What are the arguments that the book The Shack is not doctrinally sound?
One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 60 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Sign of Apostasy" (watch).
Apostasy in The Shack
We also have to look at the weakened view of the Bible and the effects that has on the Bible-reading habits of some people.
I know I'm about to step on some toes probably, and if I am about to step on some toes, I apologize in advance. But, I must speak the truth of the Lord here. Can I do that?
The fact is, The Shack is full of problems. Sure it's a book that is so incredibly popular and it's inspirational when you read it, but it is wrong. We've got bookstores lining up to sell this book. I don't blame them as I know it's making them a lot of money, but just look at some of the problems.
The book by the way was endorsed by Eugene Peterson who put together The Message Bible. He said that The Shack has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress did for his. I don't think so! I don't think so.
The book communicates that traditional Christian teaching and Sunday prayers and hymns and a traditional approach to Christianity are all wrong. His concept of the Trinity concerning the Father is a large beaming African American woman. Jesus is a Middle Easterner dressed like a laborer, complete with a tool belt and gloves. The Holy Spirit is named Sarayu and is a small, distinctively Asian woman. That's Tritheism, that's not Trinitarianism. This is putting the Trinity into three people, and that's heresy.
William Young, The Shack's author, argues that we should forget our preconceived notions about God. Forget your seminary training! God appears to us in whatever form we personally need.
Christianity, he says, has to be revised in order to be understood. How dare any human being say that Christianity which is based upon revelation from God Almighty say that Christianity must be revised! I hesitate to think about William Young at the judgment when God says, "What's this about a revision?"
Personal experience is supreme in The Shack. It communicates that personal experience trumps revelation. If you've got problems, you don't go to the Bible, you go instead to your experience. Experience is used to interpret the Bible instead of the Bible being used to interpret Scripture.
As for sin, Papa or the Father, says this, "I am not who you think I am. I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment devouring you from the inside. It is not my purpose to punish it; it is my joy to cure it." I agree that God's curing, but God does punish sin. In fact, unbelievers will be punished for all eternity in a politically incorrect place that we call Hell.
There is also a false view of Christ's incarnation. Instead of Jesus coming in the flesh, we've got the entire Trinity coming. "When we three spoke ourselves into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed even though we have always been present in this universe. We now became flesh and blood."
The Shack's heresy in terms of salvation teaches that Christ is just the best way to relate to the Father, not the only way.
The fact is that Christian bookstores should not be selling The Shack. That they do leads me to believe that there are landmines in Christian bookstores today, and innocent people walk in there thinking they are safe, but they step on a landmine and their whole faith blows up. It's dangerous! That's why we need spiritual discernment.
In the fifth and last segment of Dr. Ron Rhodes teaching on apostasy as an end times sign, he will explain what the current apostasy looks like from merging false religions into Christianity.