Book Review: The Shack

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Today’s book review is about a book that is infamous for being disliked by many in the Christian community, despite the fact that it is marketed as a Christian fiction novel. If you haven’t already guessed, let me give you another hint: it has recently been released in theaters! Oh yeah, it’s The Shack, and I’ve been absolutely itching to write this review for the past few weeks. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Caution: This book review may contain spoilers!


Book Review: The Shack


Before the release of the film version of The Shack, I had never heard of the book. A few days after the movie’s initial release, I walked past a bookshelf at home and saw the book! Apparently I had received a copy of the novel from my aunt and had forgotten about it. So, because I had already thought the movie would be interesting, I began reading. This was well over a month ago, and I just finished reading the book yesterday (note: I’m penning this post on April 7th), if that tells you anything.

Initially, the book seemed very dry to me up until the camping trip. This is were the action began to pick up, and by the time Missy went missing, I could not put the book down. But, after we establish the fact that Missy has been kidnapped, that her kidnapper has killed her, and that Mack has to deal with the aftermath, the same old dry narrative came back full force.

The next change in setting occurs when Mack gets a letter in the mail from Papa to meet him at the shack where Missy’s clothes were found. Mack accepts the invitation and travels there, where he “falls asleep” in the shack and experiences another dimension where he meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in human form.

My main problem with the novel is not that Mack meets the Trinity in human form. I am concerned, however, with how the human forms portray the Trinity. This novel is chock full of heresy. For example, Papa (the representation of God) repeatedly says that the Trinity has a circular chain of command, insinuating that neither individual being in the Trinity has power over the others. This is false, as Jesus and the Holy Spirit abide by God’s will, as stated in John 6:38 and 1 Corinthians 15:28. In addition, the author also stated, “in Jesus you are not under any law. All things are lawful.” This is a terrible lie. If you accept Jesus as your Savior and you repent for not obeying God, then you are forgiven by the grace of God. If we’re not supposed to follow God’s commandments as the author is suggesting, why on earth are there more guidelines printed in the New Testament after the crucifixion?

After reading the quote I just mentioned, I was highly uninterested in reading the rest of the novel. In order to get through it, I read the first sentence of the remaining paragraphs to get the gist of what was going on. By doing so, I didn’t miss much.

My overall rating is 2 out of 5 stars. I would only rate it 1 star, but the portion about Missy’s kidnapping kept me interested for a while.


Thanks for reading, Arrowheads! If any of you have suggestions for great Christian fiction novels I should check out, feel free to comment below!

-Allyson 🙂

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

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