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William P. Young to Speak

Date: October 29, 2009

William Paul Young, author of the best-selling book, The Shack, will speak for Forum on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. The program will be held at Pioneer Memorial Church on Tuesday and Academic Discovery Choices will be switched to Thursday’s regular chapel time.
Young originally wrote The Shack to share his perspectives on God and inner healing with his six children. He had no intention to share it more widely but  friends urged him to do so. Finally accepted after being rejected by 26 publishers, The Shack quickly rose to #1 on the New York Times trade paperback fiction best-seller list  for 2008. 

The son of missionary parents to a primitive tribe in West Papua, New Guinea, the Dani tribe became Young’s family, despite fierce warring, the worship of spirits and even occasionally practicing ritualistic cannibalism. Yet, Young says, the tribe  also provided a deep sense of identity that remains an indelible element of his character and person. Having also suffered from abuse as a child, The Shack is a testament to his journey out of pain and into God’s love.

On his blog,, he writes of his book, “The journey has been both incredible and unbearable, a desperate grasping after grace and wholeness. These facts don’t tell you about the pain of trying to adjust to different cultures, of life losses that were almost too staggering to bear, of walking down railroad tracks at night in the middle of winter screaming into the windstorm, of living with an underlying volume of shame so deep and loud that it constantly threatened any sense of sanity, of dreams not only destroyed but obliterated by personal failure, of hope so tenuous that only the trigger seemed to offer a solution. These few facts also do not speak to the potency of love and forgiveness, the arduous road of reconciliation, the surprises of grace and community, of transformational healing and the unexpected emergence of joy.”

Young paid his way through Bible College working as a dee-jay, lifeguard and even at a stint in the oil fields of northern Alberta. Completing his undergraduate degree in religion, he graduated summa cum laude from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.  It was at seminary where he met his wife, Kim. They have six children and two grandchildren.

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