The Shack

The Shack

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.Against hi...

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Title:The Shack
Author:Wm. Paul Young
Rating:
ISBN:0964729237
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:252 pages

The Shack Reviews

  • Christie
    Feb 03, 2008

    First off this will be lengthy so don’t feel you have to read it

    .

    This is a hard book to review because you pretty much have to separate it into two parts. The novel, and the theological.

    This man is not a writer. As far as the novel aspect of this book, I don't personally believe it is well written. Both the descriptions and dialogue don't ring true to me. But if delve into a little of the back story regarding this author you find that he never intended this book to be published. After experienci

    First off this will be lengthy so don’t feel you have to read it

    .

    This is a hard book to review because you pretty much have to separate it into two parts. The novel, and the theological.

    This man is not a writer. As far as the novel aspect of this book, I don't personally believe it is well written. Both the descriptions and dialogue don't ring true to me. But if delve into a little of the back story regarding this author you find that he never intended this book to be published. After experiencing several tragedies in his life he spent a lot of time trying to figure out who God is and with the encouragement of his wife wrote this novel as a gift to his children. Friends read it and encouraged him to have it published.

    As far as the theological aspect goes I think he presents God in a way that challenges our notions of who exactly we think he is. It seems to be done in a deliberate way and to be honest it sometimes made me uncomfortable. This was written by someone who believes in the Trinity but was making attempts to show how they function separately. All of the characterization of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and their interactions with each other felt off to me. However the conversations they have with the main character provided some amazing insight to me as to the love God has for us and just exactly how arrogant we can be in our judgements of God's decisions whether those judgements be conscious or not.

    Here are a couple condensed conversations that particularly spoke to me:

    Jesus asks the main character what he is afraid of.

    “Well, I’m afraid of looking like an idiot... I imagine that–“

    “Exactly,” Jesus interrupted. “You imagine. Such a powerful ability, the imagination! That power alone makes you so like me. But without wisdom, imagination is a cruel taskmaster. If I may prove my case, do you think that humans were designed to live in the present or the past or the future?”

    The main character responses with the present.

    Jesus says “So tell me, where do you spend most of your time in your mind, in your imagination?”

    The main character replies “I suppose I would have to say that I spend very little time in the present. For me, I spend a big piece in the past, but most of the rest of the time, I am trying to figure out the future.”

    Jesus responds “Not unlike most people. When I dwell with you, I do so in the present - I live in the present. Not the past, although much can be remembered and learned by looking back, but only for a visit, not an extended stay. And for sure I do not dwell in the future you visualize or imagine. Do you realize that your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?

    It is your desperate attempt to get some control over something you can’t. It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try and play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.

    You do this because you don’t believe. You don’t know that I love you. The person who lives by their fears will not find freedom in my love. I am not talking about rational fears regarding legitimate dangers, but imagined fears, and especially those into the future. To the degree that those fears have a place in your life you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, but you don’t know it.”

    Another one where God is speaking:

    “Nobody knows what horrors I have saved the world from cause people can’t see what never happened. All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice. If I were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where I keep all my children free from evil. Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought to me, but it will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that I love, those who follow me and those who don’t. If I take away the consequences of people’s choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all....

    ...one of the reasons it makes no sense to you is because you have such a small view of what it means to be human. You and this Creation are incredible, whether you understand it or not. You are wonderful beyond imagination. Just because you make horrendous and destructive choices does not mean you deserve less respect for what you inherently are - the pinnacle of my Creation and the center of my affection.”

    All in all I’m very glad I read this book. No one knows the mind of God, but I appreciated this man’s insight into the love God has for us.

  • Kim♥
    Feb 21, 2008

    Having had such high hopes for this book, I was sadly disappointed about its content, being for the most part simply unbiblical. Yes, there were poignant scenes and emotional moments that moved me to tears- but that does not tip the scales against all of the errors slipped in and truths that were twisted. Being protective especially of new Christians, I strongly caution anyone about reading it. This book should be read with much discernment.

