A Close Encounter With God

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Knoxville. Or maybe it’s Houston or Amarillo. William (Paul) Young has been on the road so long, he can’t be sure. Six months ago Young was working three jobs to pay the rent on his small house near Portland, Ore. Now, with 3.8 million copies of his Christian novel “The Shack” in print, Young is being hailed as a theological innovator, his book the “Pilgrim’s Progress” of the 21st century. His controversial message is one that, evidently, a lot of people want to hear. “I don’t like religion,” he says. “I think Jesus is about relationships.”