Monday, December 15, 2008

Thirteen Heresies in the Shack

There is a book on the market called "The Shack" which masquerades as some sort of "Christian" message about the Trinity. It is infiltrating so many churches and seducing so many undiscerning church goers that it needs to be exposed for the disgrace that it is. Eugene Petersen had this to say “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s that good!” It should scare any Christian that Eugene Petersen is somehow allowed to teach in any Bible college let alone command respect as a commentator on anything Christian. I'm still scratching my head as to how his pathetic "The Message" gets passed off as a Bible translation. But Petersen isn't the only one buying into the multitude of heresies propogated by William Young's bogus work of fiction. Michael W Smith is another of several high profile people to endorse "The Shack".

To be clear from the outset, the god of "The Shack" is not the God of Scripture and is an imposter of the worst kind. Preacher and Scholar Dr Michael Youssef preached a sermon recently which exposed 13 major heresies taught within the pages of "The Shack".

Here they are listed below:

1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus (p96).

Because God's eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice (p102).

The Bible declares that God's love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless (p225).

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil (122).

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins (p120).

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity (p122).

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn't mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, "I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father." Jesus also said, "I will send you the Holy Spirit" (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices (p145).

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, "Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life." We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love (p164).

The Bible teaches that when God's love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell (p248).

Jesus' own description of hell is vivid ... it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn't matter which way you get to Him (p182).

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me" (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us (p182).

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, "In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven (p122,192).

Jesus said, "Only those who believe in me will have eternal life" (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper (p65,66,134,198).

The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God's words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read "We Preach Christ" (2 Timothy 3:16).

Here is some audio of Michael Youssef's sermon courtesy of Way of the Master Radio (commentary: Todd Friel)

Mark Driscoll wasn't backward in coming forward either

Just stay away from this book, arm yourself with a few facts about the heresies contained within, and warn others about it.


Mr. Howells said...

My question for you is... Have you read it? Instead of jumping on Youseff's bandwagon of anti-Shack, read it for yourself. I'm not saying it should be taken as theology, it's fiction. But the William Young seems to be writing against certain ideas that he has wrestled with and there are many truths in the Shack. I feel Young paints an absorbable picture of Christ that may just fly in the face of "Tradition" but that's just it... it's "Tradition". A discerning believer can read the Shack without taking it on as doctrine, compare to Scripture and come out with a richer view of God and our relationship with him.

Unknown said...

@ Mr. Howells - maybe the question should be when you read the book were you disturbed by the things that are distortions, inaccuracies, or just plain wrong? When is a little bit of heresy too much? If we had that attitude in the early church we wouldn't have cannon as we have it today?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the previous post that "A discerning believer can read the Shack without taking it on as doctrine" I fear for the reader that does not have a Biblical grounding. Reading this book from that perspective will leave him / her with a very low view of the gospel and a false hope of salvation. Is it worth the risk? I think not.

Richard Edge said...

Well said Mr. Howells. I also enjoyed a piece of fiction, but it also enriched my view of my Lord and Savoiur. I think you stated thing perfectly in your statement "A discerning believer can read the Shack without taking it on as doctrine, compare to Scripture and come out with a richer view of God and our relationship with him." That is the whole point.

Anonymous said...

I have read The Shack and honestly It has greatly increased my life with my Papa as the center of it. I have also read your point of view and had to really look to find what hersies you speak of. What I gleaned from this book is that God loves us and wishes to use our circumstances for His Good. I hope that the readers of this and many other sites that are "against" The Shack realize that William P young is also a child of our Lord and is Greatly loved by Him. We are to love him.

Anonymous said...

I've read The Shack, and it's a touching story. But it is not true, it's lies. The God of the Bible isn't in there. I at least couldn't find HIM.

So you can read it, but beware, it's not biblical and without God.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for Wiliam Young and Rev. Eugene Patterson! You should not be so jealous of fellow Christians!
Born Again Christian

Anonymous said...

I read "Pilgrim's Progress" at least once a year, how on earth can Eugene Peterson get away with comparing something so un-biblical as "The Shack" to "Pilgrim's Progress," which is one of the best books and the greatest allegory ever written to show what it means to follow Jesus. John Bunyan would "roll over in his grave" if he knew that "The Shack" had been put on the same level as "Pilgrim's Progress;" especially since he it wrote while it in prison (being separated from his wife and four children, one of which was a daughter who was blind) for preaching without permission from the established church in England. All he had to do was to agree never to preach and he would be free, but he refused. The call of God was upon him and he would never deny that call.

I think the heresies in "The Shack" remind me of all the characters, who believed and practiced a false gospel, Christian met on his journey to the Celestial City. Like By-Ends, Ignorant, and more. Especially the ones who were in the City of Destruction and told him he did not need to leave to be saved such as, Worldly-wiseman.

We need to listen to teachers and preachers like Evangelist, the Shepherds, Faithful, and Hopeful and all the others in "Pilgrim's Progress" who helped, befriended, or guided Christian. They believed in the Truth.

Anonymous said...

I have recently learned that Hollywood is making a movie is turning this despicable book into a movie.

Ron Livesay said...

Here we are near the end of 2012, and "The Shack" continues to influence people to believe in a man-made God instead of the God of the Bible. The continued five-star reviews, and the fact that the one-star reviews are mostly based on the literary quality of the book rather than its heretical teachings, are a sad commentary on the state of unbelief in our culture.

Thanks for your review. I wrote a review nearly four years ago. It is found at