Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Shack vs. the Bible
There is a book that has been on the best-seller charts for a while now, a book that is being talked about a lot, particularly by those in the Christian community. William Young’s work called The Shack is a novel – a work of fiction – but his portrayal of God is more than just bad fiction.
Al Mohler has called it “undiluted heresy”. And he is right. It misrepresents God – horribly so, blasphemously so. It denies the full deity of Christ. It claims the Father and the Spirit took on human nature and portrays them as female. It tells that the Father suffered like the Son on the cross, which is taught in a heresy called Modalistic Monarchianism (commonly called modalism, which is the ancient heresy called Sabellianism). The Shack removes wrath as an attribute of God, and promises no punishment and no hell. What the writer has created is a false god, an idol, a god he made up in his sinful imagination.
It subverts the written Word, and takes pot shots at such things as traditional (biblical) church, family worship, seminary, and even the term “Christian”. It includes people of all religions (or no religion) in salvation, saying that Christ is the “best way”, not the only way. It would appear the writer promotes universalism, which states that everyone will be saved. Since pluralism is so fashionable today, this book has enjoyed much popularity.
Should you read it? A mature Christian may choose to read it (though I wouldn’t particularly suggest it), for the purpose of knowing what it teaches, so as to better answer anyone who promotes the book. Frankly, any Christian who knows his Bible pretty well can easily recognize the errors and heresies put forth. I would strongly suggest that a young or immature Christian NOT read it, as it could cause much confusion and incorrect thinking.
One of the discouraging things about the book is the endorsement by musician Michael W. Smith. He ought to know better, and he ought to repent.
For a fuller review, I recommend Tim Challies’ lengthy but excellent article.