Why in the world would Christians ruin a perfectly great movie with their criticisms and negativity? Finally there is a film about forgiveness that helps people think in an out-of-the-box way about God, so why can’t they just leave well enough alone?
Those are the questions you may be asking, and if you follow this link from a well-meaning friend or you saw it posted on The Shack’s fan page on Facebook, welcome!
I am one of the “haters” you’ve heard about, and I want to take a moment and explain why I do what I do. First, let me assure you that I don’t have fangs or horns. I’m just a woman who loves God and wants to be pleasing to Him.
And I do care very much about taking Him seriously when He commands us to love one another. He wants us to tell the truth always, even if it doesn’t earn us balloons and hearts from people on the Internet. I write because I love His sheep, and do not want them to be deceived or bamboozled in any way by the lies of the enemy of our souls.
This enemy hates you, you know. He’s not fond of you at all. And he wants to distort the very nature and character of God so that you will believe a lie. The enemy indeed is the “hater,” and not those who lovingly warn people against his ploys.
Let’s cut right to the chase: Are there heresies in The Shack?
Scroll down. There are more than a dozen of them. Movies about God always make big bucks at the box office, and this one is already headed for mega-blockbuster status after opening in March.
Yes, I know it’s fiction. And I get that the story of forgiving a heinous, unspeakable crime against a child is powerful. I never tell people what not to read or what movies they shouldn’t see. That’s your business. But here’s the thing. If you’re looking for the God of the Bible in this book, or thinking that this is a great film to give your kids a “whole new perspective on God” (we hear that one a lot), then I’m going to speak up and say that there are some things you ought to know about how and where this story veers off track into dangerous waters.
First there is the matter of Universalism. Everyone gets into heaven in Young’s story. No sin or repentance, no need for a savior, and no need for a Gospel at all. Last year we interviewed an old colleague of Young’s, James B. De Young, professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., who wrote the book, Burning Down The Shack: How the “Christian” Bestseller is Deceiving Millions.
You may also want to check out the Thirteen Heresies in The Shack, written by Michael Youssef. Here is what he wrote about those 13 concerns along with what the Bible says about them:
1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.
Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).
2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.
The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).
3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.
Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).
4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.
Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).
5. God will never judge people for their sins.
The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).
6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.
The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).
7. God submits to human wishes and choices.
Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).
8. Justice will never take place because of love.
The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).
9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.
Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).
10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.
Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).
12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.
Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).
13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.
The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Here is a brief video of Yousseff that is well worth the watch:
See also these articles:
- “The Shack,” with film pending, called “greatest deception” to church “in the last 200 years”
- In Case You Still Aren’t Sure About The Shack and Its Author . . .
- The new face of The Shack’s “Papa” is actress Octavia Spencer
- “The Shack Up” – Part 1
- Tim Challies reviews “Eve” written by the author of “The Shack”
“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar….”
Romans 3:4 KJV
A fake, man made God, which tickles men’s itching ears and sends them straight to hell, is a lie that must not go unchallenged.
Good afternoon SS, reminds me of 2 Timothy 4:3
“2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. 4So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.…”
They rather be entertained and emotionally stirred than to read scripture. I wonder how many that read The Shack read their Bibles regularly?
Thank you Amy for being a bold Berean and I stand with you. Jesus warned that in the last days there would be ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing that would deceive many.
Our God is Holy, and to reduce Him to these characters in The Shack is a sacrelige.
Thank you for staying strong and warning us!
I read my Bible ALL the time and have been walking intimately with God since my youth. Won’t say how long that’s been. Ha ha. Beyond the judgmental accusation that insinuates that people who read “The Shack” must not read their Bibles, I just want to remind everyone about Paul’s teachings on judging others’ sins when these are preference choices, not choices that cause us to lose our salvation. If I was drawn to the Lord through this film/book and am challenged in an area where Holy Spirit decided to meet me in the midst of the theater, who are you to say? My faith is strong enough to sit in an entertainment setting and walk away entertained by a creative film while having the Lord also say something into my spirit. Happened to Balaam via his donkey — no doctrine on talking donkeys. Happened to me many many moons ago as a deep believer who was struggling and God talked to me through an REO Speedwagon song that has zero alignment to Christian doctrine. I left the viewing of “The Shack” last night in tears, not because the man’s daughter died, but because I felt the love of the Abba Daddy welling up in me. I wanted to race home and sit in my prayer chair and literally laugh, chat, talk, play, and otherwise hang out with my friend Jesus, my Father God, and my Comforter. If a movie did that to me, who are you to say that I’m some sort of heretic. I think, as long-time Christians, we might be a bit more careful not to point out that someone is choosing to eat vegetables when we feel eating meat is best. God is sovereign enough to minister to a prodigal, to draw to Himself a lost sheep, and to speak the to spirit of a long-time daughter all through a flawed movie. If everything had to be perfect in order for Him to work through it, we’d all be doomed. If y’all feel convicted to not go see it, then I’d say don’t go see it. But labeling me for going to see it. Well, that’s not scriptural.
Wish there was a like button! Totally agree!! Xxxx
me too jacquelyn…i couldnt agree with mel d. more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mel D, You can’t be serious? “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Eph. 5:11&12, see also 2 Timothy 4:1-4. We must judge in order to obey these scriptures! The Shack is unfruitful works of darkness, with a different God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit than that of the Bible. I know for a fact that Paul, John or any of the disciples would not have given this movie the time of day. They would have exposed it! “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock, Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:20&30. Mel D, in love your being rebellious.