    Please read the Bible and learn about the Way, the Trut

    Having had such high hopes for this book, I was sadly disappointed about its content, being for the most part simply unbiblical. Yes, there were poignant scenes and emotional moments that moved me to tears- but that does not tip the scales against all of the errors slipped in and truths that were twisted. Being protective especially of new Christians, I strongly caution anyone about reading it. This book should be read with much discernment.

    Please read the Bible and learn about the Way, the Truth, and the Life! There is nothing good about this book that the Lord can't teach you without it.

    I'd like to write a more thorough review when I have time. For now, here is a good one to read:

    9-1-08 Update:

    Friends, I still do not recommend this book. Here are a few more articles that may help you understand why:

    11-10-08 Reply to "It's just fiction" comments.

  • Mike
    Feb 26, 2008

    Note: After several friends challenged me to read the book again (I assume they wanted me to upgrade The Shack to five stars), I indeed read it a second time. As a result, I downgraded it another star. There are things I noticed the second time I didn't the first.

    Added to my review below are several more specific drawbacks of the book. Unfortunately, every one of these would have been pointed out by first or second year writing students, which simply reiterates my main point below: Shame on you

    Note: After several friends challenged me to read the book again (I assume they wanted me to upgrade The Shack to five stars), I indeed read it a second time. As a result, I downgraded it another star. There are things I noticed the second time I didn't the first.

    Added to my review below are several more specific drawbacks of the book. Unfortunately, every one of these would have been pointed out by first or second year writing students, which simply reiterates my main point below: Shame on you Wayne Jacobsen for ruining a good book by not bothering enough to edit this properly. Simply because you wanted another "anti-organized-church" book on the market, and probably saw this as a vehicle (not a good one for that purpose either) is not an excuse for allowing the following:

    1. Sloppy synonyms: No one outside of bodice-rippers uses the word "visage" for "face". I lost count how many times this word is used. It is an example of the author reaching for the thesaurus when he got bored. Elementary writing classes teach "In dialogue, use the words "he said" instead of "he opined" or other such synonyms". I would gladly pay for Young to take a writing course in lieu of Jacobsen editing another of his books.

    2. Inconsistencies of plot: In one scene, the narrator - who is supposedly writing down what the main character told him - tells us what is playing on the television while the main character is passed out. How can he possibly know this? Second, why does it matter? The plot is full of these little annoying inconsistencies. The biggest and most annoying is this vague reference to a possible murder of his father. Couldn't the boy just run away from home? Did he really have to spike the dad's beer with rat poison? Did the dad die? If he does, why haven't the police come after him? If he doesn't, what is he apologizing for in the great forgiveness sequence? As I said, these inconsistencies are glaring.

    3. I re-read one paragraph where the author uses nine similes! Two of them concern tears and are in the same sentence. Someone please sit this author down and explain that similes and metaphors are to open windows. We don't need an entire glass factory delivered to us every page.

    4. I listened to an interview with the author. He explained that this book started out as a transcription of conversations between him and God and that the story was a convenient way of bringing those conversations to light. That makes sense. It also explains why the conversations go on and on and on and on. The plot stops every time there is an elongated conversation. Mr. Young, please read the Chronicles of Narnia and see how to write a half-page dialogue that says more by saying less.

    Unfortunately, this is only the start of what is beginning to annoy me about a book that I wanted to like. Read below for my full review.

    **********************************

    So many of my friends have recommended this book that I knew I would read it and feel strongly about it. That's an understatement. There are no Spoilers in this review.

    Before I began reading I wanted so much to like this book. Partly because I respected the friends who recommended it and partly because this is the author's first book. As some of you know, I personally believe that most authors have one great book in them and it is often their first (see Tracy Chevalier and J. K. Rowling). That is why I was somewhat disappointed with my reading of the first few chapters. The writer could have used a ghost writer to clean up his prose. He overwrites like a young author. Specifically, he uses too many deliberate similes and altogether too many adjectives. In fact, on the same page he uses three different similes to describe the wind. Can it really be a food group and a sigh at the same time? I digress.

