I think if believers would spend more time in the Word... the Christian book industry would be out of business... because A) Christians would realize how unscriptural most books in the Christian bookstores are... and B) Christians simply wouldnt have time to read all the books that are out there.
This is why I think sermonindex and other type ministries have been raised up in these days. Understand that compromise in individuals lives always effects their inspiration from God. Sin erases a persons understanding of the things of God.
Can you imagine Lot writing a book on prayer? Can you imagine Aaron writing the hymn book? David was a man after God own will (heart). Can you imagine Saul adding a few songs to the Psalms after the Lord had departed from Him? He gains a name for himself as a prophet when the Spirit is on him, but his reputation is 10 years behind reality? (R.B) And yet we are flooded with books and lyrics that are utter pablum and falsehood.
The Shack Book was an interesting read at first; but in hind sight it is a compromising answer to dealing with evil and suffering. Job tackles an even greater disaster and yet the Fear of God is mentioned 3 times in the Book. People don't need a trip up to an old shack to meet up with a Motherly Father; they need to hear the voice of God from a whirlwind and REPENT in dust and ashes.
As if God needs to answer to man? As if we are accountable to Him? That book is the most devoid book of the majesty of God I have ever read. We all go through tragedy; but our point of reference is what is important. We need to know what we deserve right now. What did God ever owe a rebellious human race that had thumbed their nose at him and corrupted a perfect creation with sin and sorrow.
As if man sits on the throne and God is the defendant? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It is because of God's loving kindness that we are not consumed. What, but His mercy, is staying His hand from striking down upon a rebellious people even now? And yet people are ANGRY at God? People have to see a feminine Father to cool their wrath and bitterness?
This book is the epitome of the fear of God being taught by the precept of men. It is man's cheap [u]substitute[/u] for the Fear of the Almighty.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2008/6/21 9:41||Profile|
| Re: the Rising Universal Church|
I have personally not read the book "Shack". In fact, until today, I knew nothing of it. I went online and was able to view many interviews with the author. Based upon those interviews alone, without any additional information, I would have no interest in reading the book, ever.
This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress did for his. Its that good! Eugene Peterson, author of The Message (Front cover endorsement)
These are some of the quotes from the book:
[b]Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or
Mormons, Baptists or Muslims
. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters.
The Shacks Jesus. [1,p.182][/b]
(The above quote sounds similar to the Everyone is Saved statements of Billy Graham, made to Dr. Robert Schuller. Here is the link on youtube):
[b]The Shack calls for a similar denial of reality. Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit Christianity that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken Gods warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for todays spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on Truth---"Roger Oakland", author of Faith Undone, hinted at this transformation in his article My Trip to the Rethink Conference:
For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced
. Speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth.[/b]
[b]No room for the historical Jesus?
Must we reimagine God to make Him fit the rising universal church?
That seems to be the aim of The Shacks female God. Here she is speaking to the main character, Mackenzie (Mack for short):
For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.[1,p.93][/b]
To view an online, in depth personal interview with the author, William P. Young, go to this site:
| 2008/6/21 12:05|
The posting of extraneous links - especially from YouTube - is a practice that is generally frowned upon here. The reason for this is to protect the integrity of these forums; diverting a reader from SI to the dangerous maze of YouTube may have disasterous effects on an unsuspecting and weak person. We would therefore ask that you use a greater measure of discernment in you postings.
Also, again, in your posts there is quite a bit of cutting-and-pasting of critical remarks going on from second-hand sources. A thread you were recently involved in was locked by another moderator because of this. Why are you doing it again? Brother, PM either myself or another mod if you have questions on what is permitted here and what is not. Our only objective here is to preserve the godly integrity of this place, so please don't take this as you being picked on or harassed.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=14144&forum=13&start=10&viewmode=flat&order=1]Here[/url] is a link to the forum rules if you haven't had a chance to see them.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/6/21 12:59||Profile|
We must be careful of such spurious works that attempt to hide beneath the veneer of Christianity. There is another book which has been floating around for a few years now which (much to my surprise) noone seems to be concerned about and noone seems to be blowing the whistle on!
In the afforementioned book, which was supposedly received by divine inspiration, there are accounts of men COMMANDING angels, angels administering the atonement and removing the guilt and shame of sin, encounters with departed saints, what seems to be a mentions of some form of feminine angelic beings, God being brought down to a human level, an account of a miracle that caused dozens to become intoxicated with alchohol, trances, visions, out of body experiences (which look peculiarly similar to new age astral projection...), and many other frightening practices.
All I'm saying here is that if we held our own Bible to the same standard we hold modern ministers and writings, much of it would unquestionably be deemed heretical. Just my thoughts...although I have not read the shack and therefore cannot make an intelligent statement. (despite what I may read on websites...)
| 2008/6/21 13:33||Profile|
Based upon those interviews alone, without any additional information, I would have no interest in reading the book, ever.
