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The Shack bible
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Why is this Important?man

This is important because a little error can lead to a lot of lies. The Bible says, "A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough," (Gal. 5:8).
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Is The Shack Dangerous?

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Yes, the book is dangerous because it hides false doctrines in a feel-good story and presents to Christians a form of God that is not biblical. 
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But it is only fiction!!pencil

So what if its fiction? Is it okay to speak for God in a fiction book and also directly contradict His word in the process -- as long as people feel better about God?
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Quotes from The Shack

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"Whoa,' said Papa [God the Father], who had returned from the kitchen with yet another dish. 'Take it easy on those greens, young man. Those things can give you the trots if you ain't careful.'"
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Questions for Mr. Young

questions1.  Should Christian fiction try to represent God as accurately as possible or is it okay to actually contradict scripture if the intent is to make God seem more palatable to people?

2. Do you see any danger to Christians, and others, in speaking for God, putting words in his mouth, and having him say things that directly contradict His revealed word? (Think of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Islam, etc.) 
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Quotes from The Shack, by William P. Young


It is one thing to talk about a book, is another to quote it. Following are quotes from Paul Young's book. Is this the manner in which God represents himself in the Bible? No it is not.

  1. Jesus speaking to Mack about the Father who is an African American Woman (p. 89).
    1. "Jesus laughed, 'She's a riot!'"
      1. Is any kind of speech like this from Christ found in Scripture?  It is not.  But, it makes Jesus more likeable, more palatable, less sovereign, and less ominous. 
  2. Here is a dialogue found on page 90.  Mack is speaking to the Father who is listening to music.
    1. "May I ask what you're listening to?"
      "You really wanna know"?
      "Sure." Now Mack was curious.
      "West Coast Juice.  Group called Diatribe and an album that isn't even out yet called Heart Trips.  Actually," she winked at Mack, "these kids haven't even been born yet."
      "Right," Mac responded, more than a little incredulous. "West Coast Juice, huh?  It doesn't sound very religious."
      "Oh, trust me, it's not.  More like Eurasian funk and blues with a message, and a great beat."  She sidestepped toward Mack as if she were doing a dance move and clapped.  Mack stepped back.
      1. Such a dialogue can help people feel better about God because it makes God more likable.  But it is putting words in God's mouth and is an shapes him into a more "cool" and "hip" presentation.  It is a changing of God's revealed character as is described in Scripture. 
  3. Jesus wiped the Father's (Papa) feet. (p. 105)
    1. "'Ooooh, that feels soooo good!' exclaimed Papa, as she continued her tasks at the counter."
      1. Sigh.... Is this how God the Father speaks in scripture?  No, it is not.  But, that hasn't stopped The Shack from putting words in God's mouth.
  4. Jesus and Mack together (p. 108).
    1. "'C'mon,' said Jesus, interrupting Mack's thoughts. 'I know you enjoy looking at stars!  Want to?' He sounded just like a child full of anticipation and expectancy."
      1. Is it okay to describe Jesus as sounding like a child?  Is this the image of the holy and infinite God where the second person of the Trinity became one of us and died for our sins?  Is putting words in to Christ's mouth and describing him as a child acceptable?  Where is this in scripture?
  5. The Father and Mac are talking about punishing people for their sin (p. 120).
    1. "I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it."
      1. On the contrary, God does need to punish people -- not because it is joyful, but because that is what his righteousness requires. If God were to ignore the sins of people and not punish them, then he himself would be approving of sin. Furthermore, sin is not its own punishment.  That is a New Age kind of man-made philosophy. The punishment of sin is eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2) and death (Romans 6:23).  Check out Deut. 28:63, "And it shall come about that as the Lord delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the Lord will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you. . ."  Also, Prov. 16:4, "The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil."  And, Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates." The truth about God is found in his word, not sentimental, fictional dialogues and our understanding of God needs to be shaped by His word, not our wants!
