The Shack, the wildly successful novel by William Paul Young, is known now to millions of people. From the year of its publication in 2007, it has been on the NY Times Bestsellers List for over 100 weeks. This is quite amazing since it is written by one who once professed to be a Christian and was written for Christians with a Christian story line—or so it seems. But the story has touched the heartstrings of Christians and non-Christians alike because it deals with great questions: What is the meaning of suffering? If God is good why does he allow people to suffer? And even more significant: If God is loving why does he judge unbelievers worthy of hell and an everlasting judgment?
The answer that Paul Young gives to these questions is surprising. Instead of suggesting that the Bible has answers for these questions, Young propounds a different view of God that asserts that God is so loving that he does not punish sin, that all are his children, that “mercy triumphs over justice because of love.”