I am amazed as to the continued interest in The Shack. People keep reading the book and debating the value. Since a book group in our church has decided to read it, I wanted to provide them with some tools to evaluate what they read. If the book is read, it must be read with discernment.
Here are nine reviews of the book–balanced, positive, and negative–three of each. They provide a view of the waterfront as to how people respond to the book.
- “Taking ‘The Shack’ to the shed”– Christianity Today “Out of Ur” blog.
- “‘Shack’ opens doors, but critics call the book ‘scripturally incorrect'” – Review of the book and profile of the author in USA Today.
- “A review of ‘The Shack: Where tragedy confronts eternity'” – Review from the radio program, “Insight for living”
- “‘The Shack’ touted as ‘Pilgrim’s Progress'” – Review from the Leadership Network
- “Response to ‘The Shack'” – Review from Probe Ministries.
- “Is ‘The Shack’ heresy?” – written by Wayne Jacobsen, who published the book (as the publisher, he has an obvious bias)
- “The Shack” – review by Discerning Reader
- “A reader’s review of ‘The Shack'”– review by Tim Challies, by far the most detailed analysis of the book
- “The Shack and the danger of Christian fiction” – my own review of the book
If you choose to read the book, these reviews will help you to process what you learn. But don’t stop with what the author presents about forgiveness and the Trinity. Don’t stop with what the reviewer says about the strengths and weaknesses and the subtle messages of the book. Find out what the Bible says about forgiveness, the Trinity, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the importance and role of the local church, and every other subject touched on in the book and the reviews. Be like the Bereans, who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul (or authors and book reviewers) said was true” (Acts 17:11).