    He also gets "cutsie" with his description of the main character Mack. The author needs to choose a voice to speak from. The third person omnipotent is not working for him. If you're not familiar with that POV, it is the tendency to describe what every character is thinking. Usually writers choose third person specific, meaning they know the thoughts of only one person. But later the author figures this out and sticks with the main character and lets him discover the story as it happens. So, I guess my only real criticism is that the author is not a tremendously skilled writer.

    Therefore, a quarter of the way through the book I was ready to be done with it. Then I was delightfully surprised by what happened next. It seems he did an about-face as soon as he came to the kernel of the story. After the tragedy that forms the spine of the tale, he tightens up the writing and I never noticed the shortcomings after that. It is like the author himself really just wanted to get to this point in the story and realized the book wouldn't make sense and would be too short without the introductory part. So be it. From this point on, I was enthralled. His meeting with God and the subsequent discoveries of God's character and the meaning of the events he has recently lived are some of the best theology ever implanted in a story. At one point near the end I actually was in tears. It may be 20 years back to the last time a book brought me to tears. I ended the book totally satisfied.

    If I may take one or two more liberties in criticizing a book I really enjoyed. As much as I enjoyed the folksy presentation of God in this story, there are parts that don't ring true. Holy Spirit still feels ethereal and standoffish. Wisdom's speeches are canned and the meals get repetitive. Major editing could have made this one of the great books of Christianity. Also, I doubt anyone outside Christianity will read past the first few chapters. That's a pity, but it is true. It is not written well enough and there are still too many obviously contrived parts to the plot to make it seem real to someone who is bent on criticizing Christian writers.

    Some of my friends who love this book will really be annoyed that I am being over-analytical. But that is what a proper book review is about. These things need to be said in order to balance the attitude which says we must lift up anything with a good message. This is a phenomenal message hiding in a depressingly poor package.

  • Eric Bjerke
    Jun 02, 2008

    It is hard to

    get carried away and be too effusive about this book. When one has spent time with someone or something, it is natural to feel a close connection to that thing and, I think, lose objectivity. Obviously I didn't try too hard to be calm and subdued in my praise because one can see that I rated it 5 stars; however, I think I will start with why I

    think it is a 5-star book.

    It wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down. This is usually a prerequisite for me to rate a book so

    It is hard to

    get carried away and be too effusive about this book. When one has spent time with someone or something, it is natural to feel a close connection to that thing and, I think, lose objectivity. Obviously I didn't try too hard to be calm and subdued in my praise because one can see that I rated it 5 stars; however, I think I will start with why I

    think it is a 5-star book.

    It wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down. This is usually a prerequisite for me to rate a book so highly, but at times--not all the time--I could take it or leave it.

    The entire beginning of the book bored me and seemed second rate. The characters and conversations didn't ring true to me. I only kept at it because I had heard that something amazing would await me later in the book. Also, I never forgot that this was a book and a story that someone made up. When my attitude towards the book changed as it became more meaty, I still felt that story-wise, it was cliche, predictable, and even hokey. When it came together at the end, I did have a greater appreciation of the way the plot elements came together, but most of the time I thought certain components of the story weren't very well done.

    An example would be the part where the relationships at the campground are being described. People in real life don't act like that, where total strangers get so close in the span of a weekend camping trip. I especially rolled my eyes over the dialog the adults had over a campfire--"So tell me, Mackenzie, what is she like." I just thought the conversations were not at all what real people who have just met are like. I could be wrong, though.

