Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Shack

This post is intended primarily for the folks in my church as a part of my responsibility to them as their Pastor/Teacher and as an Elder to “guard the flock of God” (Acts 20:28). If others pop in, I hope that you will be warned also.

From time to time a book comes into the public consciousness that is something of a literary sensation while at the same time presenting very dangerous ideas. Of course, there are a veritable plethora of dangerous books out there but not all of them gain as much notoriety and acclaim as others. In the past I have dealt with two of these literary phenomena, The Da Vinci Code and The Secret, publicly at our church. Now we must add another—The Shack. Frankly, I am amazed that supposedly solid Christians are being swept into the whirlpool of interest in this book. Even a cursory reading shows the blatant heresy put forth. Here is an introductory synopsis:

“As the story begins, Mack, who has been living in the shadow of his Great Sadness, receives a note from God (known in this story as Papa). Papa invites Mack to return to this shack for a time together. Though uncertain of what to expect, Mack visits the scene of the crime and there experiences a weekend-long encounter with God, or, more properly, with the Godhead.
Each of the members of the Trinity is present and each appears in bodily form. Papa, whose actual name is Elousia (which is Greek for tenderness) appears in the form of a large, matronly African-American woman (though near the book’s end, because Mack requires a father figure, she turns into a pony-tailed, grey-haired man). Jesus is a young to middle-aged man of Middle-Eastern descent while the Holy Spirit is played by Sarayu (Sanskrit for air or wind), a small, delicate and eclectic woman of Asian descent. Mack also meets for a time with Sophia, who, like Lady Wisdom in Proverbs, is the personification of God’s wisdom.”
(from a review by Tim Challies)

Most right-thinking Christians would hear the idea of God the Father being portrayed by an African-American woman and God the Holy Spirit by an Asian woman and would laugh, at best. How absurd. How heretical. Be forewarned. This is a book that plays with the reader’s emotions and causes the less discerning to be pulled away from sound doctrine.

For you ladies, my friend Nancy Leigh DeMoss is the first who alerted me to this book and warned of its growing popularity. She has devoted at least one of her radio programs to the book.

For those who would like to consider a sound, thoughtful review of the book, I would suggest Tim Challies’ work .

Folks, please be careful what you let influence your thinking. Paul warned Timothy of these types of issues when he said: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)