Friday, April 4

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Everywhere I go these days, thinking Christians seem to be talking about three popular, bestselling books--one good, one bad, and one ugly. The good one is The Reason for God by Tim Keller. The bad one is The Shack by William P. Young. And the ugly one is Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer. Recent reviews reveal just why:

Tim Challies has written very helpful reviews of both Keller's carefully nuanced work of modern apologetics and Young's heterodox parable of modern inquiry. A review by Os Guinness provides some real insight into Schaeffer's deeply troubling memoir.


Inkling said...

Have you read The Shack, or had a chance to meet Paul Young? Dr. G, you are one of my heroes, and you have taught me a great deal. But I have to also say that I really treasure Paul Young, and have appreciated the chance I've had to glimpse into his heart and hear his story. He and his sister spent a few hours at my dinner table, and I cannot agree with the statement that his book is a "bad" book. God sure used it in my heart and life. And I consider it a privilege to call Paul my friend.

I'm sorry that I've had to take my blog private for safety reasons, so nobody can check up on me if they want to follow this comment further. But if you want to know who I am, just read the "Easter in BC" article in the latest Kingsmeadow Newsletter.

Bonnie said...

Thank you for the Keller review. I'm only in the beginning of the book, since he was in Charlotte a few weeks ago for a book signing. I read Os Guinness' article in Books and Culture. I felt like I was in on a private conversation in many ways.


gileskirk said...

Sara: I do not know Young, but I have read The Shack. I agree with Tim Challies in asserting that the book is powerfully written and affecting (even though, like Chilles, I found the first few chapters very awkward and difficult to choke down).

Clearly, the book is gripping, passionate, and deeply encouraging for those who have had to endure disappointment, doubt, or suffering. But, all that does not erase the profound theological problems in the book--in particular, the problems with the Trinity, the sovereignty of God, and the autonomy of man.

I have no doubt that Young is gifted, gracious, and compassionate--all that comes through loud and clear in his book, his many interviews, and even on his MySpace page and blog site. But, a good heart does not necessarily make for a good book. I think Young's heterodox assumptions make his book very flawed indeed.

Do read the review and I think even with your personal affection for the man, his heart, and his story, you'll be able to see why the book falls short.

Just as a personal aside, Frank Schaeffer has been a personal friend of mine for nearly 25 years. I appreciate him and agree with him on much of his criticism of the Evangelical church. But, that does not keep me from seeing his book as really, really ugly.

Bonnie said...

Just saw on Tim Keller's sons blog that he has another book coming out later in the year: The Prodigal God.
When is YOUR next book coming out, Dr. Grant?!