    I also cringed sometimes at the conversations that occurred at the shack. Not because I felt them to be irreverent, but because they seemed like the author decided, "Hey, I want to try to stick something funny in here," and what ensued was a huge departure from the usual profound observations. I think he could have been both funny and profound at the same time, and he wasn't-- he was mostly just obvious.

    Okay, enough bashing, because this was an incredible book that should be read by everybody.

    There is no way I can convey the impact of the thought-provoking and possibly life-changing conversations we become privy to. I don't know that you would much care for the book if you were a total athiest, not atuned to the spiritual at all, but people of all spiritual and religious persuasions will find aspects of this book deeply worth pondering. You must read it.

    The following section contains what might be some spoilers for some people, but I wanted to mention them (being a little vague) as parts of the book that I particularly appreciated.

    When Mac is telling his guests about his family and stops saying, "Now here I am telling you about my kids and my friends and about Nan, but you already know everything that i am telling you, don't you?

    "You're acting like it's the first time you heard it."

    The response from Mac's hosts is great:

    "As we are listening to you, it is as if this is the first time we have known about them, and we take great delight in seeing them through your eyes."

    I also like the part that talks about fear in our life and the role it plays in our bondage:

    "The person who lives by their fears will not find freedom in my love. I am not talking about rational fears regarding legitimate dangers, but imagined fears, and especially the projection of those into the future. To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor

    deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it, you talk about it, but you don't know it."

    Right now I can't read that to my wife without choking up, it so cuts to the quick.

    And this about lies (not the lies people tell to stay out of trouble, but the lies we believe about ourselves or others as a defense mechanism):

    "Lies are a little fortress; inside them you can feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others."

    And finally, there is this gem about The Law, specifically, the Ten Commandments:

    "Actually, we wanted you to give up trying to be righteous on your own. It was a mirror to reveal just how filthy your face gets when you live independently."

    These were some of the interesting parts of the book that helped me personally. There were other parts that I thought were dubious theologically. I thought there was so much real good valuable stuff that these departures could be overlooked.

    Anyway, the counter at the bottom of this box says I can writ almost 6000 more characters, but I will not. I must say, you have to read this book. Don't miss out on this. I am very serious.

  • Amanda J
    Sep 07, 2008

    I was recommended this book by several people who found it both moving and fresh. So Mr. Young certainly has an audience for this glib encounter between Mack, the “everyman,” and God. I, however, must not be the intended audience. Despite the fact millions of copies have been sold and the book has climbed its way to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List, I found

    to be preachy and fake to the point of insincerity.

    The main characters are so flat and one-dimensional that one ca

    I was recommended this book by several people who found it both moving and fresh. So Mr. Young certainly has an audience for this glib encounter between Mack, the “everyman,” and God. I, however, must not be the intended audience. Despite the fact millions of copies have been sold and the book has climbed its way to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List, I found

    to be preachy and fake to the point of insincerity.

    The main characters are so flat and one-dimensional that one can barely believe they are in need of redemption. By all accounts Nan is the perfect wife. So much so, she harbors no ill-will or judgments against her husband, even when their young daughter is kidnapped while in Mack’s care. The rational among us realize that it was not Mack’s fault young Missy was snatched by a serial killer, but one can hardly suspend their disbelief that in the face of such tragedy, the family confronts little of the typical doubt and blame so many have felt under similar circumstances. Granted occasionally guilt creeps to the surface, as Missy’s sister Kate becomes sullen and silent, blaming herself for her sister’s fate, but all in all the family appears to do quite well.

    I supposed this shouldn’t surprise the reader, however. Mack has already overcome many trials, including horrible abuse at the hands of his father. In spite of leaving home at a tender age, Mack becomes educated, successful and a wonderful husband and father. Sound too good to be true? Don’t worry; the author is Mack’s long time friend and confidant, chosen by Mack to write this detailed account of his spiritual transformation. Or is he?

