Book and Movie Review: The Shack
by William Paul Young
My Rating: ***** (5 out of 5)
Why Did I Read/Watch?
This book and movie was recommended to me by a friend. It had a great impact on her and her family, and she thought I would like it, too (she was right).
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 his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!
* book description from the back cover
What Did I Think/Recommendation
I LOVED this book! It is filled with so much insight. I love the author’s understanding of God, as it is very similar to my own. This is probably the best book/movie I have encountered to date about the topic of forgiveness. Forgiveness with yourself and with others is essential if you want to be at peace. There really is nothing more important than that.
On a personal note, this book helped me to become more confident and comfortable in my own beliefs. As I mentioned, the author’s understanding of God is very similar to my own, yet it is very different from the teachings I had been exposed to throughout my Catholic upbringing and in the Christian church(es) I have attended. I had been struggling with this conflict for some time, but The Shack put me at peace with my beliefs and helped me to let go of the beliefs that others had planted in me. God really does send us the answers to all of our questions and concerns in some of the most amazing ways!
I enjoyed both the book and the movie, but I would definitely recommend the book over the movie if you would like to get the full understanding of all the messages the author is trying to send.
I have so many favorite quotes from the book, there are way too many to add them all here. Here are a few:
“Love always leaves a mark.” ~Papa
“Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.”
“Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”
“All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you. It’s not your job to change them, or to convince them. You are free to love without an agenda.”
“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship…Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.”
“The people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”
“You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems, and to move freely between and among them. Together, you and I can be in it, and not of it. Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats or Republicans, and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions…I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into Sons and Daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my beloved.”
“So no, I’m not too big on religion…and not very fond of politics or economics either…And why should I be? They are the man-created trinity of terrors that ravages the earth and deceives those I care about. What mental turmoil and anxiety does any human face that is not related to one of those three?”
“It’s extremely hard to rescue someone unless they are willing to trust you.”
“It’s not the work, but the purpose that makes it special.”
“True love never forces.”
“So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it.”
View more quotes from the book here.