Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? - I Kings 3:9 I like Paul Young. Having heard him speak about his life and book three times at his alma mater (Warner Pacific College), in Portland, Oregon, in the fall of 2008, I found him to be passionate, witty and funny. While attending those meetings I was able to spend a few moments with him privately, during which time I asked him to respond personally to several criticisms and concerns that I and other Christians had raised about the theological content of his book. I wish I could report that he allayed my apprehensions, but instead I went away convinced that The Shack is more than just a little offbeat but is, as Dr. Albert Mohler pegged it during his May 26, 2008, radio broadcast, "blatant heresy." Yes, The Shack is indeed a novel. And many will wonder what could be wrong, since it is identified as a Christian book and authored by a man who claims to be a Christian. After all, The Shack is heralded by many seasoned Christian leaders. Pastors are preaching from it. Sunday School classes and small groups are reading and discussing it. Many Christians are buying it by the case to give as gifts. Some Christian schools are even sanctioning and encouraging the reading of the book. Now, in March, 2017, a whole new array of materials are being offered to coincide with the motion picture release. But this is not just a benign story of man overcoming life's challenges. Make no mistake, the book presents Paul Young's erroneous doctrine throughout its clever and gripping story - something the author clearly intended to do. Therein lies the problem. Trading the Kingdom for a Shack For those unaware of the book's storyline, here is the description of The Shack from Amazon.com: "Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of what he refers to as 'The Great Sadness,' Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant 'The Shack' wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?"