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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: The Shack - Do not be deceived

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

2 Peter 2:1-3

Brothers and Sisters, I have been deceived. It was not a heresy or blasphemy that deceived me. God has blessed me with discernment enough to see these for what they are and call them what they are. The deception was that it was OK for me to overlook and dismiss these heresies as insignificant in light of other factors. I am speaking of the very popular book amongst Christians by William P. Young called The Shack. This book contains many wonderful Biblical truths. For example, this book speaks of God’s great love for His children and how He loves each of them in a special and unique way. It speaks of how God deeply desires to have a relationship with His children and will meet them in their time of greatest need. In fact, it places our relationship with God as being infinitely greater in importance to the traditions of religion. It speaks of how God desires to redeem all of mankind, even those who may have committed heinous sin. It also speaks of how fallen and twisted our world has become, how it is our own desire to be independent which has perverted His gifts to us, how this perversion is the source for pain and suffering in the world, and how God in His Sovereignty works that pain and suffering to His good. These are wonderful Biblical truths that every believer needs to know and understand and Young presents these truths through a powerful and moving story which literally made me cry like a little baby. I enjoyed the story tremendously.

Unfortunately, every since I read this book, I have been deeply convicted that my acceptance of this book, despite these truths, also provides tacit approval for the heresies contained within it – and the book contains some serious heresies. It is not so much that God the Father is portrayed as a female African American servant that concerned me. It was clearly explained in the book that this was only done because it was necessary in order for the main character to be able to relate to God. I can somewhat understand that. However, the book denies that God is Just or that God will bring punishment on the wicked. This is a critical truth that all men and women must acknowledge before they can accept the truth that they need Jesus. Although the book acknowledges that the justice of God is the sole reason that Christ came and was punished, it does not acknowledge that our rejection of Christ will bring about that judgment on our own souls. Instead, the book implies that God will not bring about punishment on any man because of what Jesus did on the cross. Indeed, the book goes as far as to say that Jesus makes himself known through all religions and does not necessarily desire us to become “Christian”. These are lies straight from – well – you know… these heresies cannot be overlooked.

Brothers and Sisters, my desire would be that you not read this book. However, if you do, know what you are reading. Do not be deceived.