Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Shack - A false Picture of God

Should 'The Shack' Be Attacked?

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You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, Dave and Tom resume their weekly in-depth study of the Doctrine of Salvation, please stay with us.


In this regular feature, Dave and Tom address questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call, here is this week’s question: Dear Dave and TA, Frankly I am confused by a book that is very popular among my circle of Christian friends, it’s titled, The Shack, and although it is endorsed by some leading evangelicals, I was freaked out by it, and couldn’t actually finish it. I don’t understand how anyone thinks he can put God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a fictional situation, and then have them speak the words out of his own imagination. Isn’t this dead wrong?


Now Dave, I know you haven’t read The Shack, you’ve been working night and day on your book, Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny.


I’ve heard about it, Tom, probably know quite a bit about it.


I’ve read it, I struggled through it, but in case you haven’t read it, I just want to run some things by you, and just kind of get your comments. Well, first of all, it’s a book that claims to be fiction, although you can’t really tell. It’s like mixing theology and some concepts, some beliefs that we might agree with, with some fiction. But basically what you have is a man in the story, he gets a note from God. He’s gone through great trauma in his life, he’s lost his daughter to a heinous kind of murder, so he’s carried this guilt and concern because maybe he could have saved his daughter, and so on. So he’s go this real burden that he’s been carrying, and he’s sort of been blaming God for this. But then, supposedly he gets a note from God, to come back to the place where the murder took place, and God is meeting him there, but not just God the Father, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, but all three. So you have in this story this man interacting with the Trinity and you have the Trinity. I’ll just give you my synopsis of those that he meets with. He conjures up God the Father as a hip talking now and then crude black woman referred to as Pappa. And Jesus as a sometimes inept stone skipping good ole boy enamoured with his humanity and creation, and the Holy Spirit as a wisp of a woman from Asia who gardens and collects tears. Now, anybody reading the book would say, Well, that’s your evaluation, but that in reality we have the Holy Trinity, okay, God the Father and the Holy Spirit as women, dressed in women’s clothes, interacting with this guy. What do you say to that?


Well, Tom, I refused to read it. I know you had to, to answer the question, but this is abomination from beginning to end, and it’s a sign of the times in which we live. Can you imagine a black woman, black or white, or whatever?


And Dave, it’s not even consistent with having God use a dialogue of a black woman. It’s just ludicrous, even from writing’s standpoint, but go ahead.


Well, you’re not supposed to make an idol, you’re not supposed to make any representation of God. Now this is the worst kind of misrepresentation you could have. A living idol of someone who is, supposedly, they say God came in this form now? The Father came in this form? And the Holy Spirit in the form of an Asian woman? And Jesus is kind of inept? He is enamoured with his humanity, and so forth? Tom, this is—I don’t have words to express it! This is blasphemy of the worst sort. And yet that evangelical supposedly, Christian bookstores and churches!


Well, Christians have pushed the sales, at this recording, over a million, and it’s really a hot item. I’ve talked to some people that said their friends keep passing it around, and they just love it. One of the attractions, Dave, I mean, you are repulsed by it and so was I, but one of the attractions of this book is that God explains himself. So there is a lot of theological dialogue of God saying, well the reason I did this, and the reason I did that, none of which you find in the Bible.


I’m sure it would not ring true to who God is.


Oh without a doubt.


So, they are demeaning God, they are presenting a false picture of God. An author who writes that, he ought to tremble. He is going to stand before this God that he misrepresented, stand before Him in judgment, and the people who loves it, they will stand before God in judgment as well. They’ve got a false idea of God in their minds, they allowed—


Dave, I mean, it runs the whole gamut. Now this is a God who has been reduced to somebody that we can get along with. In our earlier segment, you talked about going down on your face before God. There is no sense of that reverence or awe, humility at all in this book. I mean, here’s a god you get comfortable with. You know, you get comfortable with Jesus, and then you know, they are very human. We have reduced them to our stature really in this book. Not we have, but the author has.


Well, Tom, I tremble for this man, and I tremble for those who read it, for those who recommend it, those who—what could be going through a person’s head as they read this? This is a representation of God? It couldn’t be worse, and to even entertain that thought… You see, the problem is, Tom, it corrupts the mind, it corrupts the heart, it corrupts one’s idea, comprehension of God. We’re not to even make an image in our mind. We’re not to make any image of God, no representation of God. So this is blatant disobedience of the very first commandment, You shall have no other gods before me.


Now Dave, one last point about this book which is, I think, talk about no fear of God. Who would dare speak for God? Now we have a dialogue, we have God in dialogue with this other character in the book, whether it be God the Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, who would put words in their mouth? Who would date to do that? But we see this trend. You have books out there now, Jesus in conversation with Confucius, or with Buddha, and so on. I mean, this is Robi Zacharius, you know, who did that. We have Eugene Peterson, which we’ve dealt with over and over again, but that’s what his bible, The Message is all about. He puts his own words in God’s mouth, and then have the nerve to say, Thus sayeth the Lord. No, this is Eugene Peterson sayeth, not God.


