The following comments are based mainly on one of the reviews I read on The Shack, by William Young. You may read the review yourself to see where I am coming from.
I have read the reviews and the warnings. I think some go too far sometimes. If you can read this book and by doing so, come away with a fresh view of God's love, then the author as succeeded. This book can reach the lost or hurt, showing a way to still trust in God's goodness even in the midst of horrible situations. It brings the amazing mystery of the scripture in a way that helps the human mind grasp the rolls of each part of the trinity. It helps the human mind grasp what God's design for relationship is.
Reading Challies.com, there are many concerns with the book's accuracy with the concepts of hierarchy and submission and with the details of the trinity. I don't see the "danger" everyone speaks of. Salvation issues are the only "dangers." If someone has accepted Christ and lives with some misinterpretations of scripture, it doesn't cost him his soul. I personally find MANY problems with the reviewer's take on forgiveness. Not forgiving is a personal problem that eats you up from the inside out, giving Satan a huge foothold. Someone else's repentance is between them and God. My forgiving can't possibly be dependent on their repentance. You could relate this to my submission to my husband. God tells me to submit. I am in sin if I don't. My submission is not based on my husband willingness or capability to lead our family as Christ leads the church.
About how God communicates, I do not agree with the reviewer once again. I do not believe Young is discounting scripture. He is showing disgust for how many in our modern world pervert the scripture, limit God through it, and miss out on relationship totally. There are many many Pharisees in our time today. The reviewer also ridicules Young's description of hearing and being led by the Spirit. Yes we have the Word, but a believer also has the Holy Spirit living in them. One can discern if they have truly heard the Spirit by comparing the message to scripture. In this way, scripture is the authority, but the Spirit speaks and moves nonetheless.
There are big concerns about the author not clearly stating the danger of a human not accepting the relationship God offers. One comment to this is that again, this is a fictional story about a believer, confused as he was. There was no need to convert him, so this topic was irrelevant. In addition to this, though, I love that Young is against the "religion" which is all law and cold and misses the gospel completely. God does love ALL of His creation and does desire ALL to come into relationship with Him. Young is right to say that all paths do not lead to God, but speaks of God's wonderful creativity in attempts to reach us. God tries many paths and ways to get through to us. God never gives up. We have the ultimate decision to make, though.
Seminary can be good. (It is human taught, and so not always good.) Studying the scripture is good. Fear is not. I think that sadly, many are missing the heart of this book, which I think God is very pleased with. God is alive and I think many are in danger of stuffing Him in a very little box. God is as alive and real today as He was in Bible times. God loves each of us today as much as He does Adam and Eve. If your view of God is all law, then yes, this book may be an exciting, fresh new view, allowing you to finally see God's heart loving you. If your view is already this, then you are going to simply enjoy this book as a fun read. There is nothing harmful in freshness when what was there before was inaccurate.
Overall, I felt fear in the reviewers tone throughout. I would have to say, I disagree most of the time. Where there are points that are unbiblical, I believe this book can do much more good than harm. I still recommend it very much.