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Why is The Shack #1 on Amazon's non-fiction list?

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Showing 1-25 of 215 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2008 5:09:19 PM PDT
Ollie says:
Sorry, it was a poor read, but that's not my point. It's fiction not non-fiction.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2008 5:52:01 PM PDT
Steve Taylor says:
It's because people don't care about truth. It's all about what makes you feel good. And I'm sure it has something to do with pier pressure.. you're forced to like it and if you don't you're the kind of person that causes the problems mentioned in the book. As a novel it is horribly written and the story is pathetic. I'm still dumbfounded on the popularity of such garbage.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 12:07:39 PM PDT
It never ceases to amaze me that those who do not like this book just absolutely cannot believe anyone could honestly like the book, and disagree with their dire prognostications. Everyone who likes the book "doesn't care about truth" or is all about what makes you feel good or is influenced by peer pressure or is forced to read it.

Meanwhile, everyone who doesn't like it simply looks for the truth, dispassionately, of course.

Is it that hard to accept that there are legitimate Christians who do not have the same perspectives on things?

Also, usually so often those who think it is poorly written also just happen to disagree with it.

It reminds me of a friend I had in high school. To him every single republican ever was evil. They were always lying, always scheming, always devious. There did not exist a republican that simply disagreed with him.

It takes a special kind of blindness to truly believe, wholeheartedly, that what you yourself believe is the only possible valid belief, and that all others are evil or biased or misguided or under peer pressure.

Grace and Peace

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 6:15:22 PM PDT
Steve Taylor says:
T.T. Garrett,

The reason why we think this is two fold. 1. It's a terrible novel. If you'll notice on Amazon most of the 5 star reviewers have no other book reviews. It could be that they may never read novels and therefore do not know a bad one when they read it. 2. It's go against God's Word in so many ways it's therefore not only a bad book but theologically offensive and wrong. It has nothing to do with a Christians perspective. It has everything to do with comparing it to the Bible. The Shack is so far off it can only be considered demonic in it's theology. Therefore many of us have a deep righteous anger towards the book. If it didn't try to pass itself off as "Christian" it would just be one of the other thousands of anti-Christ books out there, which is no big deal, but this one claims what it is not.

There's no way you can compare God's absolute Truth with the Republican party or any man-made political machine for that matter. Republicans can be anything from left to right. No absolutes are needed. God is the Solid Rock. Immovable. Trustworthy and never-changing.

You say I am blind because I believe there is one truth. Big deal. Jesus claimed to be God and they crucified Him for it. Compaired to what He did for me I think I can handle a little tiny insult from you.

Love and Obey

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2008 7:34:18 AM PDT
DKY says:
Man, you get so up in arms about an obvious mistake on the part of is not there anymore and no one is trying to push for it to be under the Nonfiction category.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2008 2:06:53 AM PDT
Simon Cullen says:
Love and Obey.

Hmmm, perhaps start with the love Steve, and go from there.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2008 11:59:05 AM PDT
Steve Taylor says:

Looks like I have a choice between your idea of love or God's idea. Guess which one I'm going to choose? Thanks for trying though.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2008 6:18:10 PM PDT
Just a quiickie (and friendly) reply to your statement (posted October 13), Mr. or Ms. Gannett, that "usually so often those who think it is poorly written also just happen to disagree with it." You qualified your statement with "usually," so I'm not contradicting you, but I just want to mention that I believe (as I mentioned in my review of The Shack) that it's poorly written. But then, when you look at nothing but literary quality in the Greek, so is the gospel of Mark, and in its own way the gospel of John. And so are the writings of George MacDonald, at least by contemporary standards (and probably by Victorian stands too, although I'm not an expert on such things). But those writings were so strongly infused with the Holy Spirit's power that it really doesn't matter much how well they were written according to human intellectual standards. Similarly, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is the one who takes the story of The Shack and uses it to drive into readers' hearts the reality of God's love in a way unequalled by few writings in the past several centuries. And for the record, responding to Mr. Taylors' statements, I see nothing in the book that is strongly objectionable from the standpoint of scripture. If people are put off by God's showing up as a black woman, for example, are they equally put off by his showing up as a lion?

Grace and peace to you all

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2008 7:50:03 PM PDT
Steve Taylor says:
Be honest Brian. You see nothing in the entire book that is unscriptural? Why is it that thousands of other followers of Christ see many problems with the book, to the point of blasphemy? Could it be you're wrong? The black woman is a problem, but minor compared to many of the others. Can you give me one scripture that mentions the Father in the female form? I'm open to anything you've got.

