The book cover's subtitle reads: "Where tragedy confronts eternity", however after reading the book it seems to mean, "Where tragedy meets theology" and this is not a bad thing necessarily. The Shack seems to be a fictional study in how people should deal with tragedy(death) while still believing in a good God.
Mackenzie Allen Philips took his family on a trip in Oregon and during the trip his little girl Missy is abducted and presumed murdered. Four years later, he receives a mysterious note requesting him to return to the shack and this is where his Great Sadness will be confronted by an even greater God, but what and who he encounters will confound his mind and the readers' minds because nothing is as it seems and William Paul Young makes sure he includes theology along with literary magic and sensitivity.
Dealing with God and tragedy all at once.
There is a story within a story here. First Mackenzie remembers when his daughter was first abducted, foreshadowing is contained within a story he tells his daughter the night before, a story about a princes who sacrifices herself for her village. Secondly, Mackenzie must faced his Great Sadness as well as ask the big questions of God. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit counsels him in figuring out what the big picture really is(the Holy Trinity is revealed in a unique way in this story but you must read the book to find out how).
Mackenzie asks all the right questions any of us would ask: Why a little girl? Why are people so evil? Why are we here? And God is patient in answering him. The answers are bubbled in philosophy, life and theology. Theology is a study of God so basically this book is consumed in literary genius and biblical thought.
This is definitely a book all Christians should read and even discuss together.
Inspiring quote from the book.
"You humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that a relationship can exist apart from hierarchy"(The Shack, 2007, p.126: William Paul Young)
The Shack, WM. Paul Young in collaboration with Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings
Published: Windblown Media(2007)
Get this book at Christianbook.com, Amazon, or BN.com!