The Shack: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Each of us as Christians is called to exercise biblical discernment. Each day we are bombarded by information and ideas.  As Christians we are called to sift through this mass of information and understand it in light of God’s Word; meditating on what is good and fleeing what is evil.

That task is easy in some cases.  We are taught to flee sexual immorality, lying, stealing, murder, adultery, covetousness, and slander, just to name a few.  Those are easy to discern.  But what about ideas that are seemingly ‘Christian’.  What about ideas that are close to the truth, but just shy of the truth.  These can be much more deceptive and much harder for us to discern.  These ideas are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  They appear cuddly on the outside, but when observed carefully they are rotten to the core.

I would like to draw your attention to one such instance of this.  It is the book entitled The Shack by William P. Young.  This book is a bestseller and has been touted by many in religious circles as a paradigm shifting book on how to view our relationship to God.  One noted endorsement says it has the potential to be the Pilgrim’s Progress of our day.  Many have read this book and many are recommending this book.

This book is well written and very engaging.  The story grabs you and pulls you in.  However, once inside the book the author begins to expound a view of God that is not only skewed but actually heretical.  The difficulty is that it is done in such a creative and engaging way.  It is full of vivid imagery.  But this imagery masks deeply flawed theology.  Theology that is clearly unbiblical.  Here are a couple of quotes about The Shack from men we would respect.

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says, “This book includes undiluted heresy.”

Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says, “Regarding the Trinity, it’s actually heretical.”

In short, I would recommend that you avoid this book.  Whatever benefit you might get from this book will be mitigated by the constant filtering of bad theology you will be forced to do.  If you have read this or hear of others reading it and would like a more in depth analysis, please follow this link and read this review by Tim Challies.  It is thoughtful and thorough.  Here is the PDF link.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about this book, please feel free to email me at