My Bible says that Jesus is the only image of the Father. (John 14:9-10) In the Narnia Chronicles (which is fantasy based allegory) the lion is Jesus. Scripturally speaking He is the Lion of Judah. (Rev 5:4-6) To the best of my memory I can't remember C.S. Lewis contradicting scripture in his story. The Shack is not an allegory but a doctrinal thesis for Young to preach Christian Universalism. The two can't be compared.

Thanks for your input.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2008 10:01:07 PM PDT

It's a novel, for Pete's sake! It's fiction! It uses a literary device! And, I must say, the book uses that device in an astoundingly powerful way.

In many ways I sympathize with your position. I genuinely believe that there is something eternal about gender (Lewis speaks about this from time to time, especially in the SF trilogy), and that the depiction of God as Father has more spiritual significance than can be attributed to mere utilization of cultural stereotypes. I get the willies when I hear people pray to our Creator as Mother, even though I understand and sympathize with their intent. I have no doubt that cultural gender beliefs inform a great deal of biblical writings; and yet I find it impossible to believe that our Lord wasn't capable of inserting sufficent descriptions of reality into people's thinking that the final product-i.e., God as Father-does not reflect some kind of eternal reality relating to gender.

That being said, I also have no problem with Young's deciding to picture God as a black woman. I'll bet you a pile of gold paving bricks that, once we're able to check this out in the new earth (assuming we even care about it then), we'll learn that God got a kick out of Young's story, black woman and all. The biblical God is NOT hung up on doctrine, as so many of his people are. He's hung up on relationships. And he wants us all to get a Life, not to get the most precise nuances of doctrine.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2008 6:27:26 AM PDT
Steve Taylor says:
It's not just a novel. If it were just a novel no one would have ever heard of it because as a novel, face it, it stinks. It's Young's platform to teach hate (anarchism) and his false theology. I've been reading Christian fiction for 26 years and The Shack is not mere fiction. And it is true; fiction can be very powerful, even more powerful then non-fiction because stories have a way of teaching us lessons that reach the heart of man where non-fiction usually doesn't go. So in fact they can be more beneficial or more dangerous. Jesus used stories and worked good for Him. Young used fiction to spoon feed people his theology, which in a free society is fine, but it is his belief and not Truth.

God is concerned about doctrine (truth) way more then we are. After all He is the one who spoke it from the foundation of the universe. They are His precepts, not ours.

John 4:23-25 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Truth. Not feelings or relationships but Truth. Not false religions such as Christian Universalism, or Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, the prosperity gospel or even the Emergent Church. Truth as found in God's Word and His Word alone.

John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

1 Timothy 6:3-5 "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

There's one way to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I truly hope Young finds it. Right now he's rejecting the Truth and in doing so is leading many down the path of destruction. It is very sad.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2008 12:19:11 PM PDT
Careful study of scripture will show, I believe, that in fact God is NOT nearly as concerned about doctrine as we are. That extreme concern, so common in certain believers today, historically entered the church through Greek thought in the centuries (or even the decades-it happened relatively quickly) after the first generation of the apostles. Yes, later writings of Paul (especially the pastoral letters) do emphasize doctrine occasionally, and John's late writings do also, but these focus on major, uncompromising realities such as whether in Jesus God really did become a true, flesh-and-blood human being, or whether we can be right in God's eyes by what we do rather than as his gift.

If you research the background of the words translated "truth" in the Bible, and understand that the early writers had a very Hebrew understanding of these words, you will find that "emeth," the Hebrew word generally translated "truth," refers hardly at all to intellectual affirmations of the kind that we westerners associate with "truth," and that we associate with "doctrines." The word is used generally in association with, even in parallel with, such concepts as goodness and righteousness (and "righteousness" also doesn't mean what contemporary English speakers generally tend to think it means, but rather an orientation toward making things right, practicing mercy, seeing that justice is done for the poor, etc.). What God desires is our hearts. He wants a relationship with us. It is the Greek heresies that crept into western Christianity that lead us today to emphasize correct doctrine. Doctrine can be important, because clearer understandings of spiritual things can help us draw closer to our Lord and to live our lives more freely in service of our fellow creatures. But the idea that it's of incredibly overriding importance that we believe all the right things in order to be pleasing to God is just another works-oriented, salvation-by-works (the work in this case being right belief) error. I can assure you and all of us that, if our Lord were to give each of us an exam upon our reaching his side in the resurrection, testing our genuine knowledge of what is "true" in the usual English, western sense of that word, the range of our scores might be from maybe 1% to 3% correct. We're all ignorant. We know in part. What he really wants us to KNOW is that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is now reigning at God's right hand, that through his blood God has reconciled the creation to himself, that he invites us all to an incredibly blessed, joyful relationship with him.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2008 1:16:35 PM PDT
One other observation, for general consideration:

Compare The Shack with some other writings you may have seen very recently, and ask which are better described by the following:

". . .platform to teach hate. . ."
". . .unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind. . ."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2008 4:50:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2008 4:56:33 PM PDT
Generally about 50% of humans are women and or girls. Battering, rape, murder of females is pervasive worldwide. This She God seems to shake most of you all up! I pray for us all. Seems like this ...ism is almost so persusive it is unquestioned, unnamed as a form of hate. These reviewers are all men? Women are just busy, living, and caring for their husbands and children. God's Grace to Y'all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2008 4:11:25 PM PST
N. Pufall says:
i'm female and a mother... thought the book sucked!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2008 5:54:12 PM PST
Whose truth Steve? Unless I'm wrong the Bible was written by humans and after this many years and interpretations how can you consider it God's truth? Who are you to say what God concerns him/herself with?
As a young widow, I was comforted by Young's ideas. A loving, nurturing depiction of God isn't wrong, even God knows you catch more flies (followers) with honey than vinegar.
peace be with us all,

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2008 6:18:20 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2008 2:13:43 PM PST
Janene says:
Ok this book sounded so interesting couldn't wait till it arrived I started reading it and thought great story till it came to the shack then it was like my spirit quickened me and I was bothered by the characters I'm a christain and love to read about God but it was like I was bothered every time I was turning a page worried that it was going to become more of a blastpheme I don't know I guess what bothered me was my God is superior not anything like these charactors who are doing and saying silly things I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say but it's like reading a crazy fairy tale it doesn't make sence. Like Why doesn't he come out and ask God.... LIKE WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER .. IS SHE STILL ALIVE!!!..........why start a story like this then change it intirely around
So I guess what I'm asking is I'm on page 132 bored of it should I even finish reading it or is it a waste of my time?
Thank you for any help you can give me
Very Distressed in Ohio

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2008 11:15:52 AM PST
Hi Janene,

Athough I thought the book was great, I understand that nothing appeals to everyone. If it doesn't speak to you, and certainly if it's boring, my suggestion would be that you simply stop reading it. Blessings!

Brian M.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2008 11:51:31 PM PST
TS says:
I read the book and have recommended it to many... I've been reading these philosophical discussions on who's right and wrong when it comes to obeying "Gods" law. The one incontrovertible fact is that you really have no way of knowing if your way of worshiping and honoring God is right or wrong. As there there are many religions in the world I believe God must shake his head and say what a mess my people have made of the simple request I asked of them to "love one another as I have loved you". Leaders have taken biblical stories and manipulated them for their own gain financially and politically for centuries leading hundreds of thousands of people to their eventual death in the name of religion.

I agree with Brian, if this book doesn't appeal to you then don't read it but please stop being so afraid of anything that might slightly contradict what your pastor might have told you on Sunday morning. After all, he decided one day to be a pastor when you decided to be a teacher or garbage man or architect. God knows you are going to make mistakes in life but he loves you no matter what, period. The hell you live in is believing that you can somehow earn God's love. There is nothing you can do to earn God's love. All he asks is that you listen and love.... The rest of the story will unfold before your eyes.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2008 7:04:52 AM PST
Jackie Paper says:
It is not that bad, but it is not that good either.

This book may help dislodge firm notions about who or what you think God is, and if it does, great, but remember it is only one persons perspective. I can see how its sentimental notions about God make it a pleasant and popular read, but I cant see it having any lasting value in a persons life. Furthermore I feel this book is not particularly insightful because its ideas lack humility. I found it a tedious read, however I did enjoy the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

In conclusion, I think there are much better books you can spend your time and money on, e.g.

A Grief Observed by CS Lewis covers the mystery of suffering surrounding the loss of a loved one in far more depth and honesty.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis is a powerful read if you are looking for a mirror to show you up for who you really are.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2008 8:47:50 PM PST
Pixiepixle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 3:50:00 PM PST
nana27 says:
Thanks N. Pufall~I'm an adolescent lit teacher and teacher of writing. I try to get my kids not to use cliches in writing or use crude terms in writing. However, in response to your review, I couldn't agree more! I am a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and yes, the book sucked!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 3:55:02 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 3:55:02 PM PST
nana27 says:
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Initial post:  Oct 12, 2008
Latest post:  Aug 19, 2014

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The Shack
The Shack by WM. Paul Young (Paperback - July 17, 2008)
4.3 out of 5 stars (10,138)