    In the forward, Mr. Young journals about his friendship with Mack, his struggle to truly believe Mack’s story and ultimately his decision to help Mack turn his experience into a book. But wait, this book is fiction, and despite the author William Young inserting himself into the story as the gun-wielding, jeep-owning “Willie,” this is not a memoir, it’s a novel. A literary device or dishonest intent, I’ll let you decide, but at very least it’s horribly misleading, lending credibility where it is not due.

    But that’s not the point is it? This book is “bringing a fresh perspective to the theological scene.” But I didn’t find it fresh or even slightly startling. Could it be that this #1 bestseller is actually dull and trite? Absolutely. Mr. Young attempts to grab the reader by making God the Father appear to Mack as a woman. Are you completely blown away? Unable to wrap your mind around the religious consequences? No? I didn’t think so, because at the very least, you’ve taken 7th grade Ancient Civilizations and you know that yes, there have been people, in fact, entire cultures that have pictured god as a woman. More recently, the cult classic film, Dogma, after a series of affronts on Christian assumptions (disgruntled angels wreaking havoc, descendants of Jesus walking among us), reveals that God is a girl!

    Oh, but Mr. Young goes a step further; his God is not just a woman, but a black woman. Does that make any difference? It shouldn’t. Young is assuming that our white Protestant values will be affronted by this depiction, making his novel all that more shocking and controversial. I for one am offended; certainly God can be represented as an african-american woman, but I do not find these ideas mind-blowing. The fact that Mr. Young does shows how little he really understands. His caricature of God- for that’s what it is- seems to only use proper grammar about 90% of the time (Is this what you think black people sound like, Mr. Young?) and his depictions of Jesus and the Holy Spirit fall flat. They are neither engaging nor inspiring.

    Only the scenes with the personification of God’s wisdom seem to have what this book is lacking – passion. Mack finally reveals what the rest of us have been feeling all along, anger – anger that a small child like Missy could be brutally murdered by an evil man, who gets away.

    And that brings me to “The Missy Project.” At the end of the book, right after the acknowledgements, the author tells us about this special project, and I think to myself, “Finally, after 250 pages, here’s something I can believe in. The author is going to donate all of his money from this horrible book to helping find missing children.” But I was disappointed – yet again. “The Missy Project” is just some strange scheme to sell more books. Yes, that’s right, Mr. Young lists ways you can help him get more copies of his book into circulation. Are you kidding me?

    And so I end this review with a challenge. If you really want to be spiritually transformed, don’t spend your money buying this book. Instead, go out and help someone in need or donate to a worthy cause.

    I guarantee it will be infinitely more rewarding.

  • Jay
    Sep 24, 2008

    I know, I know. Everyone loves this book. No fewer than forty-three people asked me "Have you read The Shack yet?"

    Invariably, they responded to my negative response with something along the lines of "You have to! It changed my life! I was full of questions, and life stunk, and then I read the book, and God made sense to me, I understood quantum physics effortlessly, and all of a sudden I could spin flax into gold!"

    So, what I'm about to say is going to make a lot of people pretty angry.

    The Shack

    I know, I know. Everyone loves this book. No fewer than forty-three people asked me "Have you read The Shack yet?"

    Invariably, they responded to my negative response with something along the lines of "You have to! It changed my life! I was full of questions, and life stunk, and then I read the book, and God made sense to me, I understood quantum physics effortlessly, and all of a sudden I could spin flax into gold!"

    So, what I'm about to say is going to make a lot of people pretty angry.

    The Shack appears to me to be an ex-hippie's best attempt at amalgamating God, Dr. Phil, and Oprah. The writing is bad, the story is cheesy, the format is formulaic and cliche, and the theology is spotty and poorly explained at best, and downright heretical at worst.

    I was not impressed. If it makes a lot of people think hard thoughts about God that they'd rather avoid, then I suppose that's fine. I'm just not sure hard thinking should be done at the expense of clear thinking. And I'm certain bad writing is no way to advance good theology (even if this were).

