“The Shack” by William P. Young

My pleasure from reading doesn’t come from the act of reading, itself. It comes from the excitement of the story. That’s what draws me in, pins me down, and won’t let me up until I’m done. A little masochistic, wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of masochism, I do a fair amount of reading for the purpose of research or learning. That type of reading is not “fun” for me, but necessary, none the less. My satisfaction from this type of reading results from the expansion of knowledge.

51w8kqcjhl_sl160_I’ve got some mixed feelings about “The Shack”. The first 20% of the book tells an interesting story of a broken man who is experiencing a deep sadness following the kidnapping and violent death of his beloved little daughter.

The remainder of the book is a dialogue between this man and the authors unusual portrayal of God. In this dialogue, “God” guides the character to work through his feelings and to overcome his deep sadness as he wades through his understanding of God.

The story is set in nearby Oregon. Though the main character lives in Portland, most of the story occurs in the northeastern part of the state in the Wallowa Lake area. There is even some reference to the Multnomah Falls throughout the book.

Controversy of “The Shack”

I’m certainly no theologian, but I can usually recognize when a person’s religious views have come from a source other than the Word of God. In the case of “The Shack”, there are to many strange twists to be completely scriptural. Much of the ideas that the author represents seem to come from his inner thoughts and deductive reasoning, rather than from the truth of the Word.

Pastor Michael Sandberg gives a thorough analysis at Summit Christian Fellowship. There, he identifies many of my personal sentiments in a very detailed manner.

Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries is much more critical in his attack of the book.

Tim Challies put together a review of “The Shack” that is about as clear an organized as any that I’ve seen.


If I took anything positive from the reading of the book, I would have to say that it may have helped me to think of Jesus Christ on a more personal level.

I would only recommend this book be read by mature Christian readers who have already established their understanding of God through the reading of the bible.

Legend of the Multnomah Princess

Multnomah Falls

I was coming home from a bible quizzing competition in Portland, several days ago, with one of the students from our team. When we were approaching Multnomah falls, I asked him if he had ever stopped at the visitor center to see the falls up close. He hadn’t, but wanted to, so we stopped.

Bridge over lower Multnomah Falls

For some unknown reason, I suggested that we make the 1 mile hike up the steep path to the top, so we could look down into the gorge from high above. I didn’t remember that hike being so intensely strenuous.

Multnomah Falls parking lot from top of fallsWe eventually made it to the top. All delays in getting there were on me. I had to stop for rest several times. After reaching the top, we looked over the edge from the view point, took a few pictures, and headed back down the path. Boy, was I happy that the return trip was all downhill. That made for much easier travel.

Before we left the visitor center, I stopped in the gift shop to browse. I decided to purchase a coffee mug to add to my collection. This particular mug had the legend of the Multnomah Princess inscribed into it.

Summary version of the Multnomah Princess Legend

There was a terrible sickness that threatened lives of the Multnomah people. An old medicine man revealed that the sickness had been foretold but that it would pass if a maiden descendant of a tribal chief would throw herself from a high cliff above the big river and onto the rocks below. The chief was not willing to sacrifice any of the princesses, so he elected to allow the sickness to run it’s course.

When the Chief’s daughter saw that the sickness had affected her lover, she went up to the top of the cliff and threw herself to the rocks below. Upon her death, the sickness immediately began to leave the affected people.

Now, when the breeze blows through the water, a silvery stream separates from the upper falls. The misty stream fashions a form of the maiden, a token of the “Great Spirit’s” acceptance of her sacrifice.

Here is a more detailed version of the Multnomah Princess Legend.

When you are traveling along I-84 through the gorge between Portland and Hood River, I highly recommend that you stop by the falls to enjoy its magnificence
Multnomah Falls from a high vantage point