  6. Food is being passed around at a table (p. 121).
    1. "'Whoa,' said Papa, who had returned from the kitchen with yet another dish. 'Take it easy on those greens, young man.  Those things can give you the trots if you ain't careful.'"
      1. God the Father is talking about diarrhea?  Seriously?  Biblically, anyone in the presence of God bows his face to the ground and begs God to leave because God presence is so ominously powerful and holy that the sinner knows his own unrighteousness.  See Isaiah 6:1-5.  But in The Shack, God the Father (who is a female) talks about diarrhea and Mack isn't bowing in his presence.  What God is this before which a man is casually having a conversation and diarrhea is the topic?  Is that the God of scripture?
  7. By a lakeside, skipping stones (pp. 170-171).
    1. "As he entered the clearing, he saw Jesus still waiting, still skipping stones."  "Hey, I think my best was 13 skips," he said as he laughed and walked to meet Mack.  "But Tyler beat me by three and Josh threw one that skipped so fast we all lost count."
      1. Though this is a nice sentimental representation of Christ, it represent him as nothing more than a new age image, stripped of his Majesty. In the resurrected Christ  which is what the book the shack is supposed to represent), Christ retained his crucifixion wounds (John 20:25-28). The ordeal of his death will forever stay with him and we are reminded by his wounds of the great cost of our redemption. But in the shack, the resurrected Christ is outdone in skipping stones.  Yep, it sure makes him seem like one of us, comfortable, approachable, gentle, cool, hip, nice, vulnerable, etc.  Yep, definitely New Age.
  8. While Jesus and Mack are walking on water and see a large trout (pp. 175-176).
    1. Jesus said, "'I've  been trying to catch him for weeks, and here he comes just to bait me,' he laughed.  Mack watched, amazed, as Jesus started to dodge this way and that, trying to keep up with the fish, and finally gave up.  He looked at Mack, excited as a little kid. 'Isn't he great? I'll probably never catch him.'"
      1. So Jesus who instructed his disciples to cast your net out on the other side of the boat so they might catch a large amount of fish (John 21:1-11) suddenly can't catch just one? Again notice how Jesus is treated as being child-like.
  9. Jesus and Mack are talking (p. 182).
    1. Jesus said, "Those who love me come from every system that exists.  They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptist or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions.  I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous.  Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians.  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, into my beloved."
      1. Biblically, a Christian is someone who follows Christ.  In The Shack, Jesus is telling Mack that he doesn't desire to make anyone Christians.  Is that so?  What about where Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me," (Matt. 16:24). And where does Paul Young get the idea that Jesus wants to join people in their transformation?  This is New Age philosophy where people are transformed (into what?) instead of being made disciples of Christ.
  10. The Father and Mack are talking about forgiving the man who murdered Mack's daughter (p. 224).
    1. "Mack, for you to forgive this man is for you to release him to me and allow me to redeem him."
      1. Here we have God the father being restricted and his power. In order for God to be "allowed" to redeem him, Matt is the one who must release the man (in the story 'the man' killed Mack's daughter.)  This is a reduction of the character and Majesty of God yet again. It redefines God, lowers him, by stating he must be allowed to do his work by a mere sinful, man.  This is heresy.

In a spiritual church-world where biblical theology is rarely taught from the pulpit and theological milquetoast is offered instead, the redefining of God into a man-made image has taken root. The seeds of this misrepresentation will produce bad fruit. Whenever anyone claims to speak for God, contradicts God's word even in the slightest, and changes his Holy and Awesome character into a human level and totally relatable "cool" person, error is guaranteed to flourish.  The fact is that God has chosen to reveal himself in a specific way in his inspired word: the Bible. No one has the right to change how God has chosen to represent himself -- even if it is a fiction novel that is aimed at making people feel good about God.

You can't successfully change God's character and misrepresent him unless you give people what they want by making them feel good about God. That way, you can misrepresent God successfully and the people will happily swallow leaven being fed to them.