Yep, Nannette. I’m serious. And you are not the Holy Spirit telling me I’m rebellious. Be careful where you tread in the judgment land. It’s a slippery slope, my sister. Been there. Not a fun chastisement. God met me in the theater last night, and I’m still reaping the reward of it in intimacy and what He spoke only to me. That is not for you to judge, and I am certainly not offering it up to be stolen by you or anyone else. You don’t get to do that. Like I said, if you don’t wanna see it. Don’t. That’s great, and I applaud your convictions. But, you are not my judge nor or you my Holy Spirit in this circumstance. I’m not advertising the film or telling others to see it. I’m not telling you to play the REO Speedwagon song that God used to minister so deeply to me so long ago. I’m telling you what happened to me, and you, my sis, don’t get to deny that encounter with Papa God. It isn’t your place. In love, I don’t receive that rebuke. Holy Spirit and I are still rolling on what He started in a popcorn littered movie theater last night. And I’m loving it.
Where does the bible state God uses blasphemous books/movies to ‘draw’? Do you realize when the Bible speaks of God drawing, it is in the context of dragging a sinner out of darkness and the bondage of sin and to Christ and His glorious gospel?
As for judgment, perhaps you need to consider a word study on this. We ARE to judge using right judgment – exposing false garbage like the shack is NOT judging – it’s warning. The elect of God will not be taken in by this trash.
Now, where does the bible support ‘papa’god? I do encourage you to read my comment below and the warnings found there. You are deceived if you think this book is God honoring. If you are loving this book, then you are in dire need of prayer. The word of God warns that those who refuse to love the truth will be turned over to a strong delusion. Have you taken the time to compare what this book claims with what the bible actually states? Of course you haven’t because this book plays on your natural mind and emotions. However, it does not prick your heart and convict you of sin, nor does it in any way ‘mature’ a true believer – it is purely entertainment and not at all inspired by God the Spirit.
May God cause you to truly understand your erroneous emotion-based views and may you truly be born again by God, gifted with eternal life and saved from your sins.
Mel D. I will applaud you. I too have shared something intimate with my father AND my husband over this book and movie. We read it together. Becky
Perfect answer Nannette. Perfect answer.
It’s really shocking how someone just unleashed their personal judgment upon my relationship with the Lord and the motives of my heart (both are impossible to do for anyone other than Holy Spirit), and some brothers/sisters applaud it. Yikes. Judging me and giving each other a high five. Sad.
This is what will judge you:
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
John 12:48 KJV
…And Nanette cares for your soul enough to warm you now, on earth with the word, so that you might repent and not have to deal with this sin while standing before the throne of God. She is obeying Paul:
“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
Titus 3:10-11 KJV
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Romans 16:17-18 KJV
Perhaps she cares about the judgement you will face when you meet God more than you do. The truth of Gods word matters and it will judge us on the last day. All we can do is warn you of the judgement you will face.
I totally agree with what you have written. I love the movie. It brought tears to my eyes, it was about forgiveness, made me feel good, my heart felt warm and love. It may have not been perfect in some Christians eyes but it made me want to pick up the good book and learn more about Jesus and the Bible. So it couldn’t be all that bad if that’s what it made people do/
I am not perfect and I have sinned. You do not have to know every scripture or word in the Bible to get into heaven.
I LOVE GOD HE IS MY FATHER, HE IS MY SAVIOR, I AM YOURS, HE WILL SHOW ME THE WAY
Thank you for this gentle and firm response to all of the confusion out there.
My observation reading the posts of The Shack supporters has led me to the conclusion that these people rarely read their bibles, have a weak view of theology, are easily emotionally manipulated, they seem to be either passive aggressive or vociferous and unreasoning. They appeal to two things, their version of “love” or the proverbial “judgemental” paradigm. None!….And I mean none, has appealed to scripture. None has tried to make a biblical case for the movie’s existence! It’s a bad tool for evangelizing! They fall back on the asinine retort “it’s fiction,” if it’s fiction, and the author can’t even get God right, wouldn’t time spent with Him through scripture be more rewarding, instead of filling your minds with bad fiction, even blasphemous fiction? Why not spend the time it takes to read the book or see the movie with The Lord instead? I also believe many that read the book are defending their bad choice.
If you follow Christ, you have no business reading or seeing that abomination. Give your precious and limited time to God, not man! Maranatha folks! The time is near! May He strengthen His saints to carry on and to uphold His words, not man’s!
Wow your anger shocks me – be careful – we worship a living God – not a book. Worshipping a book is as bad as worshipping Baal!!!
God said He placed His Word above His Name. Seems to be that respecting that word is not word
If you’re referring to me as being angry, I can assure I’m not. I am alarmed at the cavalier attitude many have to the abomination called The Shack. It alarms me that so many will see this movie and will come away with a wrong view of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Scripture is the very breath of God.
Have just read this book to see for myself what it is about.
Have to agree totally that it is blasphemous. The first flag was the first endorsement.
From New Ager Mr. Eugene Petersen who introduced much heresy into the Word of God through his edition called “the message”. So if I hadn’t had the time to spare I probably would not have read it. Also I can speed read so it did not take too long and I did not have to drag myself through it. So tell all that it’s an anathema and a good way to destroy ones understanding of just who our Father and Son and the Holy Spirit are.
Thank you John, as one who saw for himself thanks for the warning to those that don’t want to believe.
This is just a partial list of errors and blasphemies:
Young introduces his version of the trinity with a variety of ethnic descriptions as well as two of the three being female pg 82-84, “…a large African-American woman…”(Papa God the Father), “…a small distinctively Asian woman…virtually transparent and hard to see…”, (Sarayu Holy Spirit), a man “…appeared Middle Eastern and dressed like a laborer complete with tool belt and gloves…(Jesus as a carpenter).
Nowhere in the Bible is God or any part of the Trinity described as female, creating a unholy trinity. Young, assigned them names stemming from Eastern religion and Greek mythology; Papa and Elousia (God), Jesus’ name is the same but certain aspects of his character are not scriptural, Sarayu (Holy Spirit), Sophia (a personification of God’s wisdom).
