The definition of ‘sham’ is to falsely or present something as the truth, or represent a something that is really not what it is purported to be. And in my opinion, The Shack, should be called… The Sham! On one hand, the author of the book William P. Young will tell you that it is merely fiction, yet in interviews he tells the world “The Shack is theology” (as in Paul Young’s forward to C. Baxter Kruger’s ‘The Shack Revisited’) …so which is it?
Well as other dreamed up works, like the Book of Mormon I think that it can be both! And out of the gate I would like to say that defending or promoting The Shack would be like defending or promoting the Book of Mormon… both are erroneous as they are fictional. And with that introduction, I would like to lay out some warnings that the reader of the book, or the viewer of the movie consider before taking it seriously.
I won’t spend a lot of time introducing The Shack …there are enough previews and trailers to suffice. But I will say this thing, it is supposed to be a story of ‘Mack’ who lost a child to a murderer, and who can’t sympathize with someone who has lost a child to such a grizzly act. But through sympathy it prepares us to grant license to anything this man can imagine, or dream up, because who could fault a guy.
However, if you take the teachings of he book too serious there is a disclaimer that the whole thing is “just a dream” …so don’t get too bent out of shape, if the author trashes your scriptures, makes God out to be Trans-gendered or just confused… because after all it’s just “fiction”. And just so you know, I am offended and you can treat me as hostile to this travesty perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.
Defending or promoting The Shack would be like defending or promoting the Book of Mormon… both are erroneous as they are fictional.
After reading the book, listening to interviews with the author and his own summary of his work. I find it unnecessary to mince words or beat around the bush when it come to my own summary. After the author’s own mother called him a heretic (though she seemingly got over it), I thought that I should at least scratch-and-sniff below the surface of public review. So here goes.
Repeatedly William P. Young seems to have somewhat of a backhanded approach to undermining the Bible… like when the god of The Shack tells Mack “nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book” …it seems Young’s way of way of saying that you really can’t trust the Bible.
Do I think that Young is an outright deceiver? No. However when someone has made millions on his ignorance, coming back to reality and truth will take more than a visit to The Shack.
The ‘Papa’ of The Shack is supposed to represent “truth” to help “keep you from falling into your religious conditioning”. Like the hierarchy spoken of in the Bible in reference to our position under God and with each other. But the god of The Shack tells Mack “humans are so lost and damaged that …. it is almost incomprehensible that relationship could exist apart from hierarchy” …as ultimately this “damage” came to Mack via the scriptures!
Dr. Voddie Baucham nails it in this short video with an illustration… “It’s as though the engine light is on in a car, and we’ve learned how to break the light” …and in this case, we have may also learned to break the entire car! Young writes… “the Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. It is a picture of Jesus” …after all Jesus didn’t follow rules did He? What was that He prayed in the Garden before He was crucified… “Not my will, but thine be done!” NO RULES?
So, is that how it really is? As though the engine light is on in a car, and instead of fixing the car, we have learned how to break the light? What else would you call it when you read this… “filling roles is opposite of relationship?” OK, so now I don’t fulfill my role in the family? Dang!
So, is that how it really is? As though the engine light is on in a car, and instead of fixing the car, we have learned how to break the light?
More theology from The Shack… “The world, in many ways, would be a much calmer and gentler place if women ruled.” … “You are a glorious, destructive mess, Mackenzie, but you are not here to repent, at least not in the way you understand.” … “But that is past now, where it belongs, I don’t even want your sorrow for it Mack” … “I have forgiven all humans their sins against me” …so why preach repentance?
So there you have a nut-shell of The Shack theology… you don’t need to repent, God would be better off as a woman, and we can discount any scripture that says that God will hold the guilty accountable. There is even a part where “Mack” is told by this god that she didn’t want anyone to “become a Christian” …I guess I don’t have to wonder which god that would be.
In interviews Young is quoted as saying that “Hell is restorative” …WHAT? IF that were true, why would Jesus have said in Matthew 10:28 that we are rather to fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in Hell? It matters little how popular an author is, or how enchanting the movie is… anyone wanting to learn more about God would be better served by reading the Bible, and not feel-good contradictions.
OK that might be fine on a surface rebuttal to some quotes of The Shack, but what about the defense mounted by its pundits… such as the “3 heresies The Shack movie confronts in the church today” by Josh Valley? Here are the 3 things Young is trying to expose as false within the church:
1) GOD IS RETRIBUTIVE AND VIOLENT. The Shack is attempting to portray Jesus and God as loving and not needing to punish sin… or willing. When the scriptures are clear that Jesus (as God) will. In the parable of the 10 Talents Jesus portrays Himself as “A certain nobleman” who upon His return, deals with those who conspired against Him. Jesus said “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:27) People forget that Jesus Christ is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords… the very God of the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6).
2) THE BIBLE IS GREATER THAN GOD REVEALED IN JESUS. Josh Valley insists that somehow God doesn’t have to keep His Word, and that it isn’t binding… and more of a suggestion, that the Bible has lost its real message. And of course he touts that William P. Young is right there to get us back on track. Well, it may come as some surprise to those who haven’t read the Bible, but Jesus is not separate from His Word. And at the risk of the real Jesus coming off as some “distorted god who is conflicted, unstable, violent and sociopathic” …come to your own conclusions and read Revelation 19:11-13.
3) GOD IS RACIST AND MISOGYNISTIC. OK you got the Church there… a resounding NOT! At this point, actually reading the drivel from the minds of Josh Valley and P. Young… is intellectually insulting. If God chose to reveal Himself as “HIMSELF” that is up to HIM.
God probably could care less that in the last 50 years people have melted into snowflakes of political correctness. Seriously. And as to the claim that God is somehow racist or against women, shows the bargain-basement quality of education let alone theology these two possess. Most of the key people in Christ’s linage were women and of foreign descent.
As for Josh Valley’s “How The Shack movie unveils toxic representations of God” and how “THE SHACK AS ANTI-VENOM FOR RELIGIOUS POISONED VIEWERS” …I would suggest The Shack is merely anti-truth… because there is plenty of latent vitriol and venom in each of the lies presented in this work. But if you want a Biblical view of the returning Christ… the following is from Revelation 19:11-16
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: he shall rule them with a rod of iron: as he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
You know something, whenever I get the chance to discuss some controversial or division causing contradiction against the Bible, and people site the amount of followers they have amassed… I just say… “You are too late!” 2ooo Years TOO LATE! If your “truths” were important to the people of the world, or the people of God, don’t you think He would have “raised you up” long before now?
You see, IF their mind-blowing insight was a necessity to the revelation God needed to enlighten “the lost” …don’t you think He would have had His own Prophets and Apostles say that very thing? No my friend, the truth from God’s Word has been revealed in the person of Christ, who said His Word would never pass away!
Many times people will argue that if you don’t like the book/movie… just don’t read it or watch it. My answer is that I have a responsibility as a student of the Bible to check those things that presume to speak or represent its truths. St. Paul wrote to the Churches that they had an obligation and the right to “(cast) down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Here is a great little point-by-point and page-by-page guide to considering the teachings levied by The Shack…
Shacking Up With The Shack