By Summer 2008, nearly everyone had heard of The Shack. Not long after that, nearly everyone had read it; William Young's runaway first novel has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for months.
Back in June, I wrote a short survey of the response The Shack was eliciting from theologians and pastors. As you can imagine, for every word of praise for the novel, there was a criticism. No doubt you have heard both from the people you minister to.
If you're still uncertain what to make of the book, help may be on the way. Roger Olson's Finding God in the Shack: Seeking truth in a story of evil and redemption (IVP, February 2009) is an effort to address the major theological questions the novel raises. Here are some chapter titles: "Where is God in Senseless, Innocent Suffering?" "Is God Really a Family of Three?" "Can God Be in Charge but Not in Control?"
Olson addresses several places he believes the novel can be misleading. But overall, he finds a helpful, and theologically sound, message ...1