Pg 171 Sophia is named and defined as, “..a personification of Papa’s wisdom,” and “She’s part of the mystery surrounding of Sarayu.” The conversation between Mack and Jesus concerning Sophia is as follows with a few inconsequential details left out (such as Mack stopping to tie his shoes): Mack asks if she is God too, making four of them. Jesus says no, there are only three of us. “Sophia is a personification of God’s wisdom.” Mack says, “Oh, like in Proverbs, where wisdom is pictured as a woman calling out in the streets, trying to find anyone who’ll listen to her?” Jesus: “That’s her.” Mack: “But…she seemed so real.” Jesus: “Oh, she’s quite real.” “She’s part of the mystery surrounding of Sarayu.”
Which is it? Is she the personification of God’s wisdom or is she a mystery surrounding Sarayu? What is she to Jesus? Young’s three persons of the trinity are all God equally yet Sophia is only something to two of them.
Pg 152 Mack describes Sophia as, “…a tall, beautiful, olive-skinned woman with chiseled Hispanic features…”and continues on 153 with Mack thinking she is “Everything that sensuality strives to be, but falls painfully short.”
Webster’s dictionary defines sensuality as, “The quality or state of being sensual; devotedness to the gratification of the bodily appetites; free indulgence in carnal or sensual pleasures; luxuriousness; voluptuousness; lewdness.” Why is it necessary to sensualize wisdom? First of all, wisdom is not referred to as a literal woman in the passage in Proverbs that Young has Mack remember but rather metaphorically speaking and it was a proverb or analogy Solomon was depicting between a wise man hearing and increasing learning and understanding, whereas fools despise wisdom and instruction. Young’s fixation on the woman smacks more of a pagan love goddess not wisdom! read the entire article this was taken from at http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/BookReviews/shack.htm
The blatant blasphemy is so obvious, yet so many close their eyes, cover their ears and dive deep into this with their emotions. I’m still flabbergasted at the ignorance and lack of discernment shown by myriads calling themselves Christians. It’s sad beyond belief! Truly the Bible says: will The Lord find faith when He returns? I know it’s going to get worse, I see it now, the sheep get angry when you call out error, they rather accept The Shack’s blasphemy than the truth in scripture. My solace is I know that Jesus’ return is at the door, my fervor is to warn as many as I can, and my sadness is the lack of discernment in the sheep. God bless you Lyn, keep up the good fight!
I guess if it’s in the “Christian” bookstore it must be good right? But now it’s gone secular! have not read the book and won’t read it, or watch the movie. It was enough for me to hear who in the book he wrote who God the Father is (an African American woman), Jesus is (a middle eastern carpenter) , and who the Holy spirit is (a Asian woman named Saraya). It is blasphemy absolutely! I do warn people as I have a chance. A few years ago a lady at a church I visited was reading the book, and I was appalled! Before I was a Christian I would not have given it the time of day, now that I’m a Christian I still won’t give it the time of day. So, it must because of this, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion (error), that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 STRONG ERROR said Paul! William Macdonald in his Believer’s Bible commentary says this of verse 11: “God actually will send them a working of error that they should believe the lie. The lie, of course, is the Antichrist’s claim to be God. These people refused to receive the Lord Jesus as God manifest in the flesh.” When he was on earth, He warned men, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me: if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43) ~ it don’t take too much imagination to see how easily the anti-Christ would be received anymore does it?
I do have a question for y’all, as a long-time Christian and lover of our Lord. If some unchurched person who has no theological training, hasn’t studied works on blasphemy and heresy, and hasn’t sat under the teaching of a schooled minister who lists all the flaws in a fictional story…if this unchurched person stumbled into this film and was somehow miraculously drawn to stepping toward a relationship with Christ and pursued that wooing until salvation, would that unchurched person not be legitimately saved? Do we really think that God looks at a fictional story likes this and refuses to minister to someone lost inside that theater? Do we really think Holy Spirit is at a loss as how to guide that unchurched person into the arms of the savior because that person may have picked up on a flawed religious idea in a fictional story? I’m not saying this movie should be touted as an evangelistic film; it isn’t claiming to be that, nor is it that. But, God is sovereign over the 7 mountains — including entertainment. Why don’t you pray in your closet that Holy Spirit will move hearts of prodigals and lost ones to come to their Shepherd. Like I said before, if He can use a talking donkey and (for me) an REO Speedwagon song, then he can use anything. Praise be to God for one soul who might be restored or won to eternity because of any movie ever made. Our God is an awesome God. He reigns…even over “The Shack.”
Have you read the warnings the apostles sternly gave over false teachers, false teachings and those that would lead those to error? I guess those don’t mean much any longer. I guess scripture isn’t sufficient any longer either, we need The Shack to witness to the lost, I guess it’s easier to reach the lost with error. In the last days men are going to heap teachers that will say what their itching ears want to hear. I guess those warnings don’t mean much either. I have yet to find a passage in scripture that says “teach what you want, even if it’s not biblical, I’ll sort it out in the end.” The Shack leads people to error, same as eating food sacrificed to an idol, it will trip an immature believed, don’t trip a brother over your stomach, don’t use your freedom in Christ to trip a weaker brother.
Manny1962. Great scriptures! Love the Word so much. Please, go back and read my question carefully. I am not purporting that we use “The Shack” evangelically. My entire hypothetical scenario upon which my question is based revolves around an unchurched/unsaved individual “accidentally” being drawn to Jesus via something in the film and the state of that individual’s “later on” salvation should it be propelled by a true aspect that flows from a flawed fictional story. With that in mind, your comments are a logical fallacy in regards to the premise and the syllogism created by my hypothetical scenario in the question I generated. But, you make a nice statement about something else.
