Book Review: The Shack Revisited by C. Baxter Kruger

ImageA few years back, a little book took the Christian (and non-Christian) world by storm. It was called The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It recounts the story of a man who is invited by God Himself to visit Him in the place where his young daughter was brutally murdered.

God reveals Himself in some pretty unconventional ways, but, in the end, the man turns to God for salvation from his Great Sadness and finds redemption.

The book set off a fury of responses. Some positive, many negative. The biggest issue for most was the portrayal of God in feminine form. “Papa” (God the Father) is a large black woman and the Holy Spirit is also female.

When  started reading The Shack Revisited, I was expecting some sort of unpacking of these ideas. A Good answer/critique as to why. Simply put, there was one brief mention of these things in passing, and no more. That was my biggest disappointment with the book, actually. But it redeemed itself in what it did address.Rather than being a response to or unpacking of the theology of The Shack, this book sought to show the Biblical evidence for the view of the trinity presented in the story.This idea of God being in family relationship with Himself from before the beginning of time. And it proves this theological idea in beautiful simplicity.

This is not a simple book by any means, though. This picture of the trinity has the potential to make people very uncomfortable. Most are used to seeing the trinity as an M & M or the various states of water. But as a family? It’s sort of scandalous.

With a devotion to biblical orthodoxy and an understanding of the history of Christian doctrine, Kruger is careful not to move into theological error regarding the trinity. He even mentions briefly some flawed views of the trinity and explains that the view presented in the Shack is not one of those. He is also clear that it is not a new or novel idea.

Overall, Revisited only occasionally mentions The Shack, preferring instead to reference it when a quote will suffice to show how the book portrays a theological idea. In fact, I would argue that the book should have had a different title and not been associated with The Shack in the manner that it was. But this does not take away from the fact that this is a wonderful, thought-provoking read and one that every Christian with a concern for having a proper view of God should at least consider.

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.***

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Shack Revisited by C. Baxter Kruger

  1. Susan Riddell says:

    Dear Baxter Kruger:

    I am 34 pages in reading your book ( after also having read The Shack) and I am stymied that you continue, after reading and digesting the messages of The Shack that challenges the traditional and fundamentalist concept of God the ‘Father’ , to constantly refer to God as Father. You have made no effort, thus far, to name a God characterized by William P. Young that incorporates the female gender, male gender named, non white, and ‘large’ person that Young writes about. You do seem to, however, agree thus far in my reading with this person of God that Young describes. What would be wrong with referring to Father/Mother God, the Son, the Holy Spirit in your writing to show an expanded or more open or embracing understanding of God that you seem to say Young describes and you agree with. I suggest to you that in this world much descrimination against, and devaluing of, women comes from that very root: God, all powerful, is male and therefore on Earth that equals male is superior to female. Much could change if that notion could be dispelled, although it is a concept deeply entrenched in the religious community and therefore in the world. Young was brave, although he had nothing to ‘prove’ or ‘preserve’ as initially his writing was meant only for his children and few others. Is there a reason you do not have his courage? I know absolutely nothing of your work, your ministry?, your following? and perhaps I will hopefully be wrong and surprised as I read on. You say that Jesus, in his time, challenged the traditional view of God. Young has. Is there a reason you cannot?

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