So who are some of the people who have criticized 'The Shack'? Mark Driscoll and Al Mohler are a couple of names that I can give you at the moment. For the most part, I would say that they draw invalid conclusions about specific narrative in the book. This is a broad problem that I see in western society in general. We tend to break things down into tiny fragments and examine the fragments, all the while missing the bigger picture -- straining out gnats and swallowing camels as Jesus put it. One quick example is Mark's claim that the book teaches modalism, and he pulls a statement out of the book that vaguely appears to support his claim. Yet on page 100, the Author's belief in the Trinity couldn't me more clear:
"We are not three gods, and we are not talking about one god with three attitudes, like a man who is a husband, father, and worker. I am one God and I am three persons, and each of the three is fully and entirely the one.
I could provide a counter point to nearly every objection raised, but I don't think that would change the minds of those who have already made a judgment call on the book. Even though there are a couple of things that I might disagree with in 'The Shack', I would still highly recommend it; not as a book that I would hand anyone and say 'This sums up my doctrinal beliefs'. Rather as a story that has the ability to let you get a glimpse of the Love our Father has for us.
Writing about this has reminded me about some of Jesus' words that really haunted me several years ago.
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
-- John 5:39-40
I was once a lot like Mark, and Dr. Mohler; sure that my 'doctrine' was correct, and confident that my correct doctrine insured that I was worshiping the right god. But the more I though about Jesus' words, the more uncomfortable I became with studying doctrine. Did doctrine transform my life? Did Jesus spend time making sure his disciples doctrine was in order? Did the pharisee's spend a great deal of time studying scripture, and did that make them right? For the time being, I've abandoned holding doctrinal positions; that may sound crazy, but I felt impressed by God to do so because doctrine was my graven image. It was the thing that had usurped God's place in my life. I know doctrine can be good, but there is a danger of boxing God in, creating a graven image, or making God subject to scripture with doctrine.