And yet, based on what I read of various interviews, the opposite is a more common effect. We cannot doubt that many have been deeply touched. The testimonies are stirring thousands to read the book. No advertising gimmicks used here! Interestingly the author had no intension of publishing the book, and never dreamed that it would take off as it has. He doesnt consider himself an author. (By the way, thank you Waltern for that link. It gives me a feel for whats happening with the book)
The Shack, without a doubt is touching an important need. It is satisfying a deep vacuum in the heart - by giving readers a sense of connection with something beyond themselves a portrait of a God who cares about them and connects with them. If we as Christians dont understand that need, which, of course is only truly met through redemption, then we are in danger of dong what weve been doing for too long: continue to promote the gospel with all our clever methods - but fail to touch anything. Of course, something will always come up that fills the void.
Broad-sweep condemnations against the book will likely be non-productive. (esp if you havent read it!) That likely merely adds more credence to the book and less to the critic.
This book is the epitome of the fear of God being taught by the precept of men. It is man's cheap substitute for the Fear of the Almighty.
Is this not the exact same criticism one could levy against the conservative church: using conservatism as a substitute for the fear of God - leaving hearts empty.
| 2008/6/21 17:36||Profile|
Another troubling thing about the book is that it is essentially a coma induced vision or dream at the last. It is easy to get sucked in to. It tries to break down 'stereotypes' that people have about God. But this is the opposite approach that scripture uses to deal with man's questions.
Take Isaiah for example. Uzziah the king was a close associate of his. Uzziah had done well in the beginning, but at last his heart was lifted up and he sinned against God in the sanctuary. Leprosy came up in his forehead and he eventually dies a leper. How often did the enemy try to make God out to be a bad guy for judging Uzziah in this way?
God's solution that shaped Isaiah's understanding of God forever was to [u]show[/u] him something. What he saw is found in Isaiah 6:1-5
[i]In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.[/i]
What a life changing experience indeed! in that one moment of time everything came into [i]right perspective[/i]. Men and women do not get angry with God because He is made out to be unapproachable; it is exactly this reason why people [i]do[/i] kick against God and His sovereign decisions.
I just do not believe that we need extra-biblical revelation to help us understand God. Job is the oldest book in the bible, perhaps. Is is the oldest lesson. It is because we neglected Proverbs 1:7, the very first proverb and the most important proverb, that we find a 'need' for Shack type books. I would rather recommend the time be spent in the book of Isaiah 6, Revelation 17-20 and Job 36-38. I think that foundation will stand the test of time.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2008/6/21 18:32||Profile|
| Re: Young video interview|
I listened to the Young interview linked on this thread. I can certainly see how there is a blinding here (books theology different than video verbalizations of theology). The blinding is accomplished through feelings and imagination. Somehow his own words lead him to expose the key without knowing it. I tried to add a comment to point to that key, but the site rejected it for posting. Another commenter (Berean) experienced that. Here is what was unacceptable:
[i]The interview was helpful, the writing imaginative with an unusually strong power to engage the reader's imagination (by many reports: weeping, anger, recall of images). Help me put that together with what the author emphasized so strongly in the video: the importance of casting off your imaginations because they are not reality, and the importance of not living in your imagination. Trade one feeling-based imagined reality (pre-read of book) for another feeling-based imagined reality (post-read of book)? He can't mean that.[/i]
I think Mr. Young is blind to what my comment addressed. His experience of a feeling-based imagined reality begot another and he offers it to readers who seem to go for it. [u]I do not recommend viewing this[/u]. No lies in the book are asked about/discussed (Jesus is not the only way)and he verbalizes some biblical truths with feeling.
I also want to express deep appreciation for our Moderators post on this thread. Because he brought it up, I re-read the forum rules after having read them when I joined maybe two-months ago. Periodic re-reading is a good mental note. The spirit of these rules gave me such an awareness of being looked after I think they would even comfort an injured one. Being new to the web, I spent 3 hours of my life trying to re-find a very relevant video, on the chaotic kingdom-of-this-world site, "YouTube". But I also appreciate wonderful biblically solid finds and tools like Instaverse posted by members here. Theres another place to post anything else on this subject.
| 2008/6/25 5:11||Profile|
| Re: The Shack - my cursory overview|
I admit, I almost quit reading the book because descriptive details went on and on and at times seemed stilted. I guess our modern audience is drawn by fiction, so many would be more inclined than me to keep interest. After this, the book becomes packed with theological analogies and explanations as portrayed through imaginative narrative storyline which again, for me often got in the way.
A lot of focus in the book is placed on relationship with Jesus and the God-head. We have to admit, that here is where the church has let a lot of people down. Thus to countless readers, the book seems to be like a spring in the desert. It opens up whole new possibilities for them. Ideally, it should rekindle their interest in God and his redemptive plan. If that is one of the outcomes of the book then well that would be great. Maybe it's a precursory tool a rugged plough cracking through some hard soil.
