more on the Shack

Resurgence has posted Scott Lindsey’s thorough review of The Shack. It is the best one I have seen yet at taking the problems with the book head on from scripture. Bookmark the page and go back to it anytime someone talks to you about this book. There is a pdf download available (14 pages) as well so that you don’t even need to be connected to the interwebs to read it.

In this passage here Scott puts his finger on the core problem with this book:

One of the most disturbing aspects of The Shack is the behavior of Mack when he is in the presence of God. When we read in the Bible about those who were given glimpses of God, these people were overwhelmed by His glory. In Isaiah 6 the prophet is allowed to see “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1). Isaiah reacts by crying out “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5)! Isaiah declares a curse upon himself for being a man whose lips are willing to utter unclean words even in a world created by a God of such glory and perfection.

When Moses encountered God in the burning bush, he hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God’s glory (Exodus 3:6). In Exodus 33 Moses is given just a glimpse of God’s glory, but God will show only His back, saying, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (Genesis 33:20). Examples abound. When we look to the Bible’s descriptions of heaven we find that any creatures who are in the presence of God are overwhelmed and overjoyed, crying out about God’s glory day and night. But in The Shack we find a man who stands in the very presence of God and uses foul language (“damn” (140) and “son of a bitch” (224)), who expresses anger to God (which in turn makes God cry) (92), and who snaps at God in his anger (96). This is not a man who is in the presence of One who is far superior to Him, but a man who is in the presence of a peer. This portrayal of the relationship of man to God and God to man is a far cry from the Bible’s portrayal.

And indeed it must be because the God of The Shack is only a vague resemblance to the God of the Bible. There is no sense of awe as we, through Mack, come into the presence of God. Gone is the majesty of God when men stand in His holy presence and profane His name. Should God allow in His presence the very sins for which He sent His Son to die? Would a man stand before the Creator of the Universe and curse? What kind of God is the God of The Shack?

Once God is a peer, then everything else is up for grabs.

Hat tip to Challies.

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