If your premise that God leads people to Him, why would he use a new age inspired book to bring tge person to Himself, when there’s another way, His revealed word.
With God there are no “accidents.” If He draws someone to Himself, He doesn’t need man of man centered philosophy.
“With that in mind, your comments are a logical fallacy in regards to the premise and the syllogism created by my hypothetical scenario in the question I generated”
Your hypothetical scenario begins with a false premise. God doesn’t need the devil to save a soul.
Manny1962…The false idea that I indicated that God “needs the devil to save a soul” is a straw-man, and a logical fallacy. Not only did I not say that, I said quite the opposite. And remember, Jesus went INTO the enemy’s territory and dined with the lost and those actively in sinful lifestyles to draw them to Himself and His Father. Jesus never said that he needed the devil to win a soul, but He sure didn’t demand that the sinner clean himself up and come out of the sinful lifestyle before He would minister to Him. Jesus met the sinner right where he/she was…even in the midst of active sin. Seems there’s been another misunderstanding of what I wrote.
Manny1962…there’s still a misunderstanding about what I directly said in my original hypothetical situation. I never indicated in any way that Papa God “needs” man-centered philosophy to do anything. Again, what I indicated is that God will meet the unchurched person where they are sometimes. Per my personal example, God met me (many moons ago) in the lyrics of an REO Speedwagon song. If you just change the _____ blanks in your “why would God use a __________ (worldly and unBiblical rock song) to bring _______ (Mel D.) to Himself, when there’s another way, His revealed word” perhaps you’ll see what my hypothetical situation is getting at. God could decide only to use church settings and perfectly theologically sound movies/music/drama/poetry/literature/art to reveal Himself and His word. I don’t see Him holding boundaries in that way. Like I said, I’m not purporting to use “The Shack” evangelically; what I said was that God can use anything He wants to meet someone where they are. He can meet a drugged out heroin addict in the bedroom with her john as she prostitutes herself to get drug money and as she sees an episode of some worldly TV show on the screen…God could use a character from that show to get that addict’s attention and draw her to His Son. It happened. There are ways Abba Daddy sets people up for His revelation of His word and His son. He is sovereign over all, and I guarantee you that He will find a way to fish someone out of death and into live as that person sits in the theater watching “The Shack.” When it happens, the angels in heaven will rejoice for that salvation, the same exact way they rejoice over the one who walks down the aisle after an altar call in a church. God uses anything — talking donkeys, REO Speedwagon, worldly TV shows, theologically flawed fictional movies/books — to grip the heart of a lost or progidal soul. Again, I’m not saying we sell “The Shack” as evangelical. Again, I’m saying God can overcome flaws and draw men/women unto Himself. God doesn’t leave the theater because He is so offended. Jesus never did that in His ministry, and Father God won’t do it either. God doesn’t need “The Shack” or REO Speedwagon or the worldy TV show in the heroin addict’s hotel room, but He will use it for His good and for His glory…just you wait and see.
Spot on. This book is so subtle in its blasphemy, Jesus said all blasphemies will be forgiven man except one, blaspheming The Holy Spirit. The lack of reverence and respect for God is alarming, yet these blind people think it’s all loving and beautiful! Portraying the Person of The Holy Spirit in such light leads me to conclude it’s blaspheming Him, His work and the way He was revealed to the church in Acts. I don’t want that book or movie anywhere near my home, and I would warn all Christians to get rid of it.
Manny, have you heard of Arnold Fruchtenbaum? In his book ‘The Footsteps of the Messiah’ Speaking of Matthew 12:31 he said, “He (Jesus) pronounced a judgment on the Jewish generation of that day. That generation had committed the unpardonable sin: the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. One should clearly comprehend exactly what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is in the context I which it is found, and this is the only context in which this sin is found and must be interpreted accordingly. The unpardonable sin was not an individual sin, but a national sin. It was committed by that generation of Israel in Jesus day and cannot be applied to subsequent Jewish generations. The content of the unpardonable sin was the national rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus while He was physically present on the grounds that He was demon possessed. This sin was unpardonable, and judgment was set. The judgment came in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the world wide dispersion of the Jewish people.” I’m sure others have different opinions, just wanted to share. Blessings
Thanks Nannette, I will look into this! And yes, I have heard of Mr.Fruchtenbaum. my understanding is, denying the work of the Holy Spirit in His ministry, His Person and His pointing to Jesus as The Son of God and God. Also, remember Ananuas and Sapphira,. They lied to the Holy Spirit as individuals not as nation. God bless you Nannette and keep defending they faith!!!
*Ananias, sorry typo.
Thanks Manny, good point the Holy Spirit’s work (John 16:12-15). Ananuas and Sapphria lied to the Holy Spirit and not blasphemed. J. Vernon McGee says the same as Fruchenbaum, “There is no sin committed yesterday that the Lord would not forgive today because He died for all sin. The Holy Spirit came into the world to make real the salvation of Christ to the hearts of men. If you resist the working of the Spirit of God when He speaks to you, my friend, there is no forgiveness, of course. There is no forgiveness because you have rejected salvation made real to you by the Holy Spirit. And it is the work of the Spirit of God to regenerate you. Mark 3 the Lord amplifies the matter of the unpardonable sin by saying that it attributes the Spirit’s work to Satan.” “In our day that particular sin cannot be committed because it could only be committed when Jesus was here upon the earth. There is no act of sin that you could commit for which there is no forgiveness. Of course, if you resist the Holy Spirit, there is no forgiveness because He is bringing forgiveness.” Blessings!! Yes, keep defending! Amen
The message of The Shack fits into the teachings promoted by the emergent/emerging church movement. It has a Christian-y feel to it, but true Christianity is being deconstructed: God and the Bible are put through a subjective filter; what is true is what the individual determines to be true. The objective Word of God is being questioned–Satan’s original lie, “Did God really say…?”
