Thursday, August 14, 2008


EDITED: This post is edited to say that my thoughts towards this book have changed.... I have come across many great critiques of this book lately and I have seen this book in a new light. We must always be on guard against what we allow to enter our hearts and minds. There is a new book that will be next on my reading list entitled: 'Burning Down 'The Shack': How the ‘Christian’ Bestseller is Deceiving Millions The following is a critique of the book :

"The number one error of The Shack," James De Young summarizes in an appendix to his critique of that influential bestseller, "is that Paul Young commits the great evil that he faults the human race for committing from the beginning onward. Paul Young makes the number one evil in the be the independence from God that Adam and Eve exercised in the Garden of Eden.... Yet Paul Young himself indulges the great sin of independence. By embracing the basics of universal reconciliation, Young creates his own view of how love and holiness or justice relate but does not reflect all those texts that talk about the judgment of God on the unbelievers who reject him". This analysis, which I find indubitably correct, goes far toward explaining the root error that has sprung up in many bitter fruits, which, elsewhere, De Young enumerates: "Paul Young improperly redefines the meaning of the Trinity and the special roles of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He distorts the nature of Christ's crucifixion, the nature of sin and punishment, the wrath and judgment of God, and the nature of God's love and having a relationship with him. He has no place for the devil, the enemy of every Christian. He has corrupted the nature of forgiveness, the nature of faith and reconciliation, the nature of salvation, the very meaning of the gospel, who the children of God are, what the bible is, and the role of the institutions of the church, the state, and marriage. Indeed, he rejects the latter, twice calling them a 'trinity of terrors'".
These accusations are supported with a multiplicity of troubling quotations taken directly from The Shack; and they serve as evidence of what great errors God in his righteous wrath is often well-pleased to plunge them into who have rejected the sole sufficiency of his own self-revelation in the inspired scriptures, and have turned instead to fashioning God after their own imaginations and the councils of their own hearts. This bestseller has sadly influenced the spiritual perceptions of countless persons. I ardently urge you, if you are one of that number, to take a moment to consider very soberly and seriously if the picture of God that Paul Young has painted in The Shack is in accordance with the God who has condescended to reveal himself in the bible.

For those of you who frequent my blog for photography reasons, then you may want to consider skipping this post. (I just checked your book list on your blog Karen to see if you had this one on there - I should have known!!!) To begin, this week has probably been the busiest week of my summer. I have had four photography sessions, getting Kirsten ready for her first horse show tomorrow, and packing for a weekend trip, on top of all the other craziness that is normal around here. So, the fact that this book entered our home this week (as a gift to my husband - thank you Kevin and Beth (and Katie)) and the fact that I felt so compelled to read this book in the midst of the chaos, (I can't remember the last time I felt I had time to read a book.) was most definitely a God thing. Don't you just love God things? This book has changed my life. Here is a review from the back cover "The Shack is the most absorbing work of fiction I've read in many years. My wife and I laughed, cried, and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. The Shack will leave you craving for the presence of God." - Michael W. Smith. I couldn't say it any better myself. Not only is this book an amazing literary work, I could literally sense God's presence at times as I read it. Something I have NEVER experienced from reading a book (other than the Bible). This evening as I was feverishly trying to finish the book, and my girls were creatively trying to get my attention, I had the most amazing experience, one that I feel intimidated to even share here. I was at the most unbelievable part of this story, a holy moment, involving a little girl and her Lord - when Emily (two years old) climbs in to my bed beside me. She takes her two little hands and starts stroking my cheeks on either side. And says "I sing you a song". She then starts singing in the sweetest voice a beautiful melody comprised of fragments of speech that I know were spoken directly through her from my Lord. The song made little sense, but the phrases were so beautiful "I will hold you", "Your Daddy loves you", "I'll protect you", "a beautiful morning", "you can do it" "I will help you", "we'll be together", "it's so beautiful". I didn't even know what some of it meant to my heart, but some of what she said spoke to me so deeply. It was the most profound, beautiful, holy moment. I know God was whispering to my soul, through my precious baby girl. When she finished she just looked deep into my eyes, piercing my soul. I said "Where did you learn that song? Who taught you to sing like that?" So very seriously she said "My Aunt Jennie". Those of you who know Jennie, it will make complete sense. My sister Jennie has a most beautiful singing voice and uses it daily to worship and glorify our Lord. Emily formed a special bond with her Aunt Jennie this summer, and apparently Jennie left her with something very special, when neither one of them realized it.
This book is "Where Tragedy confronts Eternity". It is so healing. There were two parts of the book that really stood out to me, so that I had to mark the page. I'm not even sure why they spoke to me, but they did. Assume this is God speaking.
"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 need it to accomplish my purposes. That will lead you to false notions about Me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
"If anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again."
I wanted to write this down before the busyness of life swept it from my thoughts. My blog has become a journal for me, in an oddly public way. You have to read this book. Nothing will ever be the same again, you will never be the same.

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C. Julius said...

You have inspired me to a weekend book get away.

Nana said...

I have heard so much about this book from everyone who has read it, I guess I will have to get it and read it too.

Kimberly said...

Guess What!! I started reading this book during Addie's nap on the very day you posted this!!! I can't wait to get deeper into it. My parents and Steve said it had such an impact on them! Thanks for sharing it for others! Gotta go read now!

Jennie said...

I'm going to get the book today. Susan (who rarely reads fiction) told me I must read it. Remember
Emily- "keep singing for Jesus and He'll sing through you"

Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

My copy just came in yesterday and is an inch from my foot, on the coffee table, waiting for me to finish catching up here. Now I'm even more excited.

Karen said...

I'm so glad you read it. It is a wonderful book and offers a glimpse, just a glimpse, of our Abba's character and love. We, as humans, have so many preconceived ideas about this God we say we love, but what about when the rug is completely pulled out from under us - who do we believe He is then? Not necessarily in tragedy, but even in just chaos. It is good that you wrote down what Emily sang - I have several pages in my Bible of things that God "spoke" to me and I knew without any doubt that it was from Him. This "Papa" is the God I discovered about ten years ago, and the life and breath and freedom that He gives is what He desires for all of us. Anyway, could go on forever but I'm glad it was so meaningful to you.

Anonymous said...

I just taped an interview with the author when he was on James Dobsonthis week. I will read I soon. I've heard a lot about it---all really good. Kirsten you were fantastic!! We are so proud of you.Maybe one day you can take the horse home. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.