Portrayals of God

Where Do Your Ideas About God Come From?

Spiral Jetty - picture by Greg Rakozy

As a primary-schooler I contemplated God and felt trapped. At the time my parents were in one of the world’s more zealous religious sects, I was being raised according to its tenets, and the God of this faith was difficult to please. We all hold an image of God in our minds. So who is your God? What is your God like? Here’s one way to find out when, and how, you formed your image of God… More…

The Shack Interview

William ‘Paul’ Young’s book The Shack has been a publishing phenomenon. Originally written for his kids, the book went viral and has since sold millions. Its tale of Mack losing his daughter Missy and meeting God to discover an answer to suffering has been hailed by many as life-changing. The book has also caused much debate. I spoke to Paul about the personal story behind The Shack on Open House in 2008 and put the criticisms to him. It was a fascinating discussion. More…

William Young’s Troubled Past: The Story Behind ‘The Shack’

In part 2 of my extended interview with The Shack author William ‘Paul’ Young, Paul shares the personal story behind the book, including some details not published elsewhere: his childhood abuse, his later addictions, his drive to please people and God to find affection, and the event on January 4 1994 that turned his life upside down. More…

The God of ‘The Shack’: William Young Responds

In part 3 of my interview with The Shack author William P Young, Paul and I discuss the need to go back to the place of our pain and grief to find God, why Paul portrayed God as ‘Papa’, Jesus and ‘Sarayu’, the misconceptions about God The Shack tries to address, and why God is all about relationship rather than religion.
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Is ‘The Shack’ Heresy? William Young Responds to His Critics

In part 4 and 5 of my extended interview with William P Young, author of the phenomenally popular book The Shack, Paul and I explore some of the criticisms that have been levelled at his book. In this segment you’ll hear Paul respond to some of the criticism, in particular whether his portrayal of God is demeaning. More…