  • Renee
    Dec 01, 2008

    Pure drivel. This book read like a Betty Crocker recipe gone bad: take one all-American Jesus lovin’/fearing family, add one unexplainable tragedy, mix with equal parts anger , guilt and sadness , bake for three weeks and get a bitter man who has turned his back on God. Alias, no need to give up, because God writes our hero a personalized note, and tells him to meet him in “the shack” (the place of his daughter’s murder), funny thing is, god is a black woman cooking pancakes in the kitchen who s

    Pure drivel. This book read like a Betty Crocker recipe gone bad: take one all-American Jesus lovin’/fearing family, add one unexplainable tragedy, mix with equal parts anger , guilt and sadness , bake for three weeks and get a bitter man who has turned his back on God. Alias, no need to give up, because God writes our hero a personalized note, and tells him to meet him in “the shack” (the place of his daughter’s murder), funny thing is, god is a black woman cooking pancakes in the kitchen who says “you can me god, Yahweh or just plain ol’ Jessie, I answer to all three”. Yes, I said pancakes….I could go on, but it’s just too easy. The lesson of power of forgiveness was demonstrated well, but no better than the Hallmark card I bought my boss when I spilled a whole bottle of red wine on his new suit…..

  • C.J.
    Jan 24, 2009

    This book was recommended to me by a book group I attended to speak about my book A Demon Awaits. I had not read this book prior to writing mine, but I was very surprised to find that the premise of our books (a man struggling to heal his relationship with God) was identical. Before I continue I’d like to share a bit of my bias because one’s perspective will vastly affect the enjoyment of this book. I’m staunchly conservative, religiously, politically and economically. I’m also a writer and I ch

    This book was recommended to me by a book group I attended to speak about my book A Demon Awaits. I had not read this book prior to writing mine, but I was very surprised to find that the premise of our books (a man struggling to heal his relationship with God) was identical. Before I continue I’d like to share a bit of my bias because one’s perspective will vastly affect the enjoyment of this book. I’m staunchly conservative, religiously, politically and economically. I’m also a writer and I choose NEVER to review a book that I don’t find to be very strong. Someone with a more liberal viewpoint will appreciate this book even more than I did.

    This book reaches out to a generation of people losing touch with God and encourages them to reach for him. While churches are rocked by scandal and divided over the issue of homosexuality and its place in God’s eyes, church attendance diminishes. This book takes the subject of our relationship with God and urges us to mend our relationship with him. I cannot imagine a more important subject for a book and I applaud the author for writing a book that has reached so many. Not only is this book popular, but it puts the conversation with God center stage and this conversation carries the majority of the book. (Young chooses not to address the issue of homosexuality and the church.)

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone.

    There is a tremendous amount of the author’s philosophy delivered in this book that I will react to through the remainder of this review.

    Characterization of God

    Young creates a character who is angry at God over the death of his daughter. In the end the character takes a difficult journey toward reconciliation. The subject matter will touch millions of people. Young’s characterization of God was a surprising choice. When I wrote A Demon Awaits, I thought a long time about how God should be portrayed in fiction and I struggled with a way to make him appear in a way that not only moved the story, but was also reverent. We both used some of the same devices to bring God to the page, but our focus was vastly different. Young’s characterization offended me as irreverent and disrespectful at times. I felt uncomfortable in the early part of the book and this connected me with Mack who was feeling much the same.

    The Church

    Young assaults the church as something created by man that God has no interest in. I found this highly irresponsible. I agree that the earthly church is created by and run by man and as such is fallible. Still, my experience with church leaders has been one of utter joy, learning and spiritual growth. To suggest that these fine people could be replaced by blindly reaching out to God without a guide of any sort sounded illogical to me. Young also suggest that we should disregard the Ten Commandments as an unattainable ideal. The Ten Commandments played a more guiding role in my book.

