Tuesday, 18 August 2009

What Do I Think About the Book Called 'The Shack'?

I was preaching in Germany recently and a lady at the church where I preached, who ran the bookstall asked me what I thought about the book. In German it is called 'Die Hutte' (I Think) and I gave my opinions which were not too favourable but I thought I need to read it to give an informed judgmnent.

The front of the book claims that over seven million copies are in print and the back cover has some dramatic and glowing recommendations. The evangelist J. John declares that 'this is the most heart-warming inspirational story I have ever read in decades'. Eugene Peterson the author of the controversial Bible paraphrase 'The Message' states that 'this book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his'. Wow!! Stunning recommendations.

I have to admit that so far I have not finished the book and I do not need to; at one stage I broke down in tears that so many 'professing' Christians are deceived and mislead by this blasphemous book. The book is fiction and it portrays the Triune God as three human beings where God the Father is an African-American woman, God the Son is a Middle-Eastern handy man and the Holy Spirit is an Asian woman. Need I say more! This book is not Christian and it represents a god made in the mind of the author Wm. Paul Young; merely a god made in the image of what the author would like God to be like. So, what is the problem?

1. It Breaks the First Two, of the Ten Commandments.

A. "You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3)
B. Ex 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

This leads people to an unbiblical image of a false god; this is idolatry.

2. There is no mention of Sin

It seems that all that matters with this false god is that all that counts is a relationship founded on love. Jesus displayed his love by dying for sin and taking the wrath of God in the place of sinners (Romans 5:1-9). There is no mention of sin, righteousness or judgment which Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would convince the world of (John 16:7-10).

3. This Book is a Test of our Discernment

If someone read this book and they have no problems with it I would have to say a number of possibilities exist. Either they are:

a. A new Christian
b. Not a Christian
c. A Christian that has lost all sight of biblical discernment (1 John 4:1)

Maybe this book is a good self-test of where we stand before the God of the Bible. I can confidently say that this book is blasphemy, a portrayal of a false god and in no way is the book remotely comparable to Pilgrim's Progress.

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