Essay on The Shack

2400 Words Apr 19th, 2011 10 Pages
The Shack The image of God can be interpreted many ways. Most envision Him as a Father Time figure that sits on a cloud thumbing his long, silver beard. Some view God as an uncompromising demiurge, while others choose to believe He is a loving deity with bountiful grace. While some consider the Holy Trinity one being, others believe it to be three separate entities. William P. Young, in his fictional novel, The Shack, takes a very different approach on his view of God. The author personifies the Holy Trinity in terms that very few have ever considered. In the formative years of William P. Young’s life, significant events occurred that shaped his presentation of God. The images portrayed in his book conflict with the belief of many …show more content…
As Jesus reminded his disciples in Luke 9:50, “For he who is not against us is for us” (Thompson). William P. Young dealt with many difficulties throughout his life that may have led him to his unique understanding and image of God. He was raised by parents who served as missionaries, and from infancy was brought up with the Dani tribe of New Guinea. In his early childhood, he was subject to verbal and sexual assault from his father and tribesmen. At age six, he was sent to boarding school where he endured more sexual abuse from older students (Grossman 3). Young was able to cope with these traumatic experiences by suppressing his emotions for many years. “I learned to survive by becoming a performer/perfectionist,” says Young (Grossman 3). Young was encouraged by his wife to write The Shack. She wanted her husband to revisit his past and open up his heart to their children (Grossman 3). Young uses the character of Mack to display his suppressed emotions from his past. “Mack is me, a guy who has made a mess of everything. The book takes him outside everything familiar, back to the worst experience of his life and lets him recognize God is so much greater” (Grossman 4). In an interview with Kim Gravel, Young explains the symbolism of the shack: “The Shack is a metaphor. It’s the house of the soul that you build on the inside. People help you build it by what they inflict on you, and what they do to you…” (Young) Just

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