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home : features : arts & media December 16, 2018

Author of 'The Shack' to speak in Princeton parish

By EmmaLee Italia | Contributing Editor

William Paul Young, author of “The Shack,” and “Lies We Believe About God,” is visiting St. Paul Church, Princeton, for a talk from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29.

Young grew up as the oldest of four children of missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani – a tribal people whose language Young learned during the several years he spent there as a child. He returned to Canada, his country of birth, for boarding school at age six, and his family then moved multiple times throughout Alberta as his father worked as pastor for a number of small churches in western Canada.

Young attended Bible College and completed an undergraduate degree in Religion at Warner Pacific College, Portland, Ore. He met and married his wife, Kim Warren, shortly thereafter, and found work in a large suburban church while attending seminary. He has worked for various industries as well as owning several businesses across the years in order to support his family of six children.  He wrote “The Shack” initially for his children with no intent to publish. Young describes his life journey as both incredible and unbearable, desperately seeking grace and wholeness.

Young has spoken publicly about some of his struggles, including a difficult relationship with his father as well as sexual abuse by the Dani tribesmen and later at boarding school.

“These facts don't tell you about the pain of trying to adjust to different cultures,” the author writes on his official website, “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.”

The evening will include refreshments, book sales and book signing. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. To register, visit For more information, email

St. Paul Church is located at 214 Nassau St., Princeton.

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