Eugene Peterson says this book is as good and as important as The Pilgrim’s Progress. Well, it really is not. It is neither as good nor as original a story and it lacks the theological precision of Bunyan’s work. But really, this is a bit of a facile comparison. The Pilgrim’s Progress, after all, is allegory—a story that has a second distinct meaning that is partially hidden behind its literal meaning. The Shack is not meant to be allegory. Nor can The Shack quite be equated with a story like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where C.S. Lewis simply asked (and answered) this kind of question: “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?” The Shack is in a different category than these more notable Christian works. It seeks to represent the members of the Trinity as they are (or as they could be) and to suggest through them what they might teach were they to appear to us in a similar situation. There is a sense of attempted or perceived reality in this story that is missing in the others. This story is meant to teach theology that Young really believes to be true. The story is a wrapper for the theology. In theory this is well and good; in practice the book is only as good as its theology. And in this case, the theology just is not good enough.
Because of the sheer volume of error and because of the importance of the doctrines reinvented by the author, I would encourage Christians, and especially young Christians, to decline this invitation to meet with God in The Shack. It is not worth reading for the story and certainly not worth reading for the theology. -- Tim Challies
Mac is a grief-stricken father in mid-life about to have an extraordinary experience with God. His great sadness began four years ago on a weekend camping trip, when his 6-year-old daughter, Missy, was murdered. What he couldn't know then, but is about to learn, was God's purpose for Missy's death. Roger Mueller's clear, gentle voice characterizes Mac's family with high-spirited joy and laughter. His portrayal of Missy's animated excitement makes her especially believable. His polished performance of grief-stricken Mac brings tears. With empathy and sensitivity, Mueller captures the mysterious voices of those who have invited him to the now abandoned, yet transformed, cabin in the wilderness. This compelling fantasy explores themes of love, loss, and blame.