[forthright] The Shack: A Limited Review

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2009 13:10:52 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
Straight to the Cross

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The Shack: A Limited Review
 by John E. Werhan

Of recent, several people have asked me to comment on
William P. Young's book "The Shack: Where Tragedy
Confronts Eternity." Because of these requests, I
decided to invest the time to read the book and give a
few thoughts on its contents.

The first and foremost thing one must understand about
this book is that it is fiction (made up by men/not
real or within the realm of reality). This book is not
a theological thesis on the truth found within the
inspired word of God but a story that should encourage
those who are hurting and struggling with life's
difficulties to seek comfort from God.

From my research, it is evident that different people
get different things from this book. From the wide view
of seeking comfort from God — to changing Christianity
to fit their own perceived needs and desires. There are
even some who are forming a new concept of Christianity
around their personal understanding of this book.

This is where the danger lies. This book is so
emotionally captivating that the theological content
can be absorbed without one thinking about it. Because
of this danger, I will note just a few of the
theological concerns found in this book.

Please, get your Bible and study the passages noted in
this listing. It would take another book to deal with
the theological fallacies found in "The Shack."

Page 31 teaches that the God of heaven is the same as
"the Great Spirit of the Native American" religion
(Study: Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Exodus

Page 65 the author promotes the idea of modern
revelation and that the Bible is not the complete
revelation of God (Study: Jude 3; 2 Timothy 1:13).

Page 102 the false doctrine of Patripassionism is
taught when the author notes that God the Father
suffered on the cross with Jesus the Son (Study: 2
Peter 2:22-25; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Page 110 teaches that Jesus is not the only way to
salvation but the "best" way, noting the author's
postmodern understanding of salvation (Study: John
14:6; 10:9; 11:25).

Also, within the pages of this book the author suggests
that non-Christians will be saved (p. 182) (Study: 2
Thessalonians 1:7-9). He says that God does not punish
sins (pp. 119-20) (Study: Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8).

The author goes so far to promote that God has already
forgiven everyone's sins and only desires a
relationship with them (p. 225). The list goes on and
on of the unscriptural and apostate teachings found
within the pages of this book.

This book is powerful, emotional, and attractive and a
good read if kept in the realm of fiction! The problem
arises when people trade such a work of fiction for the
inspired word of God. I enjoyed reading the book from
the wide view but the apostate theology found within
the pages is of great concern. Let us all remember the
words of John:

   "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but
   test the spirits to see whether they are
   from God, because many false prophets have
   gone out into the world. By this you know
   the Spirit of God: every spirit that
   confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the
   flesh is from God; and every spirit that
   does not confess Jesus is not from God; this
   is the spirit of the antichrist, of which
   you have heard that it is coming, and now it
   is already in the world" (1 John 4:1-3).

John preachers for the The Northeast church of Christ
in Sentinel, Oklahoma. 

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