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Nov. 12, 2012

Thoughts on The Shack in light of the author’s new novel and devotional

The ShackThe Shack spent 50 weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold 18 million copies, and has been translated into 41 languages. November 13 marks the release of another book by the same author, called Crossroads. I haven’t read Crossroads, but I know that it will refuel interest in and generate even more sales for The Shack. In addition, there is now a devotional available titled The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year.

For years I was asked to respond to The Shack, and though I didn’t do so publically, I did write an extensive review of it that I made available to a small number of people privately.

The complete paper, “Reflections on The Shack”, is available on our website. This is deliberately detailed and way longer than a typical review or article. Read it only if you have a special interest in The Shack.

Here is the introduction to the article:

I’ve had no desire to step into controversy in a public discussion about the book. However, after years of silence, time has demonstrated that many people are indeed basing their theology on The Shack. For a variety of reasons, including my hope for further interaction with the author and my desire to not be part of another controversy (I’ve been in my share), I originally decided not to publish this or post it online. When people asked me about it, I told them they could request my unpublished paper.

It now seems appropriate to finally post an updated version of what I wrote years ago, since I still receive so many questions about the book.

I am also posting it because of the ongoing trend of unbiblical theology surfacing in supposedly Christian books (see my comments on Mary Neal’s To Heaven and Back). This is a problem that didn’t start or end with The Shack but it is now something I think I should address more publically.

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