Five years ago this month, William Paul Young self-published a book that would become a New York Times bestseller, selling a million copies in just over one year. Of course, that book is known as The Shack. I first read the book in the late summer of 2008, posting a more positive 3-article review – article 1, article 2, article 3. I gave a more detailed, in-depth review due to some of the negative hubbub created within the evangelical church, which as with Rob Bell’s Love Wins, it probably created more sales than it deterred.
Over the past months, I have been drawn to pick up the book again, read it afresh after all the craze (both positive and negative) has died down. Maybe I am being drawn back to the book as Mack was drawn back to the shack where his daughter was horribly slain. I have no such tragedy in my life that compares to that of the storied account ofThe Shack, but I do expect to learn as I re-engage with the book this time around, something about God and his good purposes in the midst of tragedy.
We shall see.
On a side note, it grieves me to read of the lawsuit that took place in 2010 over the royalties for the book. It seems Young and former partners of Windblown Media, Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings. Nevertheless, I pick up the book with the anticipation of engaging with God as I turn the pages.