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June 12, 2008


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Ryan Roberts

There is no need to apologize for the long post. Your response to Challies’ review of The Shack is well done. I am reading the book now and feel that your “review of the review” offers an important theological perspective on the message of Young’s story. I am finding the book to be an enjoyable, metaphorical means to knowing better the One that wants to be known.

Thanks for your blog offering and for your theological/spiritual leadership.



Thanks for this Scott...I really appreciate your willingness to stand up for truth. There is so much of this "stuff" out there and it frustrates me...so thanks for being a voice of reason and hope to this fellow Christ-follower...:)

Kathy Burns

Scott - Thanks so much for your clarifying response to Challies. I was just chatting with our chaplain, Gene Schandorff, about the book a few hours before I read your post. The book was a definite blessing to me.

Kathy Burns


The darkness has seen a great light - I hope! Thanks.

Chris Johnson

My copy arrived and I'm eager to start...approaching anything with a fresh perspective is a great idea. I still cringe when I hear some "Christian" explanations for evil in the world, yet finding God's answer is something I still struggle with.

I didn't see the logical train of thought in Challies' criticisms, though--even calling them straw man arguments would be a compliment he doesn't merit. He should also cite his "biblical" sources, because those don't seem correct either, but perhaps I'm just a nitpicky lawyer.

Robin @ Heart of Wisdom

Thank you for addressing each item. I wrote a review on the Shack today and added a link to your post here.


I'm interested to hear more about the Wesleyan/Arminian concept of Salvation versus the Calvinistic view. I have heard the Wesleyan/Arminian view from some of my readings and my friends, but what I increasingly here from individuals at my church is more of a Calvanistic view from your description. And I'm in the same denomination as you. While I have heard several dismissing the idea of predetermination, I haven't heard as much from those in my church family about Jesus revealing the Kingdom of God. The message I hear is Jesus is the fulfillment of divine justice and we must accept Him as our Savior to avoid Hell. Am I missing a subtle semantic difference, or am I hearing Calvanism out of Nazarenes?


Scott -- thanks for the recommendation. I read "The Shack" early this week, after my return from a professional/spiritual retreat. It added lots more to my growing "To Think About" list (I like that list much better than my "To Do" list!).

I'm intrigued by the book's imagery which presents the Trinity in accessible ways. There is so much that I've heard/read/experienced about Abba Daddy and Jesus-as-Friend. But, the book's role of the Holy Spirit was encouraging and thought-provoking.

Thanks for helping me to think more and differently! You're a blessing in my life.


I just finished the book and it was great! Since the kids were born and the scares we have had when Noah was so sick in OK and Sophie's struggles and Lora's blindness, I have felt myself at the edge of being able to trust for the future. I have kept running to the what if something more severe happened to one of our kids. What if some disease or person ended their life early? These are not thoughts from God and not places you want to live for long. I have seemed to almost crumble under some stuff - that just isn't that horrible.
Reading this book has given me a new vision and or metaphor to fill my mind - and I appreciate it. A very good read.
BTW - your nephew just walked into the room and said "God does not like wedgies!" such a true statement.
Catch you later and thanks for the review that caused me to read the book.

Jay S.

Just wanted to say that your post tipped the scales for me deciding to read The Shack over our family vacation last week. I actually didn't read your entire blog at first (stopping where you said it may not make sense before reading it) and I came back and read the post in its entirety today. Very good post. And, I did enjoy the book. Thanks...

John Hardwick

I read the book and enjoyed the imagery of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit expressed especially in relationship (theirs and ours). Thanks for sharing.

So do you like this blogging stuff?

Steve Looker


I first want to say thanks for the post that you have written. I think that you did a great job of answering some of the negative criticsm that abounds with this book. My church actually had Paul Young come for a four day conference a few weeks ago and it has changed my life. I actually had the opportunity to have breakfest with him and about 12 other people, where we were able do ask very pointed questions. I personally was satisfied with all of the answers that he gave and would encourage anyone who has the chance to read the book to read it with an open mind.


Johnny Mansell

Thank you for your well thought out response to the criticisms of The Shack. I read the book this week and find it to be refreshing. It challenges some preconceived notions about God that need to be challenged. Quite honestly, I find this book to be far more Scripturally accurate than I do the TULIP teaching of Calvinism.
I am a pastor and I have recommended this book to my congregation

Dee Freeborn


Splendidly written, incisive and insightful plus down-right helpful.




Obviously I'm behind in my post. I sometimes listen to your sermons online and check your blog. I like what you have to say. I just finished reading the shack and wanted to ask you a few questions. I really liked the shack and want to believe its true, at least in part, of its portrayals of God, but there is so much negative criticism that it concerns mean. I don't want to believe something that is heretical. One website I was looking at criticized how Papa states he dislikes the word expectations and his disregard for "sin and guilt" and that he never calls for obedience but allows Mack his time. (This was one of the things I found most appealing about the book.) Another stated that, "But “Papa” is not God. At least not the God of Scripture. He (or she, in this case) doesn’t speak like God, doesn’t judge like God, and—despite the entire premise of the book—doesn’t love like God. Nearly every aspect of God’s glory and power are distorted and diminished in the “Trinity” of The Shack." This criticisms concern me because, again, I don't want to believe something that's not true and will end me in Judgement/Hell as some of these websites seem to suggest. Yet, Papa in the Shack makes me actually want to know God whereas the typical "Christian God" makes me want to run as far as I can get. ButI don't want to believe a mere fantasy. If you can help at all in understanding these criticisms and whether the view of God in the Shack is true or if it is just wishful thinking, I would really appreciate it.

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