Skip to comments.Ready for the truth about "The Shack"?
Posted on 06/07/2010 6:51:41 AM PDT by Jim 0216
Shocker! "Burning Down 'The Shack,'" [is] a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred biblical critique of the book by someone who knew author Paul Young well and understands what's behind its strange theology. "It's often said that one can understand a book better by knowing the author," James De Young offers in "Burning Down 'The Shack,'" which he wrote to "expose the greatest deception to blindside the church in the last 200 years!" De Young isn't only a New Testament language and literature professor at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., he holds multiple degrees from respected seminaries including Dallas Seminary, Talbot Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute. In addition, and possibly most important, De Young is a former longtime colleague of Paul Young, and was his Portland-area neighbor when Young wrote "The Shack." In 1997, De Young and Young co-founded a Christian think tank, called M3 Forum, and for the next seven years they discussed and probed topics, doctrine and problems facing the church as it approached the New Millennium. Then, in April 2004, Young submitted a surprising 103-page paper in which he embraced universal reconciliation and said, "He was putting aside his earlier evangelical paradigm." Less than two years later, Young asked friends to read the early draft of a novel he was writing as a Christmas gift for his children. Though highly impressed by the manuscript's potential, the friends were opposed to the universal reconciliation they found in it and acknowledged publicly that they spent over a year trying to remove that message. Mainline Christian publishers declined interest in publishing what became "The Shack," so Young and his friends formed their own publishing company to self-publish. "When I carefully read 'The Shack' in January 2008, I was dismayed to find universalism still embedded, deeply and subtly, in it," De Young recalls.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
If Mr. Young has embraced a view that somehow there's no hell, this is a shame for a number of reasons.
1. The Shack is full of the reality of intimacy with Gods family, the Trinity. It tracks very closely and vividly with the book and Bible study by Dr. David Eckman, Becoming What God Intended, A Study for Spiritual Transformation, which made its way around the churches and home Bible studies a few years ago with great success.
2. The Shack is a helpful and effective metaphor for healing among Gods people. Many of us have an inner shack, a place where we hide the sadnesses and lonelinesses from hurts and abuse of the past. It is a place in believers hearts where God is waiting to help and heal us. The difficult part is our willingness to return to our Great Sadnesses that so often we have safely hidden away from our own conscience for years.
3. If there is a no hell idea here, it is neither a major point nor a necessity for the main ideas of the book, but its enough for the Pharisees and heretic hunters in our midst to have a field day with the relationship over religion concepts in the book.
4. The idea in therapy and recovery programs and meetings ofttimes is Take what you want and leave the rest. One should take the good thats in The Shack and if there is an idea of no hell in The Shack, one should leave it. I think this can be done without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
5. I hope for Paul Youngs sake that he does not embrace this no hell idea, because it is clearly unscriptural. Gods Word always trumps our good ideas. Other well-known and respected Christian leaders have fallen and become of no effect because of this heresy, a prime example being Carlton Pearson.
6. Theres a subtle but important distinction here that is and almost certainly will be the subject of much confusion. The article references universal reconciliation but the idea of no hell should be called universal salvation. This is an important distinction. I have heard Paul Young quote 2 Corinthians 5:19 and John 1:29, but these along with other scripture, speak of the universal redemption that Christs death on the cross has afforded all men.
There is a critical distinction between Redemption and salvation. There is no universal salvation taught in the Bible. Heaven and Hell (there are 54 references to hell in the Bible) are scriptural and real. The issue between us and God is no longer sin God has taken care of that issue by Jesus on the cross. The only issue now is Jesus himself who has bone our sin. The question now is: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH JESUS? The issue between us and God is no longer sin but believing in Jesus Christ.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:18-19.
Notice it doesnt say the condemnation is sin, but that men did not believe in Jesus who took our sin. A masterful treatment of this is found in Oswald Chambers My Utmost For His Highest October 7th devotion: http://www.myutmost.org/10/1007.html
I don’t shop at the Shack anymore, since they insist on having my phone number to sell me two batteries.
And here I was expecting a shocking expose into the inner workings of the eeeevil Radio Shack! Windfall profits on overpriced component cables! Shock! :D
Different Shack, unless that was the joke...