    Tragedy and Healing

    Much of the book focuses on the tragedy Mack struggles with in his life. This element of the story was superbly done and I know that this element of the book has touched people who have lost loved ones and especially some who are terminally ill. The power of this story will bring peace into many lives because this topic is tackled head-on by a believable character. The author discusses our independence and God’s willingness to intercede in our lives to a great extent. This facet of the story will be a great healer to many and is one of the strongest reasons to recommend this book.

    Crime & Responsibility

    Young skirts the issue of crime and criminals somewhat. God says that he loves his children all equally no matter what they have done and this is shown in a very strong scene in the text. This one scene was probably the best of the entire work. Counter to this, or maybe because of the focus, Young suggests that responsibility is a man-made construction that has no use in God’s eyes. The idea that we could all live together in peace and harmony sounds lovely, but ignores the fact that we live in a world with lots of “broken” souls. The Puritans were clear about responsibility and made sure that able-bodied people worked or starved. We have strayed very far from the principle of responsibility and I thought it was highly irresponsible of the author to suggest that we don’t need to act responsibly. I personally think that if people strived and were honest about what they were capable of and what they could contribute to our society, then we could take much better care of those who are not able to work to support themselves.

    There is much I disagree with in his approach, but I commend the author on a book that is both popular and important.

  • Books Ring Mah Bell
    Jul 30, 2009

    7/30 don't even go there. I have to read this because I made a promise. silly me.

    7/31 - God, I am glad that's over.

    So, I thought long and hard about giving this book 2 stars. I really did. Here's why:

    1. author states heaven is NOT gold/pearl streets. (yay!)

    2. author states forgiveness is good for you. not forgiving will destroy you. (agreed)

    3. "Jesus" states he's not big on religion, or politics or economics. Calls them a "man- created trinity of terrors that ravage the earth..."

    WORD.

    Why I took

    7/30 don't even go there. I have to read this because I made a promise. silly me.

    7/31 - God, I am glad that's over.

    So, I thought long and hard about giving this book 2 stars. I really did. Here's why:

    1. author states heaven is NOT gold/pearl streets. (yay!)

    2. author states forgiveness is good for you. not forgiving will destroy you. (agreed)

    3. "Jesus" states he's not big on religion, or politics or economics. Calls them a "man- created trinity of terrors that ravage the earth..."

    WORD.

    Why I took that 2 star rating and dropped it to one:

    1. God appears in the book as a big black woman named Papa. She says sho' nuff and serves greens. (no, I'm NOT kidding!)

    2. Jesus appears as an unattractive Jew with, get this: a big nose.

    3. Holy spirit - little Asian woman.

    4. Mack's dad is Irish American and guess what? He's a drunk!

    5. Judge lady - Hispanic!

    (Hell, why not go all Sesame Street and make sure we have someone in a wheelchair and HIV positive people represented!?!?! Ah, sneak those guys in on the next edition.)

    6. Not a thing in here was comforting. Not a one.

  • Natalie Vellacott
    Jun 23, 2015

    My updated comments on the book and movie are here;

    I was given this book as a gift many years ago and read the first few chapters. I was annoyed by the profanity. I don't think it is ever okay for a Christian author to use profanity in any circumstances. Why not use alternative words especially in a fictional book. It's like the children who swear to try and shock people or to fit in with the crowd. Christians are called to do neither of these things....l

    My updated comments on the book and movie are here;

    I was given this book as a gift many years ago and read the first few chapters. I was annoyed by the profanity. I don't think it is ever okay for a Christian author to use profanity in any circumstances. Why not use alternative words especially in a fictional book. It's like the children who swear to try and shock people or to fit in with the crowd. Christians are called to do neither of these things....lose the profanity...it won't cost you any sales!

    When members of the Trinity begin appearing in person to the main character as black women I threw the book away...I'm not going to say anymore. I just find it shocking that so many Christians have read and recommend this book...where is the discernment?? or the adherence to Biblical principles.

    I don't recommend this book.