BOOKS: The Shack - cliffnotes please


A buddy and I are going canoeing this weekend and we usually discuss the books we’ve read since our last trip. His mom was all gaga over The Shack and I know he’s either read it or planning too.

Can someone give me a quick summary of talking points? I saw the other thread but have no desire to slug through 200+ posts.

Thanks much!

Here’s the Clff Notes version:

God is a black woman in Montana.

Now you don’t have to read it.

A man’s daughter is abducted and murdered by a serial killer. The only evidence found is at a shack in the Washington (or is it Oregon?) wilderness. He blames himself and God for what happened. One day several years later, he gets a note inviting him to the shack where the evidence was found. He goes there and has an encounter with the Holy Trinity. The three persons of the Trinity don’t look like traditional depictions - God the Father is a large black woman, Jesus is an arabic carpenter with a large nose and the Holy Spirit is an asian woman. Each take turns meeting with him over a weekend to help him understand what happened. At the end of the weekend, God the Father (who now appears as a man) takes him to where his daughter’s body is hidden.

He makes peace with himself and God.

It is not a bad book, but there are some clearly un-Catholic concepts involved. As long as you are not looking at it as scripture or as a theology book, it is a pretty easy read.



A priest friend of mine told me once he liked to envision God as this big black woman who just wanted to smother you with a hug. He mentioned either an actress or tv/movie character by name. :slight_smile:

Is it more of a protestant viewpoint then? or new agish? or just fanciful fiction and not meant to be a theological treatise?

thanks for the replies

Well, it is kinda new-aged protestant fiction that should not be taken as a theological treatise!

Seriously, though, I do think that many who read the book do look at it, at least somewhat, to be a theological treatise. I know the author has received a lot of adulation and has been treated by some as a great spiritual writer.

If you read it as fiction with some interesting ideas about God, it is not a bad read.



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