I know this is well behind the times, but I just got access to an audio copy of William Young’s The Shack. Since I took the time to read this book that has become so popular, I decided to write down a couple of points. Be warned, I’m not impressed.
Occasionally beneficial and generally dangerous—and not in a good way--, The Shack is a book that should not be read by those whose theology is not solid. William young’s tale is compelling at times, encouraging at times, infuriating at times, and blasphemous at times. Young writes an emotionally charged fiction that grabs at the heart strings, but which leaves readers clinging to a faulty notion of God.
In this book, Young:
· Rejects the authority and sufficiency of the Scripture.
· Rejects biblical notions of relationships of authority and submission.
· Rejects most notions of the local church.
· Rejects the sovereignty of God.
· Elevates the autonomy of man to a place which degrades God.
· Trivializes each person in the Holy Trinity.
· Comes dangerously close to redefining God as a quadrinity with “Sophia” (wisdom) as a fourth person.
· Presents a completely unbiblical picture of forgiveness.
· Totally misses the atonement, failing to see Christ as a vicarious substitute.
· Leans toward universalism.
· Arrogantly corrects the theology of nearly 2,000 years of church history.
Can I come up with anything useful in The Shack? I think so. If a Christian is mature enough to carefully identify and set aside the obvious and the subtle heresy in this book, he or she might be challenged to have a more personal, more intimate, understanding of his or her relationship with God. Much like reading the Left Behind series, reading The Shack can stir a Christian’s imagination to more fully imagine what it will be like to be in the presence of God. Though the picture of the persons of the trinity in The Shack are not appealing in many ways (Jesus sure chuckles a lot), the concept of remembering that we are serving areal, personal God is very important. It is good to, with Scripture, allow your mind to imagine and long for the day when you stand in his presence.
Sadly, I cannot in any way recommend The Shack. There is just too much wrong in this book, and its few positives cannot atone for it.
[I listened to an audio recording of this book, and thus cannot site page numbers to go along with my points above.]