Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Shack Review

Note: We decided to bring this older post up in case some missed this. Reminder to please continue to pray for Kit, and his family. Thank you.

Several people have asked me what I think about the book The Shack by William Young. I just finished reading the book.

First let me say that the book is basically a discussion about what theologians call the "Problem of Evil". It is a problem presented to the Christian worldview. How can a good, all powerful and loving God allow a world like this which is filled with so much evil and suffering?

Anyone that has even a cursory understanding of Christian Theism, knows that this worldview presents an excellent and profound answer to this question which is completely tenable. All major ideologies/philosophies/religions struggle to answer the problem of evil. In my humble opinion, all except Christian Theism fail miserably in giving a coherent and logical explanation of the problem of evil. Hinduism, to support its monist worldview for example, posits evil and suffering as illusion (maya)...tell that to the starving child...even my personal suffering was undeniably real. Denying the reality of suffering and evil is no solution and completely untenable. Buddhism, the reformation of Hinduism, offers a series of infinite causes and effects (which is a logical impossibility by the way)...classical Buddhism knows of no personal transcendent creator that loves you or cares about you, instead the hope of Buddhism is based on a set of principles and practices to escape the pain and the suffering of the world...yet everyone continues to experience, pain, suffering and evil...even the Dalai what hope do the adherents have. Atheism and human secularism have nothing to offer the human soul because this worldview posits that we are mere products of auto organized chemicals burped up by an uncaring universe. Only Christian Theism makes sense out of evil and suffering.

According to Christian Theism evil and suffering are very real indeed, but so is the existence of a loving personal creator God. God endowed humankind with the ability to make moral choices, to love... and this limited freedom also allows humankind to choose evil, which brings in suffering and this is precisely what has happened. Humankind's choices have brought evil and suffering into the world. The beauty of Christian Theism is that God has the antidote for evil and suffering. It is comprised of the forgiveness of God to His creatures through the sacrifice of His sinless Son. His sinless life in exchange for our life of sin. Evil and suffering is swallowed up by the cross of Christ. Right now, God is allowing some evil and suffering, which He works towards His good purposes, for a season...waiting patiently for all His children to come to Him...then He will wrap it up...creating a new heaven and new earth without evil and suffering. This book, The Shack, does an excellent job dealing with the problem of evil. It also deals with forgiveness in a very powerful and Biblical way.

The most interesting and powerful discussion in the book is author William Young's attempt to give an explanation to the average human mind of how God can have a compound nature (be a Trinity) can God be one yet three persons? Young breaks through stereotypes in the way he presents the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. I think Young's approach may only be offensive to the overly religious...which Jesus had a hard time with also! I think Young's approach is basically genius since it just neutralizes all the ridiculousness surrounding God's male/femaleness if God, an infinite, spiritual being can be boxed into gender, which is a human thing not a divine thing. Within the book, there are some theological discussions that would cause some legitimate debates, but overall, this book does a fantastic job of presenting the Trinity, answering the problem of evil and dealing with unforgiveness.

So, I highly recommend this book. In fact, I believe reading this book will be a wonderful, Biblically based, yet completely unique experience with God. So there you go...I had so many people ask me about this book I had to respond. If you are interested in these type of can go to my Apologetics site, called Reasons and Answers at

{Shelly and I are still planning on coming home to Maui, June 1st. We thank you so much for your love, prayers and guys are simply awesome. I am praying for you today!}

Kit & Shelly


smithohana said...

Kit, I started reading this book before I heard on here that you were reading it. A very good friend (Andy Claydon) gave me a copy. I too am recommending The Shack to everyone I know, I even ran into Maisha in the Safeway Shopping Center the other day, and he had just bought it as well! I just want to second what you have said about the book, the author paints a beautiful picture of the relationship of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but more importantly the relationship that we as humans can have with our father in heaven. We are looking forward to having you back on Maui, we continue to keep you in our prayers.

Much Love,
Taylor and Clint Smith

the Franks said...

Bravo, Kit! It's awesome how you live and breathe your "edifying the saints"...teaching just bubbles out of you like water being released from a cannot be contained! I love it. The Shack is one of the most popular in the bookstore right now...thanks for your apologetic review...we do have people asking what we thought of it and now we can direct them to your blog! (And yes, we have heard some objections voiced.) But by and large it seems to have transformed many readers' perceptions of God and ultimately helped draw them closer to Him. That was the desire of the author's heart after all, right? Love you, Kit and Shelly...can't wait for you to come home! Patti Franks

Anonymous said...

Hi Kit and Shelly,
thanks for giving your opinion on the book. I read it and had some questions, but also enjoyed the breakthrough revelation of the trilogy, I liked the part when God said we humans are so independent! Kapiolani Park was a favorite haunt for my walks during the week when I was there a few years ago. the fragrance of the shower trees as you walked beneath them, the people and activities were alive and interesting to watch. Enjoy it as much as I did! I love you guys! May God keep you well on your journey home. -Nat

tara said...

Preach it Kit! See, this is why we love you so much. Great "book review!"
Tara & Jeff

Colleen (& Scott) said...

dear kit, shelly, maisha, and mikey,

i have just finished reading through your blog over the past few days since i got more news of what was going on from barb and ron. scott and i have shed tears but mostly prayed and talked about how much we enjoy your influence in our lives. one of my favorite things about visiting maui has always been that we get to attend hope chapel and spend time with you guys there! thank you for sharing all of your hopes and thoughts and hurts for us to feel them with you. i can't wait to see how God continues to use you all in His plan. He is sovereign indeed and surprises me daily with His love and blessings and plans.

love you much,
colleen, scott, & elisa crabtree :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your review on The Shack. I read it a couple weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with our Lord all over again!!
I cried many tears and was overwhelmed by His love through this book! I have heard a few different opinions on it but in my heart I knew that it spoke to me! Thank you for reaffirming what I knew was true and real about what I read...does that make sense??? :)
Kit you are such an amazing blessing! We will continue to pray without ceasing for you dear brother!
Love and Hugs,
Lori Ignacio

Anonymous said...

hi you two
seeing your contact info. change to pu'uho'olai made my heart do a little dance :)
you are so missed and so loved kit and shelly
may God fill and overflow you with joy and hope and all the wonder of who He is.
trusting Him together,
carrie nichols

Anonymous said...

Dear Kit,
Sorry, But I have not read The Shack. So I can not comment as of now...maybe later. Just wanted you to know we are still praying and loving you guys! Can't wait for your return home.

Keeping the Faith
Susan Haynes

Kymberly said...

It's great to see you continueing to teach us Apologetics! You are so AWESOME!!! My coworker and I were just discussing something similar last night. (She's Agnostic) I'm going to print this out and give it to her! Thanks for continueing to share God's Love! Always, Kymmy Marr

Kim Insley-Morrell said...

Hi Kit,

I got an email from our City of Hope connection Jackie. I sent you an email with her comments forwarded to you...just wanted to make sure you see it.

Love you ....Kim