Tom, you couldn’t denounce it more strongly. I mean, there is no way you could denounce it strongly enough. This is blasphemy, this is apostasy and the fact that the church goes for it, or many in the church, that is just absolutely incredible!


Dave, evangelical leaders . . we do a Q & A on this, which I name them, let’s just look to Eugene Peterson. His quote, his endorsement of the book is the featured endorsement right on the cover. And, he says, “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It is that good.” Wow!

1 comment:

Brother Mark said...

“The Shack” is “The Message” outhouse.
» Posted in Apostasy, Emerging/Emergent Church, Post Modern, aberrant/heretical teaching, discernment at 3:25 pm
No Gravatar

“The Shack” is not about a basketball player it is a book that twists the Gospel. If you are buying into the message of this book thought up in an outhouse you are buying into damnable heresy. The endorsement on the cover of this heretical book is from Eugene Peterson, author of “The Message” (see below)

I for one am fed up with those who quote “The Message” as if it were the Bible. It is not. It is nothing but a very bad paraphrase. Stop quoting “The Message” on your media programs or I will turn you off for good. Stop quoting “The Message” from your pulpits or I will walk out of your church. Stop reading from “The Message” in your Bible studies or I will not attend. Why? Because Eugene Peterson popular paraphrase of the Bible is twisted. He has no biblical discernment, his bad paraphrase of the world of God is not the word of God no matter how popular it has become. If you cannot use a literal version of the Bible to get across your teachings perhaps you should not be teaching at all. Now Eugene Peterson is endorsing even more twisted writings for your deception.

Having said that, those with ears to hear really do need to know what is wrong with “The Shack” by William P. Young that is now widely accepted in postmodern churches. Read the article in the link below and also read what Dave Hunt has to say about “The Shack”

Also read Dr. Norman L. Geisler and Bill Roach critical review of The Shack.

Here is also a review of The Shack given by Eric Barger.

Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus”: The twisted “truths” of The Shack & A Course in Miracles - CWN

“This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s that good!” Eugene Peterson, author of The Message (Front cover endorsement)

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or
Mormons, Baptists or Muslims…. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters.”
–The Shack’s “Jesus.” [1,p.182]

The Shack calls for a similar denial of reality. Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit “Christianity” that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken God’s warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for today’s spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on Truth. Roger Oakland, author of Faith Undone, hinted at this transformation in his article “My Trip to the Rethink Conference:”

“For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced…. Speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth.”[3]

No room for the historical Jesus?

Must we reimagine God to make Him fit the rising universal church?

That seems to be the aim of The Shack’s female “God.” Here she is speaking to the main character, Mackenzie (Mack for short):

“For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”[1,p.93]

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Tags: Apostasy, emergent, emerging, heresy, New Age, postmodern
Date posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 3:25 pm | Under category: Apostasy, Emerging/Emergent Church, Post Modern, aberrant/heretical teaching, discernment
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* The Church needs a biblical thinking conference to counter postmodern doctrines of demons
* Finding Brian Mclaren’s way to the mother of all harlots
* The Richard Foster of the Emergent Church Leaders
* The Journey into Apostasy
* Oprah, Word-Faith and postmodern Christianity shifting to the dark side
* Greg Laurie’s advice to the emerging apostate church.
* Seeds of deception conference
* Emerging toward a cosmic consciousness with the Devil
* Parallels between The Shack God and A.A.’s higher power.
* Shack full of deception


1. Roshan said »

I’ve had it!! Bullshack is what I call this! I mean, seriously, what does this book have to offer to anyone? “My Papa”! It’s pathetic! What foolishness for mankind to think God resides within them, indeed that they “are” God. Look around, people, how can you be so naive? Man is sinful and incapable of living a pure life. Were it not for the fact that we have a loving and merciful Father in heaven who gave His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world, we would all be condemned to hell. God wasn’t interested in the sacrifices the Israelites brought them! He wanted them to obey His commands out of love and fear for the God that had lead them out of Egypt to the holy land and that’s what He’s asking from us as well. God doesn’t owe us anything! Still He has mercy on all those who earnestly seek Him and follow His ways. So what’s so wrong with this message of repentance?? In return you are forgiven and granted eternal life; it’s a win-win situation! These imposters are just perverting everything for their own worldly gain. I don’t belief in religion that says you can reach heaven, moksha, nirvana or whatever all by your own efforts. Man simply is not capable. Moreover, there is but one almighty and allknowing God. And the only way for us to “reconcile” is by repenting of our sins and accepting the Son of God as our Savior. All this mystical mumbo jumbo nonsense is leading nobody to repent and to be born again. On the contrary, in their delusion they’re opening themselves up to demonic influence, but NOT the Holy Spirit you receive upon acceptance of Christ! But oops, I forgot, no such thing as demons and devils eh? Oh and sure, there’s no such thing as evil and sin either! I guess that explains why people are so revengeful, uncontrolled, deceitful, unloving, self-centered and dishonest! And I would have to include myself among these sinful people, by the way. That is why I became a Christian in the first place, because I am a SINNER. I’m unworthy to be called a child of God yet I am deemed worthy of grace by Christ. And who is the child of God? The one who admits his error and humbles himself before God, is it not?

