Question of the Week: How should Christians view the book and film “The Shack” by William P. Young?
Verses: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Shack is a lightning rod of controversy among Christian circles and with good reason. With the film bringing even more attention to this best selling novel, a great deal of discretion is needed when approaching the points made within. While there is nothing wrong with watching the film or reading the book for entertainment purposes, it is not a recommended source of Christian edification for the following reasons.
1. It has a very low view of scripture.
Quoted from The Shack and provided by gotquestions.org:
In seminary [Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. It seemed that direct communication with God was something exclusively for the ancients and uncivilized, while educated Westerners’ access to God was mediated and controlled by the intelligentsia. Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges.
-For more information as to why this is dangerous, please read the full review: https://www.gotquestions.org/The-Shack-review.html
2. It promotes the false doctrine of universalism. Meaning that everyone will go to Heaven, even those who reject God’s offer of salvation.
Quoted from The Shack and provided by carm.org
“”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.””
-For more information as to why this is an unbiblical view, please read the full review:
3. William Young affirms this book as fiction, but on his website claims that it is based on real conversations he had with God. This claim is putting the Shack in the category of prophecy. And since the standards of prophecy in scripture are fairly straight forward, we need to ask if The Shack holds up to those tests. Do the sayings of God in The Shack line up perfectly with the doctrines presented to us in what we know as inspired scripture? No they do not. Is God presented in a way that lines up with His character as revealed in scripture and history? No He is not. And most importantly, is William P. Young presenting the truth of the gospel without compromise? No he is not.
-For the quote from William P. Young about the source of his material, please read it on his website:
For more excerpts from A Reason For Hope, visit our page HERE.
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