In reality, those who choose to fashion God to their own liking are taking the broad road that leads to destruction. (Matt. 7:13-14; Matt. 7:21; Matt. 7:24-27)
Amen Maggie, at the end of the tunnel all fluff, a bad representation of God.
“17Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and obstacles that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Turn away from them. 18For such as these are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive”
“22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.”
“14But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?…
“The Christian leader must not forget the responsibility to protect the faith. Those of Paul’s readers who fell into this category, including Timothy, were to discharge this duty by teaching and urging the true faith (v. 2). The command that sets Timothy in this mode again (see also 3:14; 4:6, 11; 5:7, 21) also reminds them that in this operation the Christian leader is not unarmed. Paul has given specific teaching (these . . . things) for confrontation with the false teachers.
Having repeated the command, Paul issues a kind of “wanted poster.” It is the counterpart to the “job description” given in chapter 3. Notably, each begins with the general if anyone (compare 5:4, 16; Tit 1:6). Here, verses 3-6 consist of one long sentence in the Greek, beginning with the “criminal” and the “crime” and going on to give identifying characteristics in a list of vices. By using the list (compare 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:2-4; Tit 3:3) Paul meant to create a strong stereotype or caricature of the false teacher that would communicate primarily two things: an authoritative denunciation and a solemn warning. Readers, after seeing this “poster,” would not be likely to form or maintain casual attitudes about the false teachers or their doctrine.False Doctrine (6:3)
Paul first categorizes their ministry. As in 1:3, he charges them with, literally, “teaching different doctrine.” False doctrines were determined on the basis of divergence from the approved teaching of the church. The remainder of verse 3 defines the approved canon or standard. Sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ is a reference to the gospel about Christ which Paul himself introduced. It produces soundness or spiritual health in those that receive it (see 1:10). The approved teaching is that which can be measured by “godliness” (the NIV godly teaching is too vague; compare Tit 1:2). The true gospel announces and produces a genuinely transformed lifestyle.Corrupt Behavior (6:4-5)
What characterized the opponents? First, verse 4 tells us they were conceited. They felt that they had special knowledge of God, better knowledge than the apostle had. In fact, they did not, and the arrogant air about them betrayed their unregenerate nature; gentleness, a quality of true spirituality in the Pastorals (6:11; 2 Tim 2:25; compare 2 Cor 10:1), was totally absent.
Second, they were ignorant. Paul’s phrase (literally, “understanding or knowing nothing”) recalls the tone of 1:7. These teachers were not simply misguided, they were totally ignorant. This was apparent as their doctrine was measured against the apostle’s and as their conduct was measured against true godliness. Moreover, from the context it seems that this condition was a culpable one, for it came about as the result of decisions made about the apostolic gospel which they knew (compare 1:13).
Third, they took perverse pleasure in controversy and quarreling. This so marked their behavior that Paul describes them as “sick with” (having an unhealthy interest in) disputes. As this dangerous sickness spreads, it produces poisons that destroy relationships and church unity.
Paul lists several. Envy is a discontented thirst for advantage and position that breeds distrust. In Galatians 5:21 it stands in opposition to the joy and peace that the Spirit produces. Strife refers to an atmosphere of constant struggle. Malicious talk and evil suspicions, rumor-spreading and distrust, are the offspring of envy and strife. This list closes in verse 5 with the graphic summary constant friction.
Ultimately, the disease spread by the heretics would result in a kind of spiritual mental illness. Paul makes the same connection in verse 5 between corrupt behavior and rejection of God that he did in Romans 1. There, rejection of the knowledge of God is seen to spawn a corrupt life (Rom 1:28-32). Here, the corrupt mind and being robbed of the truth amount to the same thing. The heretics could no longer apprehend God’s truth because their mind, that organ of rational discernment, had been corrupted by false teaching (2 Tim 3:8; Tit 1:15).
It is little wonder, then, that missionaries of the cults are so resistant to the gospel and so easily angered in theological discussions. Corrupt minds and argumentative dispositions go hand in hand with opposition to the gospel.Financial Motives (6:5)
This poster caricature of the heretics concludes with the main point Paul wishes to develop. These false teachers were “selling” their teaching. People in that day were often suspicious of the motives of teachers of religion and philosophy. Paul apparently had to deal with similar allegations himself (1 Thess 2:5), and Christians were warned about peddlers of the gospel (Rom 16:17-18; 2 Pet 2:2; 1 Pet 5:2). Here godliness may refer to one of the errorists’ own catchwords (see 2 Tim 3:5), their special knowledge of the divine (6:20). As they taught certain things that people wanted to hear (2 Tim 4:3) and offered initiation into an elite club, the false teachers discovered a lucrative business (compare Tit 1:11). In reality, this was the result of corrupted minds that had broken from the truth of the gospel.”
Thanks, Manny1962. I’ve read that article already. And there are other articles that show what I’m trying to say. I’m not into bandying about articles; although that can be fun, at times. Paul says in Romans 14 that we shouldn’t quarrel over opinions. You and I will need to agree to disagree on what lengths Father God will go to when He is pursuing a heart. Me seeing “The Shack” and having the Lord speak to me through something in the film is no one else’s to judge except mine and the Holy Spirit. And, since God alone is my judge, and my salvation is not in danger, this is an issue of opinion between you and me. So…I bless you in the name of the Lord and wish you well. My experience and perspective and background and life experiences are different than yours. God is still drawing me closer from the message He birthed in the theater for me last night. I won’t allow that to be taken from me due to someone else disagreeing with me. It’s okay. No offense taken. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you… And definitely don’t go see the movie or read the book; it’s sin for you because you cannot do it in faith. To me, it was done in faith; it did nothing to soil my salvation or my beliefs, and the Lord had something to say to me there. It’s really okay that we don’t agree. Be well…Psalm 91 over you and yours.
