THE MOVIE, “THE SHACK”: How the Film Is Anti-Christian, Anti-Marriage, Anti-American

The film “The Shack” will soon appear in theaters nationwide and probably beyond. If it is as popular as the novel on which it is based it will be a blockbuster.

For those who do not know, this is the movie version of the fictional novel, The Shack. This novel has sold upwards of 20 million copies over the last several years. It was on the NY Times best seller list for many months. It made the author very wealthy. This is quite amazing when we consider that this was written by a writer claiming to be a Christian and intended for Christians to give a Christian explanation for why people suffer. Obviously the story has resonated with a multitude of people, whether Christians or not, who have wondered about the love of God, eternity, and why Jesus Christ came into the world.

The story is about Mac and many Christians like him who are struggling with serious life questions and uncertainty about their faith. They have been challenged by severe suffering beyond their control. They feel that God does not care about them and perhaps has even abandoned them. Many are angry at God. Like Mac they may come to a shack where they come face to face with God. The Shack provides an explanation for their pain and anger, and a way of escape—back to God.

But deeper, more gnawing questions often lie behind the surface struggles. If God is a good God why do so many people suffer? If God is a good God why are so many people—those who are non-Christians—destined for eternal suffering? Why should people suffer everlastingly for sin and for sins committed during a short life time? If God is love, why does he judge people and send them to hell? At one time or another all have thought about such heavy questions.

It is really these difficult questions that The Shack seeks to answer. But the answer is surprising. The answer is not to explain the Bible’s teaching on these matters but to provide a new understanding of who God is—a God who is all loving and whose love limits his judgment and justice. Paul Young says that Christians have misunderstood God, indeed, the whole Trinity.

And this is where the rub comes in.

Continue reading

Unmasking the Deceit in the Gospel Fiction According to Paul Young with Attendant Ethical Concerns

The following pages summarize the beliefs of various authors who defend a form of universal reconciliation by denying the Biblical view of hell, judgment, the gospel, the role of faith in actualizing reconciliation for anyone, the nature of God, and the meaning of the local church and its mission.  In recent years fictional writers expressing these views have become widely read.[1]

Paul Young’s The Shack (both the novel and the film) has out done all other fictions to sell such universalism. His earlier writing in 2004 is simply one of the more extended defenses of universal reconciliation (UR).[2] It provides the background and foundation for what his fiction unfolds. In the following pages I use Young’s 2004 defense to illustrate how detailed and far-reaching the case for UR can be.  In refuting the arguments that Young makes I am refuting the arguments of other advocates of UR. Continue reading

8 Questions for the Fiction of Universalism

The Shack by William P. Young
The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian McLaren
Love Wins by Rob Bell

  1. What’s all the fuss about? This literature is just fiction isn’t it?Yet this fiction is decidedly theological fiction.  These writers explicitly affirm the theology of it. It seeks to advocate a particular, newer view of God, the Trinity, the meaning of sin, reconciliation, the judgment, hell and punishment, the church and other institutions (government, marriage, etc.).

Continue reading