The big movie news this week is that the mega-bestselling book, The Shack, has finally been made into a movie. It stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw. I read the book when it first came out in 2007, and I still get asked about the book. I’m assuming more people will now ask questions due to the movie, so here’s my quick take on The Shack.

Bottom line for me: The Shack is a well-written story with an interesting plotline but lousy theology. The “God” of the Shack is a large African American female who seems a lot like Oprah. Why? The author of The Shack, William Young, says he was abused by older men as a child and that he cannot picture God as a male. William Young also claims that he does not go to church anymore; he says it “doesn’t work for him”. The Holy Spirit is an Asian woman and Jesus is portrayed as a Middle Eastern male.

Young’s theology leaks through loud and clear in the book:
1) God is not the Sovereign King, but a counselor to help us work through problems.
2) Young’s bias against the local church is loud and clear.

The local church is downgraded and dismissed as largely irrelevant. So, while it is an interesting book (Young is a very talented writer), the theological underpinnings are deplorable. Not a good book for believers who want to know the God of the Bible.

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor