the Shack part IV (conclusion)

this is the wrap up of my series on The Shack. Part I, Part II and Part III are intended to convey to you that God is God.

The reason that I am so exercised about this book is simple. The god portrayed in this book is not the God of the bible. Papa is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Papa is not the God who delivered the Israelites from Pharoah. Jesus in the Shack is not that Jesus preached about by John the Baptist. Jesus in the Shack is not the Jesus who taught that unless we all repent we will all likewise perish.

I am afraid that if someone reads the Shack and falls in love with Papa, then all they have fallen in love with is a fictional African American woman who likes to cook and give hugs. They have not been led to God. They have not fallen in love with the biblical Jesus.

They have instead been distracted by an anthropomorphic three headed idol created by W. Paul Young.

God does love you. He loved you enough to send His only Son to die on your behalf and in your place. He planned for this rescue and reconciliation from before the foundation of the world.

The God who would do that for us when we had nothing to offer Him back is a God of great love and mercy.

But here’s the thing that is glossed over, ignored, and contradicted by the Shack repeatedly. God is also holy. God is also righteous. God is concerned foremost with His glory. God requires repentance of us in order to be restored into fellowship with Him.

Failure to repent and confess Jesus as Lord will result in perishing. This truth makes the gift of salvation even more glorious and that is why the Shack is so incredibly bad. If we aren’t that bad, then salvation means less. If God won’t really destroy us then we don’t really need to be saved.

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One Response

  1. I have been waiting for you to weigh in on this. Mr. Young is coming to Austin in June, BTW.

    Shocking to me is the number of Bible believing, Bible reading, devout Christians whom I know personally, think this is the most powerful book of their lifetimes.

    Our church is promoting his appearance. Our men’s ministry has been asked to bring 100 men to the event.

    As for me, I read the book a few months ago, because my wife said it “changed her life”. I thought it was a poorly written book and could not quite get what the big deal was. Some of the concepts were interesting I guess, but I couldn’t get past the bad writing – I guess that is the English major in me.

    It seems to me to be a symptom of the lack of Bible scholarship in this generation. You have quoted heavily from the Old Testament and I would agree with you that when it comes to God and His relationship to evil, there is no better place to go.

    However, I would argue that most Christians don’t go there anymore. Too hard. Too boring. Too uncomfortable. Might add too much depth to my pick and choose new testament theology.

    Maybe I’m being too harsh, and there is something to showing the compassionate, graceful side of God. But it seems to me the book could have done that without butchering the Bible.

    Oh, and the writing was terrible.

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