in the summer of 2008, it took off as word of mouth got around and the book reached number one on the New York Times paperback fiction list. 

Within the Christian community, the book attracted heated debate. Eugene Peterson, author of The Message translation of the Bible praised it, even compared the book to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress while Albert Mohler called it “deeply troubling”.

Here in the UK, the book could be found in both Christian bookshops and secular retailers such as Waterstones. A substantial advertising campaign even saw the book’s cover appear throughout the London Underground as both churchgoers and atheists devoured The Shack.

What caused the book to sell millions of copies and spread across the world? Why did so many Christians love it so much? Here we talk to three ordinary Jesus followers to find out what The Shack did for their faith...

Three opinions

Dave Ward from Nottingham “absolutely loved” The Shack.

“I know that some people have struggled with it, but for me it's an inspired book not only in the context of suffering but also because it gives us a new image of the Trinitarian God,” he comments.

“Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted and murdered, "Mack" struggles to come to terms with this and meets with God in the Shack. The questions he asks and the answers given are wonderful and bring new depth to a God who really does care.

“I love how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to each other in real community, the sense of humour and obvious love between them shines through and makes you want to be a part of that.”

Dave says he’s given the book to a number of non Christian friends, especially those who have experienced suffering first hand.  “It makes a refreshing change to have this subject dealt with as a novel.” He says.

Pam Rowley from Gillingham admits it took her a while to get her head around the book. But now that she has read it four times, she’s a big fan!

After the Shack repeatedly came up in conversations with her Christian friends, Pam felt like she was missing out and decided to read the novel for herself.

To begin with, Pam struggled to understand how God could be portrayed as a big black woman but in the end she decided “I guess he can be whoever you want him to be”.

Sandra Delemare from Hythe found the book to be a “refreshing, thought-provoking take on the Trinity."

Not bothered by accusations of “dodgy theology”, Sandra believes God’s love shines through the pages.

“Love covers a multitude of dodgy theologies”, she quips. 

The Sequel

Four years on from the summer that propelled The Shack to dizzying heights, the book continues to sell well. 

Other books including The Shack Revisited, God, The Bible and the Shack and Finding God in The Shack seek to either delve deeper into the themes or offer a critique of the book's theology. 

But this year, the man himself is returning with Cross Roads. Will the author's second novel receive as much praise and criticism as The Shack did? Only time will tell...

4th November

November 4th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes

Thumbs Down0
Thumbs Up0

Did you find this article useful?

0 Visitor Comments

Join in the Eden community and comment on this article

Leave A Comment

Leave your comments or suggestions in regards to this article.

Product Spotlight
The Shack

The Shack

Availability: In Stock - Order before 4pm for same day dispatch

Offer Price: £7.99

Most Popular Articles
Ways to Entertain your Children this Summer
Posted on Thursday 19th of July
What is a Christian book?
Posted on Wednesday 18th of July
Love Song for a City by Martin Smith - Review
Posted on Tuesday 17th of July
Ways to Entertain your Children this Summer
Posted on Thursday 19th of July
What is a Christian book?
Posted on Wednesday 18th of July
Love Song for a City by Martin Smith - Review
Posted on Tuesday 17th of July
When is Good Friday 2018?
Posted on Wednesday 28th of February
When is Palm Sunday?
Posted on Thursday 1st of February
The Ultimate Guide To.... Classic Christian Books
Posted on Saturday 15th of April
What Are Eden Bundles?
Posted on Friday 11th of November

Updates from the live @Edencouk twitter feed!

Twitter Seperator
Don't forget to follow us @edencouk
Recent Article Comments
No Comments.

Nia Wright has made 0 posts.

34 useful comments

A Reader has made 2 posts.

28 useful comments

Les Ellison has made 50 posts.

10 useful comments

Lyn Myers has made 5 posts.

8 useful comments

Ian Matthews has made 8 posts.

8 useful comments

Last updated: 17734 days, 5 hrs, 22 mins ago