Tim Challies has self-published a PDF revision of his review of the Shack.
Very frankly, it is one of his best pieces ever. I highly recommend anyone reading the Shack or thinking about reading the Shack or has had the Shack recommended to them download that PDF (that's what your right-click button is for), read that, and then read the book to see if Challies has treated it fairly.
Excellent format. Great resources listed in the back. Tough on what ought to be treated with toughness.
On a related note ...
A lot of people have said to me that the Shack is a harmless book of fiction which has edified them or given them a fresh look at their spirituality. A lot of people.
When I start asking them questions about the book and the things I found troubling with it, they all have a very unanimous answer which comes in various forms. They all say, in words to this effect, "doctrine isn't everything; sometimes it's OK just to enjoy something for what it is."
You know: I play video games. I admit it. I am currently addicted to Team Fortress 2, in spite of its apparent datedness. And when I'm spawned as a Fatty in order to "move little cart" and mow down the opposing players with my chain gun, I'm not thinking about doctrine. I admit it: I have moments when I'm not thinking about doctrine.
But here's the thing: I can promise you that the disconnect from TF2 to my Sunday School class is entirely mutual. In the same way that my doctrine regarding God's covenants with Israel does not effect whether I will heal opposing players when I'm a Medic in TF2, I can promise you that whether or not I dominated my friend Josh this week does not effect my ability to teach right doctrine in Sunday School.
My practice my be, um, unsanctified (we can talk about that if you want to try to get me there), but what I teach to others doesn't get scuttled by my enjoyment of TF2.
Let me suggest that it is at least suspicious that a book wants to call itself Christian fiction but, in fact, dismisses or diminishes almost every single foundational principle of the Christian faith. It is possible to "enjoy" such a thing, I am sure. The results of "enjoying" it, it seems to me, are a little more invasive than enjoying a couple of rounds of Goldmine.
So I recommend Tim's review to enhance your enjoyment of the Shack. If you find that affirmation troubling, tell me why in the meta.