By William P. Young
Published by Windblown Media (2007)
11 hours; that is the amount of time it took me to read this book. This is truly one of those books you can’t put down. I started one evening and only slept a few hours out of necessity, but when I awoke I immediately began reading it again. Young has weaved a tale that many are saying is destined to become a classic among Christian literature.
Using the tragic event of a missing child, Young develops a story of a father meeting God in a very unusual way. Through this meeting he learns of God’s ways and purpose in many things. He dares to ask God the questions that many of us harbor deep in our souls, but are afraid to voice. Through the meeting he finds answers, forgiveness, and hope; and he faces his own past and hurt.
There will be criticism of this book. It challenges modern day institutions and theology. Fundamentalists of all Christian sects will be forced to examine their assumptions and biblical interpretations. Some will choose not to and dismiss it outright, and will unfortunately miss the meaning contained in its pages. For those who choose to read it thoroughly they may find Sarayu teaches them something about knowing God that they had forgotten or never known.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of God, grace, redemption and well-told stories.
Edit added on 8/19
I wanted to add some additional information, yet retain my original review intact. Here is a statement I made in the comments in response to someone’s elses comment. I think it helps clarify the above:
A Quick Follow-up on my review….
Every reader is going to find some challenges to their theology in this book – including me.
People will have problems with his use of a woman to represent Father God, his view of the church, his lack of a Reformed approach to God’s dealings with man, etc.
My encouragement for people to read this book, does not mean I don’t see problems with it. It just means that I think he makes some good points and uses a great story to make them.
He also deals with age-old questions that some will agree with him on and some won’t. For example, as you point out, the problem of evil. Everyone will have a different theological answer for this (thus the phrase ‘problem of evil’).
So, read the book with your eyes wide open, but I still say, “read the book.”
Added Sept 20, 2009
A response by a collaborator on the Shack to criticism regarding this book can be found at the http://windblownmedia.com/about-wbm/is-the-shack-heresy.html. It addresses the charges of universalism, distorting the trinity, lack of Scripture, etc. Very good read.