People let me tell you about a place I know
To get in it don’t take much dough
Where you can really do your thing, oh yeah
It’s got a neon sign outside that says
Come in and take a look at your mind
You’d be surprised what you might find, yeah
Strobe lights flashin’ FROM SUN UP TO SUN DOWN
People gather there from all parts of town
Oh yeah, RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
You know it’s just across the track
People I’m talking about the psychedelic shack
It’s a novel, just like the Left Behind series was a novel. Read it for entertainment, not theology, and all will be fine.
Great read ! It says it is fictional on the cover so what if it makes ya think.
Fiction (Latin: fictum, “created”) is any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s). Although fiction often describes a major branch of literary work, it is also applied to theatrical, cinematic, documental, and musical work. In contrast to this is non-fiction, which deals exclusively in factual events (e.g.: biographies, histories). Semi-fiction is fiction implementing a great deal of non-fiction, e.g. a fictional description based on a true story.
I guess I missed something, I thought it sucked and it was a struggle to even finish ....but that’s just me.
Don’t you hate that? I am paying with cash, so you do not need my phone or zip code. I refuse to shop where they do that too.
If it was just a novel, it would avoid theology. It clearly was pushing a misrepresentation of the nature of God. Are you now in favor of pro-Muslim novels?
That would be good advice if some people could see the difference. Case in point "The Da Vinci Code"
AAAAAAAAH you just had to mention that wretched piece of crap! ;p
What a hideous excuse for writing that was. Dan Brown makes John Grisham look fluent.
1 - Born again Christians who believe in the Trinity (Father Son and Holy Ghost)
2 - People who have "a great sadness" from abusive or hurtful backgrounds.
No, it was me too. I kept fighting through his quaternian-universalist-heresy to get to the good part everyone was raving about, but there never was one. Maybe that chapter got left out of my copy.
THIS guy makes Dan Brown look fluent.
I started reading the book but felt more and more uneasy with it. The message is subtle. I liked some of the story line, but then it just got weird. I truly felt the HS tell me to quit reading the book, to put it down. I did not finish, never picked it up again.
That was pretty much my reaction, although I managed to finish it.
This is how approached the book. It is a good story. For me it posed, everybody does have their own idea of what God looks like etc..
Just take it for what it is a good Novel.
The adversary isn't stupid. He's more brilliant than a thousand stars.
He appears as the angel of light, Lucifer.
I read "The Shack", and was dumbfounded.
How people who believe they are Christians, could not see the evil deception
in that piece of trash, is beyond me.
That absolute lack of discernment explains ALL of the corruption in the "church" today.
The root of the word church, eklesia, means "called out, or "seperate".
The "church" in America today is nothing of the kind.
Many of us who have a great sadness very much need to go to our “shack” where God is waiting to heal us.
Circuit City did that too. I just always gave them 867-5309
I am a devout and long time Christian.....I read The Shack and took it for just another story on the way some people believe.....it was fiction and I took it as that.
'The adversary' is a creature of pride. He LOVES to hear how great he is. He declared he wanted to be like the 'Most High'. Too many times, he gets 'worship' from those within the camp of the Most High. Sad...
Lack of discernment is ENCOURAGED by the political left, who are either actively working for the enemy or they are just useful idiots.
And to those who think you’re Christians and yet assert there are “many ways to God”, you’re not Christians. Being a Christian inherently assumes that Christ is the only way to salvation (unless you’re perfect, eh).
Professional jealousy is a terrible thing, don’t you think?
Jim - I think your comments are great. So here’s another “long post”.
Wayne Jacobsen ( www.lifestream.org ), author of “He Loves Me” (a solid theological book and a “must read” after The Shack) and other works was the editor/publisher of The Shack and the one who encouraged Paul to publish The Shack. Wayne is a good friend of mine, and with Wayne and others I had the joy of spending a day with Paul Young, Wayne, and Brad Cummings who also helped edit The Shack.
I saw an interview of Paul where he clearly disavowed believing in universal salvation/no hell. Wayne has stayed in our home several times, the last one when we had literally hundreds gathering to discuss the “issues” that critics had with the book. Wayne is solid theologically and quite well answered every issue. The questions were quite pointed, especially as one time we were using the facilities of an SBC church near us and the pastor was firing questions at Wayne in every area. Wayne so well explained things that this pastor asked him to come back and speak in the future.