“Keep your belief about such matters between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the one who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that is not from faith is sin.”
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. …”
Good morning Manny. Your words are always a blessing. One reason I love the KJV because it is much stronger on heretics than the new versions. The Romans 16 passage you quote doesn’t just tell us to watch out for heretics, it tells us to “mark” them, so that others are protected as well. That is a huge difference.
Titus 3:10 is another great example. In the KJV it says:
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
While in the new versions it says the opposite…basically attacking any one who causes division, like say by pointing out heretics:
10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Honestly, I could go through new version heresies forever. There are many, and most are subtle. Please consider reading the short article I wrote on the issue. This is God’s voice to his people, and the new versions flow from intentionally corrupted manuscripts, heavily influenced by catholic doctrine. I could lay out verse after verse edited to line up with catholic doctrine too. It ain’t no small thing. Yea hath God said is the great lie satan spoke questioning God’s eternal word. Well, Westcott & Hort questioned and changed it in the 1800’s, and we are all reading there new version of what God said today. Peace and truth:
Thanks SS, I will read it! And thank you for the kind words, WE all are striving to proclaim the truth in love, with no compromise. Have you noticed the increase of attacks against scripture? It’s progressively getting louder and militant.
The OP is about The Shack , not what God is able to do. God can do as He pleases, He owns it all. The gist being discussed is if The Shack is biblically sound, God honoring and should Christians support it, obviously not.
Mel, Do understand that nothing was said in malice, we disagree that’s all. May our good, gracious and all powerful God bless you Mel, may He always keep you and light your path.
Manny1962: I discerned no malice from you at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Thank you for the blessing declaration. May you receive the same.
I notice the terms you use “Abba Daddy” and “Papa God” are the same ones used by people who have received teaching originating from Bethel Church, Redding, CA. If your spiritual influence has been Bethel/NAR teachings, perhaps that is why you don’t have a problem with the false teachings presented in The Shack–as long as one has a mystical or “spiritual” experience while watching the movie. Just my guess, am I right?
Great article! Thank you for your courage & love!
Mel D, I’ve been reading the conversations and there is one thing missing! The gospel. It is through the WORD of God that one comes to faith. Not a gospelless movie called ‘The Shack’, or a gospelless REO Speedwagon song. gospelless “feelings”. “Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by WHICH YE ARE SAVED, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have BELEIVED IN VAIN. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Mel D, I read your testimony (REO speedwagon) and your not my sister. You must go through Jesus! John 14:6.”If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God Speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 3 John 10&11
Nannette, I’ll be praying for you, for sure. “Judge not, lest you be judged.” The horrible things you “said” to me are not okay in the spirit. They do not line up with the word of the Lord and you have placed yourself in a false judgment seat over my soul. I say: get behind me, Satan. I have no idea what has happened in your life and your heart for all this nastiness to be directed at me, but I rebuke it, in Jesus’ name, and I speak a hedge of protection over my spirit that nothing dark proclaimed over me is true, nor is it allowed to follow me or adhere to my spirit. You have overstepped the boundary and your declarations about my salvation are totally false. You have ZERO idea what I meant about the REO Speedwagon song, and you cared not with love to ask for the testimony about it. All you did was judge and spew lies about my salvation. I gave my heart to Jesus at revival at my local church when I was a young girl. Did you ask about that? No, you spewed lies and venom and declared with some sort of false authority that I am not saved and not your sister. I forgive you. And I pray that whatever has clouded your heart be healed, in Jesus’ name. I don’t have to validate my salvation to you, and I don’t have to explain what I prayed and how my 40-year walk with the Lord is genuine. How utterly ridiculous for another Christian to say what you said, proclaim what you attempted to declare over me in the spirit. How sad that you find yourself on your own personal throne of judgment over my salvation, something that only the Lord can do. I didn’t come to Jesus by praying an REO Speedwagon lyric; you didn’t read what I said very carefully. But…you’re not the Holy Spirit, and you’re certainly not my judge. However, regardless of your horrible lie of declaration over me, you are my sister in Christ. You don’t have the power to change that. My prayer for you is for inner healing, softening, and for compassion and the love of Jesus Christ to overflow through everything you do and say and decide in this life. May God bless and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. I won’t respond anymore.
When the enemy lied to Jesus in the wilderness during His temptation, the Lord did not explain Himself. He simply said: “It is written.” So, I say to you: It is written. ‘For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’ (Romans 10:10) AND ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.'” (Acts 4:12). Please, do not write any more unholy and untrue declarations about my salvation, my relationship with the Lord, or my position in eternity — in the spirit, I declare you have authority over my soul or my spirit. You have no clue about any of those things, and the Lord has not given you His throne to declare judgment upon my eternal standing with Him. Be blessed. Be well. All will be fine when we meet in eternity. From my end, I forgive you, sister.
“I declare you have NO authority over my soul or my spirit.”
Perhaps it would be helpful for you to read the white paper entitled “Word of Faith” that is listed on the right upper side of this web page.
There are many people who think they are saved when they are not because of the false teaching they have received. Nannette is speaking about the true gospel message in order to be born from above (“born again”). I think this is a loving gesture on her part to encourage you to examine yourself and what you believe.
correction, 2 John 10&11.
