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April 13, 2009 / brockbruce

Some Thoughts on The Shack (doctrine matters)

Doctrine Matters

So I finally finished reading “The Shack”, the New York Times best-seller by William P. Young. I thought I would give a few thoughts and some links to some reviews and ideas about the book and ideas the book puts out.

What did I think about the book? Because this book attempts to explain the God of the Bible and is sold in Christian bookstores and read by Christian and sinner alike, I think that the potential damage caused by a misrepresentation of the God of the Bible far outweighs the warm feelings of love and thoughts of “Oh, I understand God now”. Is it good to find meaning of and understanding of God? Of course. But lets understand and know the God of scripture, not some “new agey” (made up a word there) God and an Oprah-ized (did it again) Jesus. Many disagree with me on this (maybe you’re one of them) and many agree. I think those that love the book love its ideas more than they love its position of who God is (I hope). We need to know who God is and how he revealed himself through the Son and how he equips us through the Holy Spirit. But why read a book of heresy to discover God’s love when you could simply read the Gospel of John and discover the truth of love and the Trinity. That is why I don’t recommend it. It’s teachings are too confusing to the Christian let alone the sinner.
Are there any redeeming qualities to The Shack? I think it does a decent job of trying to explain how a God of love allows suffering to happen, yet ultimately false short because it has a distorted understanding of God and of love. The book is also a nice reminder of God working all things for good to those that love him. But do you need to sift through all the wrong to find some good? In this case I don’t think so.

What others are saying…
A Review by David Weserfield
An interview with Young where he denies the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ (that Christ died in my place for my sin)
A friend of Young reviews the book and calls it universalism and heresy. (pdf)
Breakpoint with Chuck Colson says “Stay Out of The Shack”
Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle says “Don’t.”
Michael Youssef talks about it here, watch his sermon here, and contrast The Shack with scripture here (pdf).
More links here.


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