The Shack does have “issues”, but people miss the point. The point is the incredible depth, width, height and breadth of God’s love and His redemptive sovereignty over all that happens to us in our damaged lives. Having served in ministry for over 40 years, I know of no other book that has drawn damaged, hurting people back into the grace of God, loving and walking with Him than The Shack.
I brought the main message at the memorial service for Rachael Hill ( www.rachaelhill.org ) - one of the kids killed at the Virginia Tech shootings, as I have been close with her family all of her life. She has played my wife’s Yamaha grand piano many times.
After reading The Shack, I strongly felt led to give a copy to Rachael’s father. I wrestled with this for about a month. “How can I give a man whose daughter has just been murdered a book about a man whose daughter is murdered?!?!” Eventually, I did it.
Rachael’s father - a man of God who knows scripture well - called me every day to say only one word: “Wow!” until he finished the book, when he said, “This is the best book I’ve ever read other than the Bible.” He has since given away hundreds of copies, and led many to Christ - many who otherwise would have no contact with any church. He has seen many deeply-hurting people come into rest and comfort and trust in God.
So have I. It’s the only book I know in my life where most readers don’t recommend it to their friends. They go buy copies and give them away.
No, we cannot get theology from the book, and should not. I have been one to strongly oppose all “Christian” novels. But this one changed my mind. I have seen too many brought to Christ, and too many who totally rejected the “Christian religion” come back to a walk and trust in God - and who continue in it today.
Thanks for your post.
It’s at the . . . sugar shack! Yeah baby at the, sugar shack.
didn’t you try to read this and find yourself unable to finish it?
I'm sure that's in there too.
I hope you're right about Young and "universal salvation." I saw some taped interviews with Young that left me wondering, but I don't see this as "dispositive" to the book itself.
Yes. I could not stand it.
“Having served in ministry for over 40 years, I know of no other book that has drawn damaged, hurting people back into the grace of God, loving and walking with Him than The Shack.”
The Word of God will always out-perform any pulp-fiction “best seller”.
It really wasn't good entertainment.
My understanding is that the author wrote it as a novel, so I don't see the issue.
Are you now in favor of pro-Muslim novels?
I wouldn't read one, and I might criticize it's content. I'm not in favor of book banning as a whole. I do have issues about some books put into public school libraries using my tax dollars. But I wouldn't say that the book couldn't be sold in bookstores.
Of course. Forgive me for not re-stating what Rachael’s father said, “other than the Bible.” I should have clarified “book published in the last 40 years.”
I promised myself I would never write a book because the great need of 99.9% of all Christians is to be in the scripture and know it intimately - and that the sad state of Christendom is so few Christians - so few PASTORS - really know the Word of God. And believers so quickly run to books - and 99.9% of their beliefs come not from knowing scripture - but what some man (or woman) said. Their knowledge is mostly “2nd hand”, sadly.
I’m not a book pusher.
Unfortunately, I know exactly what you mean. I have a friend who thinks what is said in that novel could have happened. I told her, "You know it was just a novel, right?" She just gave me that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
That depends on how one approaches what is read for entertainment.
I certainly wouldn't support a Christian reading porn novels and the like. However, I did read the Left Behind series and have actually moved farther from the ideas presented in those books than I was before I read them. I knew they were novels, of course, and as I've continued to study the scriptures, I've come to a new understanding of some biblical prophesies.
Bingo! I had the exact same reaction to it! I couldn’t get over the feminization of the Godhead and the casualness of the relationships. The Lord is a wonderful Savior but he is still deserving of all praise, worship, and adoration.
I had Dr. James De Young as a professor at Western Seminary for a number of courses... outstanding man of God who really knows the Word of God. I am sure he has done a tremendous job in exposing the lie that is “The Shack”.
There are many wolves among the sheep.
In wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, we attribute their lack of discernment
to ignorance or stupidity, when in reality they are well aware of the deceptions of Satan.
The Lord Himself tells us how He will deal with pseudo-christians in Matthew 7:22.
If you have not read The Shack and decide to read it, you'll find, as many have, that this theological issue doesn't have much to do with the book's main "touchstone(s)."
There's a lot to like in it but as they say, "Take what you want and leave the rest."
I have no problem with selling the Shack in bookstores. I do have a problem with churches promoting a book to warps the nature of God.
I would agree that it is not the business of a church to promote novels.
You didn’t miss anything. It was boorish, emotionally manipulative, and wholly self serving. Gag.