The Shack, by William P. Young is one of the best books I have read in years. It made my top 10 list on the first reading. On the second, it jumped up to number 7. If you have not read it, read it. If you have, read it again, and buy a copy for a friend. I hope everyone on the planet reads it.
I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell you this much; the story is about a sad and broken-hearted man who meets the real God. The bulk of the book is the conversation between them. Young's insights are seasoned and brilliant, and full of the real gospel. Stunning. The human race is already accepted and embraced, Jesus continues to be human forever, the Father’s heart never flinches, the Holy Spirit is a redeeming genius—and we are as real as we are precious to the blessed Trinity.
Here are a few quotes, used by the author’s permission.
“Jesus?” he whispered as his voice choked. “I feel so lost.”
A hand reached out and squeezed his, and didn’t let go. “I know, Mack. But it’s not true. I am with you and I’m not lost. I’m sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly. You are not lost.” (p. 114).
“I don’t create institutions—never have, never will.”
“What about the institution of marriage?”
“Marriage is not an institution. It’s a relationship.” (p. 179).
“If only it were that simple, Mackenzie. Nobody knows what horrors I have saved the world from, ‘cuz 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.
Mack rubbed his hands through his hair and sighed. ‘It’s just so hard to understand.’
“Honey, let me tell you one of the reasons that it makes no sense to you. It’s because you have such a small view of what it means to be human. You and this Creation are incredible, whether you understand that or not. You are wonderful beyond imagination. Just because you make horrendous and destructive choices does not mean you deserve less respect for what your inherently are—the pinnacle of my Creation and the center of my affection.” (p. 190).
Thanks to Wendy and Wayne Marchant of Sue St. Marie, Canada for phoning me and insisting that I get The Shack and read it.
And yes, I will list my all-time favorite books in another blog.