Generally speaking, Id say that The Shack hovers near the edge, but yet has not totally jumped on the band wagon of the trendy false theologies of the day ex emergent, vineyard, purpose-driven, prophetic movements, environmentalism, feminist theology, etc. In fact, it seems to refute some of the trendy views indirectly or directly. For example: regarding Gods redemptive plan through Christ, we are told straight out: There was no plan B In other words, it was set in eternity. I see this as an effective strike against open theologists ( maybe not all of them).
The author has tried to emphasize the process of repentance, which is the essence of the plot line: The main character frequently confesses his sorrow to the God-figure(s), and admits his faulty assumptions and rebellious ways. Repentance (of course the word itself is never used) is centered on dislodging bad thinking that has driven a wedge in his relationship with God and his family. I think that there are several valid points surrounding this context and certainly some sins that the established church has been blind to. Some readers may prefer not to see this in the book or may miss it, being turned off by bizarre narrative detail.
The author makes an especially strong case against legalism and its various expressions, yet does not plunge into antinomianism or universal salvation, (as some critics would suggest). Actually, the question is asked, Does this mean that all religions lead to you? Jesus responds with a denial. It seems clear that a conscious surrender to Christ is paramount.
However, there are some glaring missing elements in the book: ex ultimate judgment for rejecting Christs salvation, the centrality of the Word in ones life, etc.
In my opinion the Shack is a huge step closer to orthodoxy than many of our popular writers (ex those who use their books to propel their movement). While I have some reservations about storyline, character development, and theological accuracy, Im not prepared to label The Shack as totally heretical.
If for some I seem too lenient on The Shack, it may be that I just read, Misquoting Jesus by Ehrman. Now THATS full-blown heresy deliberately aimed to keep people from considering Christ! Surely we cannot fault the Shack for that.
Just a sidethought: I wonder if we will soon be seeing religious organizations labeled as The Shack of Jesus Christ or Papas Shack. That could make me suspect that the book itself has become an icon. Apparently people have written to the author, eager to meet the main character (who is fictitious) That alone tells me that they missed the entire point of the book. They were supposed to be drawn to Jesus, not the main character (who, to me is quite ordinary). But then, that problem was occurring in the Corinthian church.
In view of these points and the fact that people have a tendency to FIT their existing views into whatever they read, Im not convinced that this book in itself will radically drive hords of readers towards the Jesus of the Word as Peterson seems to expect.
Why it resonates with a lot of people and how it so deeply affects them (according to testimony) may be a subject worth exploring. After all, "the proof is in the pudding".
| 2008/6/30 7:14||Profile|
Why it resonates with a lot of people and so deeply affects them (according to testimony) may be a subject worth exploring.
I think there are two key issues that we need to explore about 'the Shack' as opposed to 'the Bible'.
1) The author's depiction of God in an utterly unbiblical fashion in order to settle man's questions about suffering.
2) The author's unbiblical view of the atonement.
Issue 1 is of utmost importance. When God was ready to teach us about Himself He gave us the Bible. This is God Breathed material. Man has speculated millions of 'gods' from their own imaginations. Some more 'reasonable' than others, but all are [i]false[/i].
Consider the circumstances of the book of Job, Isaiah 6, and Revelation 1-3. Three times the fear of the Lord is mentioned specifically in Job. God reveals Himself in his awesome regal majesty in chapters 38-41 to teach Job about His omnipotence and Job's shortsightedness. This is the tether that must hold a human being in times of suffering and great trial. Job repented after seeing God in this revelation.
Isaiah 6 was probably in the midst of 'questions' about Uzziah's sufferings. But after that awesome trip to the Throne Room it all made sense. This is light years from the Shack's depiction of Christ and the Father. If anything the shack strips a man and woman from a real sense of the fear of God because He is depicted as an understanding, loving grandmother. The fear of the Lord is the beginning and the ending of wisdom, (Proverbs 1, Eccl. 12).
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is our understanding of the Christ we are serving. He walks in the midst of the 7 Golden Candle Sticks. His eyes are as a flaming fire and he rides upon a white horse. He has upon Him a vesture dipped in blood and his name is called THE WORD OF GOD. He is the KING OD KINGS and the LORD OF LORDS.
The 2nd issue is with the authors view of the atonement.This has been discussed at length with the author on his web site if you want to visit it. But, a persons view of the atonement has a direct bearing on how they perceive His love and in turn 'love Him'. We love Him because He first loved us... greater love hath no man than this, etc. So to gain a persons devotion through genuine love requires, I think, an accurate view of the sufferings of Christ otherwise there is only a superficial appreciation for them that leads to other [i]fearful and legalistic[/i] measures to keep a person 'loyal' and 'faithful' as a disciple and servant. If that makes sense...
Robert Wurtz II
| 2008/6/30 8:12||Profile|