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March 01st 2010 print

Michael Giffin

Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

The Shack, by William Paul Young; Windblown Media, 2008, 256 pages, $22.95. There are several reasons why Quadrant readers should be familiar with The Shack. It’s become a best-seller, rare for a novel from a niche market, it’s being widely debated and discussed, it’s popularised complex theological concepts that don’t usually make it beyond the confines of a seminary or yeshiva, it’s related those concepts to the difficult circumstances of human life, and, most importantly, it’s touched many readers. My copy was pressed upon me by the Sister of Charity who taught me biblical studies in seminary. Read it, she said enthusiastically, before rushing off to distribute other copies to colleagues, friends and relatives. It’s the kind of book you want to share. Its theology is impeccable, as far as mainstream Christianity is concerned, although some true believers find it problematic. An excellent theological defence of the novel can be found at www.windblownmedia.com.

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