In Biblical terms I’d say woe unto them for leading others astray with their false universalist teaching! Your Papa surely is not the God of Israel!
» on February 28th, 2008 at 5:34 pm
2. DonNo Gravatar said »

Emergent bullshack fit for the outhouse.
» on February 28th, 2008 at 6:08 pm
3. WhitneyNo Gravatar said »

Wow.. so did you actually read the book? Because your references seem pretty out of context. The first line you quoted regarding “I have no desire to make them Christian” really bothered me at first too. But then I reread the page and realized that the author is speaking in terms of Corporate Christianity that has been overrun by rules and judgment.

Regarding the quote “For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced.” - If Christianity is about a relationship with the Creator of our constantly-changing world, does it not make sense that we diverse the way we communicate and reach people in order to show God’s relevance to their lives? The church, the actual building and business that it has become, was not created by God. The books of Acts shows The Church, the body and bride of Christ, as a living, breathing, growing group of people who lived together in love and faith, helping those who needed it and adding to their numbers in incredible ways. That part doesn’t need changing. But the way we as a church reach people? You can’t be afraid of change. If Christianity never evolved in our changing world, we’d still be stuck in the Crusades! Not to mention we’d all be Catholic. Don’t put God in a box! Reforming the way we reach people doesn’t mean we are changing the truth of the Bible or the character of God and the roles of Jesus and the Holy spirit. God can do incredible things on top of the things he has already done and is already doing. My dad, someone who has really struggled with the concept of God since I was born, is actually willing to read the Shack. Why? Because it does something that churches and many religious scholars have a hard time doing. It shows God in an incredibly real and relevant way. The book is about something more than what’s on the surface. We know God isn’t truly the characters of Papa, Sarayu, and the exact version of Jesus this book describes. But we are given a glimpse into the very nature of God’s unconditional love, mercy, comfort, and his willingness to meet us right where we are, in the middle of the mess we’ve made, and to take us into His arms and rescue us. The God I serve is WAY more interested in building relationships with His children than watching His servants fight over legalities.
» on October 19th, 2008 at 10:33 pm
4. DonNo Gravatar said »

Why do you quote the lies in the Shack and heretical rethinking conferences to claim that the teaching in the Shack is valid? True Christianity can not change it is founded on unchangeable truths. The foundations have been laid and they are given in the New Testament.

You do not tell people the truth about Jesus by compromising the gospel so that it is a different gospel than the one given through which all mankind MUST be saved. The Shack and these rethinking conferences of the Emergent Church are distorting the gospel. Paul himself said if anyone gives another gospel than the one he presented let them be damned. He said it twice in a row to convey the importance of keeping the gospel pure. He said that because he was given the gospel of salvation by direct Revelation from God. I will say it again. If anyone gives you any other gospel than the one given in the New Testament scriptures, let them be damned. They certainly will be.

There is a difference between presenting the gospel in a way to reach diverse societies and in making it a false gospel with a different Jesus and a way to God that saves no one.

I do not wish anyone to read the Shack especally your dad because it will not lead him to Christ is will move him to believe in false religion and false security. This book is doing more harm to true Christianity than any book I can think of because it is subtlety deceptive, but that is how Satan works. Just put a little poison in with some truth and watch the gullible humans who never accepted the truth suck it up.

Your dad and many others that read that book will now accept lies that make Christianity compatible with New Age and Eastern teachings. It is not. Christianity is 180 degrees opposed to all other religion. Your Dad will now become completely unreachable and hostile toward true Christianity. I know because those who read the book email me and they are hostile to the foundational truths of Christianity. They now think they are enlightened because they read the Shack. Now their eyes are opened toward pluralist Universalism where God will save everyone because He is so in love with all us wonderful human beings. They are also hostile toward historical Christianity because like in the book they confuse psuedo Christianity with true Christianity and blame Christians for the sins of institutional Christian play actors.

God is only willing to take you in His arms if you live in His Son through a spiritual rebirth otherwise you are still dead in your stinking sins to Him. God is interested in saving those He called to be saved. He could care less about building relationships with walking dead people. Making God to be like a human is idolatry and Blasphemy.

Here is a short but very good book review of the Shack. Any true Christian should be able to see the poison in the book and should be telling everyone they really care about to stay away from it. It is extremely deadly to those who are Christian in name only and those who already wish to reject the narrow way through the blood of Jesus. Those who are enlightened by the darkness in this book will be led toward pluralist Universalism not Christ. They will then attend the Church of Oprah and recite “The Secret” as there gospel. You have been told.