“Movies about God always make big bucks at the box office, …”
Indeed they do, but those that misrepresent Him are the big money-makers. Remember The DaVinci code? Same thing. This also addresses the “It’s only fiction” claim. So was the Davinci Code. Do you know of anybody who read or saw The Davinci Code that grew stronger in their faith as a result? I don’t. And I doubt anybody will gain spiritually by this, either. You don’t become stronger and well-nourished by ingesting poison, and that is what bad doctrine is – spiritual poison. Fiction can be just as deadly as any other form of writing if it distorts truth while passing itself off as factually based. Look neither to the popular book market nor to Hollywood for anything resembling truthful, orthodox theology. Those are not valid sources for it.
Amen Joe – well said. Many prefer to get their ‘doctrine’ from movies and books that wrongly portray God rather than open the Bible and cry out for understanding. Most have a ‘god’ that looks just like them….
Just wondering: Do you know that you cannot, officially, be “pleasing” to God? It is the blood of His son, Jesus, that allows you to come to the Throne of Glory. So, if you oppose the movie, on the basis that you want to be “pleasing,” you are in essence saying that something YOU do will make God’s impression of you better. Give it up. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe..sin has left a crimson stain, He’s washed it white as snow.” This movie is a gift to the church, the legalistic church, who thinks they can become more “pleasing” to God. We have nothing to bring to the table, and our response for this Great Grace is to love and serve and obey Him; it is a response, not an instigation. Do you understand the difference?
Carol, that’s nuts! “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16
Correction “for with “such” sacrifices God is well pleased”, In addition: “That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22
Good morning Carol,
You say, “This movie is a gift to the church.” Pray tell, how? By misrepresentation? Did God reveal Himself as in The Shack or scripture? Is God a woman? Partial woman? Do you think the whole world will saved? There’s no judgement?
Christ has nothing to do with The Shack, the God of The Bible has nothing to do with The Shack. The Shack promotes Universalism, it promotes a false, man centered philosophy it tries to pass as the Gospels, this is the Gospels according to the author not Jesus.
Do you understand the difference?
If there was any doubt about the underlying messages in The Shack, Paul Young has removed the doubt with his just-published book ‘Lies We Believe About God’.
In this he removes any ambiguity concerning his Universalist agenda, saying, “Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? That is exactly what I am saying!”
While claiming to refute lies, Young is in fact propagating lies – doing the work of the father of lies. While well-meaning but confused Christians might be taken in by The Shack, the unequivocal heresy in ‘Lies We Believe About God’ should give them cause to come to their senses.
Thank you Bruce, the proverbial cat is out of the bag! I’ve only read one post where the poster admitted of being a Christian Universalist, whatever that means.
Here is the book:
“This book contradicts the Bible completely. To say there is any good in this book is to deny Scripture. The statements in this book are lies if you follow the written Word of God. This book should not be sold in a Christian bookstore. And, neither should any of his other books including the shack. This book proves that Young does not follow the God of the Bible. He simply fabricates a God that makes him feel good. Not the one and only true God. This is a dangerous book telling lies about God as we know Him. It is very misleading. If you want to know God read your Bible. Young even denies the cross being used by God for our Salvation in this book. And, again why is this being sold on a Christian website..???????”
“Young, author of The Shack, gives us his thoughts on the character of God. He says he is not presenting certainty but is establishing a conversation over rearranging his theology. Each chapter contains a statement he once believed and then his exploration of his change in belief.
While I do not agree with much (or most) of what Young says, I do think this book is good in that it makes us look at what we do believe about God. Young portrays a God he can live with, understand, and like. He is a God who likes us and behaves the way we think He should. He is a God who wouldn’t “use” anyone and is submissive in His love relationship with us. He is a God who creates only good things so we humans are all good, we are all children of God.
Young presents us with many thought provoking ideas. These ideas are not a result of an exposition of Scripture but rather Young’s thought process. That makes us think about our own ideas of God, where we get them and how we can evaluate them. It makes us think of where we should be getting our information about the character of God. Is it from our own reasoning or is it from the Bible?
Young does identify some areas where Christian have, I think, gotten it wrong. We have sometimes given people the wrong impression of God. Young has come across many who have been hurt by people misrepresenting God’s character. That should make us stop and think about how we view God and how we represent Him to others.
Does this book contain what evangelical Christians would call heresy? Definitely. But this is not a theological treatise. This is one man’s attempt to define a God with which he is comfortable, one that is rational and behaves the way he would like Him to behave. Is this the God of the Bible? That is what readers must decide.
It would be so nice if God were like the one Young describes. It is up to readers to evaluate what Young says against their source of truth. For me, it is the Bible, the one that says my human thoughts don’t even come close to God’s. I’ll not presume to understand God nor attempt to define Him in a way that conforms to my expectations.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review”
FOR ANY DOUBTERS, ITS OUT IN THE OPEN.
Can you dissect this gem?
“While I do not agree with much (or most) of what Young says, I do think this book is good in that it makes us look at what we do believe about God. Young portrays a God he can live with, understand, and like. He is a God who likes us and behaves the way we think He should. He is a God who wouldn’t “use” anyone and is submissive in His love relationship with us. He is a God who creates only good things so we humans are all good, we are all children of God.”
1. Young portrays a God HE CAN LIVE WITH!
2. He is a God who like us, and BEHAVES THE WAY WE TNINK HE SHOULD!
3. He is a God who wouldn’t use anyone, AND IS SUBMISSIVE in His love relationship!
4. He is a God who creates only good things, SO WE HUMANS ARE ALL GOOD!
That in a nutshell, is Mr. Young’s view of God, does anyone still have any doubts about the philosophy, ideas and blasphemy behind the work of this author?
The essence of the different responses to The Shack is captured in the above statement, “It is up to readers to evaluate what Young says against their source of truth”. Most who object to The Shack will appeal to the Scriptures. Most who love The Shack will appeal to their experience. These experiences can never be refuted as they are personal and may be intense – depending upon the emotional disposition of the reader.
