Catalyst ’08: William Paul Young

William Paul Young is the author of the book The Shack, which I think that nearly everyone has read! For this shorter session, he was interviewed about his experiences in writing the book, which was primarily written for his six children. After putting it online, it went viral over the internet. They spent something along the lines of $300 to market it. Amazing.

A couple of points stood out to me. First, his demeanor was humble and grateful to be where he was. Before The Shack he was working as a janitor and two other jobs. He also cleared up the first question that is always asked about The Shack: it is a parable. The Shack is a metaphor for the spiritual darkness we all find ourselves in. It is autobiographical in that the spiritual progression is William Paul Young’s spiritual progression, but it is not intended as a true story. Sorry…no Shack-hunting tourist trips! He concluded the interview by recounting some of the stories of people who were touched by their reading of the story, and discussing some of the reactions of Christians around the world to the story. Not all of these reactions have been positive, but he kept a good attitude towards them while reminding us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.