Thursday, June 18, 2009


I am hearing over and over that many solid Christians are recommending The Shack, by William P. Young, to others in very glowing terms and without qualification. I find this rather troubling because, especially for immature believers and unbelievers, it has problems theologically which can skew their perception of who God is and how He relates to mankind. It is one thing for a mature Christian who is doctrinally solid to read and critique such a book, but to give it an unqualified recommendation to anybody and everybody is to promote theological error.

Having been the librarian of our local church for the last 10 years or so, I have come to understand that works of fiction have a purpose beyond mere entertainment. They exist for the purpose of explaining certain "truths". With this in mind, we must always be cautious about what we recommend and to whom. Below is a quote from Old and Sold Antiques Digest ~ A Manual of the Art of Fiction which confirms the idea that the fiction's purpose is to teach truth:

Fiction a Means of Telling Truth.—Before we set out upon a study of the materials and methods of fiction, we must be certain that we appreciate the purpose of the art and understand its relation to the other arts and sciences. The purpose of fiction is to embody certain truths of human life in a series of imagined facts. The importance of this purpose is scarcely ever appreciated by the casual careless reader of the novels of a season. Although it is commonly believed that such a reader overestimates the weight of works of fiction, the opposite is true—he underestimates it. Every novelist of genuine importance seeks not merely to divert but also to instruct—to instruct, not abstractly, like the essayist, but concretely, by presenting to the reader characters and actions which are true. For the best fiction, although it deals with the lives of imaginary people, is no less true than the best history and biography, which record actual facts of human life; and it is more true than such careless reports of actual occurrences as are published in the daily newspapers. The truth of worthy fiction is evidenced by the honor in which it has been held in all ages among all races. "You can't fool all the people all the time"; and if the drama and the epic and the novel were not true, the human race would have rejected them many centuries ago. Fiction has survived, and flourishes today, because it is a means of telling truth. 1.

Below are several links which contain examinations of the theological and doctrinal errors in The Shack. I urge you to listen to the interview and read the articles before giving the book an unqualified recommendation, because from what I understand, some of the "truths" its teaches are contrary to God's Word.

But I fear, lest by any means,
as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus,
whom we have not preached,
or if ye receive another spirit,
which ye have not received,
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,
ye might well bear with him.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4

And he said unto them,
These are the words which I spake unto you,
while I was yet with you,
that all things must be fulfilled,
which were written in the law of Moses,
and in the prophets,
and in the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding,
that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them, Thus it is written,
and thus it behooved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached
in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:44-48


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