But the heart is deceitful above all things, and when dealing with an enemy of our souls we dare not rely upon our experience, but upon the true and enduring word of God. His true word stands as the judge of our experience – our experience must never be elevated to the judge of truth.
So, when some make claims about how much The Shack has done for them, we must politely but firmly respond that the bottom line is that their experience is completely irrelevant to the issue of truth. If Young’s writings promote Universalism, they are toxic heresy – please don’t tell me about how sweet the poison was for you!
Amen Bruce, it’s horrific the number of Christians that have fallen for the trap.
Paul Young is appearing in Orlando on April 1st. You could ask him about the book and challenge him on his theology if you’re around that area.
Dr. Charles Stanley sums it up in his sermon from 2-26-2017, entitled, Prayer That Moves God. In it Dr. Stanley says that a lot of people are not praying to the one true God, but to a God they’ve fashioned according to their own preferences and desires. He basically say that people fashion their own God who is ok with everything they do. My God lets me go here, my God lets me watch that, my God lets me listen to this type of music, my God lets me etc. etc. etc. Here is more of the sermon that I believe is relevant here: “The one true God is holy and righteous, hates sin, and will one day judge every person. He is the Creator of the world, and the one who condemned the earth by sending a flood. He has given us the Ten Commandments as His righteous standard, the encouraging psalms of David, and prophecies regarding the future through His prophets. And ultimately, He has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Lord through whom we have the forgiveness of our sins. Our God loves us unconditionally but will not tolerate sin in our lives because He knows it’s destructive. He alone has the power to answer our prayers and fulfill His promise to give us eternal life with Him forever in heaven.Many people today say they believe in God and pray to Him, but in reality, their prayers are directed to a deity whom they have created in their own minds. He suits their lifestyle and is in agreement with whatever they request. Furthermore, this self-made god doesn’t convict them of sin, righteousness, or a coming judgment. If anyone questions them about the nature of their god or what they ask of him, they often become defensive, declaring that their religion is a private affair and no one else’s business.” I believe this is the biggest problem we Christians have, my God is ok with whatever, and that’s just not so. the Bible is Jesus in paper form from Genesis thru the Revelation. It’s not just ‘a book’. The Lord’s coming back soon, and the road is narrow. Thank you.
In Christian Universalism, everyone gets saved. According to some of the material I’ve read, you don’t even need Christ’s exclusivity, as we all worship the same God. Billy Graham had become a proponent of this heresy. CS Lewis believed there was even grace in hell, someone condemned to hell could somehow earn grace then migrate to heaven.
Thank you, you have clarified much. I read “The Shack ” years ago, as a Christian without much discernment. It was haunting and I had such strange feelings after reading it. I realize now that the Holy Spirit was doing battle for my mind against evil thoughts that the book presented. God can save anyone through anything, but we should not seek out those things that are not of God, Philippines 4:8 tells us to think on the true, honorable, lovely , commendable, excellent, worthy of praise. I don’t see how “The Shack ” fits this criteria. If someone wants to know more about God after watching this, lead them to the true word of God, the Bible.
Amen Sylvia! Why go outside the revealed word of God, when He is right there in front of us! The Shack is a sham, it portrays another “god.”
I totally disagree with this article and the backlash this book and the author is receiving. I own 2 copies of this book. I have read it too many times to count and every time I read it God reveals something new to me. The book is fiction, and an allegory; plain and simple. The definition of an allegory is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.Synonyms: are:parable, analogy, metaphor, symbol, emblem. “Pilgrim’s Progress” ,”Hinds Feet on High Places” , “The Final Quest”, “The Call” as well as many other categorically christian books or novels are also allegories of the spiritual journey one has encountered just like “The Shack.” Jesus taught and continues to teach us all in parables, allegories and life lessons. Even the famous tv show “Touched by an Angel” followed the same practice and principles. These are written by people and are going to be fallible in some way or form. Who are we to limit how God chooses to speak to someone and change their life? I still remember what it was like to be “lost” and without hope. What I wouldn’t have given to have someone hand me a book like one of these way back when. Perhaps my walk or “Relationship” as the book “The Shack” describes, would be much closer and more intimate today. Scripture teaches us over and over that God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (teach, reveal, bring closer to Him) and the greatest is LOVE. These books do all that in different ways. One of my favorite parts of the book (and in the movie) is where Wisdom shows Mack that he has passed judgement his entire life and that was never meant to be his burden or decision. How powerful, revealing, and freeing is that?! I will remain a fan of these books and the valuable lessons they teach . I guess it boils down to ones perspective; are you looking through a glass that is cloudy, clear, or is your vision obstructed with blinders on? This is just my 2 cents worth….
Kathy, the point is not whether someone writes an allegory; the point is whether the allegory accurately reflects Biblical truth. Allegories can be very useful tools, as you pointed out. The problem with The Shack is that the teachings that it promotes are in contradiction to Scripture. The Shack teaches that everyone is saved — universalism. It also denies the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.
It also, denegrates the work of Jesus and the ministry of The Holy Spirit. Also, as in many new age circles have the propensity to do, the god of The Shack is a woman, clearly misrepresenting the person of God, that’s blasphemy.
Im not going to sugar coat it, the book is garbage. If more people would read scripture and would give the word of God more heed than to foolish man-made philosophy perhaps the growing apostasy wouldn’t be so advanced, perhaps the ignorance of churchianity would be stemmed.
“One of my favorite parts of the book (and in the movie) is where Wisdom shows Mack that he has passed judgement his entire life and that was never meant to be his burden or decision. How powerful, revealing, and freeing is that?! ”
And how totally unscriptural.