Soon after William Paul Young's The Shack hit the bookstores, a friend handed me a copy and said, "You need to read this; it's going to be the next best-seller."

I put the book on my "to read" pile, and it remained there for several weeks. Then, in an idle moment, I picked it up and scanned the first few pages. Soon I stopped scanning and started reading.

The Shack got to me. Admittedly, Young seemed to stray across a few theological boundary lines, but I found myself less concerned about that and more captivated by the way he raised so many of the issues that spiritually devastated people have inside and outside the Christian movement. I'm thinking of issues like bitterness, guilt, powerlessness, and emotional paralysis that often originate from traumatic experiences in one's past.

As I read, I heard Young saying, "Let's fool with an out-of-the-box story that might offer us a fresh appreciation of some very old truths about who God actually is—and how far God might go to establish ...

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