Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Shack is Shaky

This article about The Shack by Tim Keller brings up some really important points about this highly influential book.

Hearing that so many are helped by this narrative but recognizing the shaky view of God, my question is still, 'Should I recommend this book?'

Click here to go the Gospel Coalition website.


Gravesland said...


So we as "believers" can argue all day long our pros and cons of the The Shack.

It is the "unbeliever", or "new believer", that doesn't have the awareness of familiarity of God and His Son, that would get lost in our debates.

Mr Ennis (who I am sure is a fine upstanding person, human being, friend, colleague...insert- another-word-here) , posted on your Facebook re: the small discussion on your wall"

"Since Young is attempting to communicate the nature of the Christian God, it would be nice if it was accurate to what is found in scripture. Brown is also mistaken about Young not committing heresy regarding the Trinity in the book. The metaphors and imagery in the book, but Driscoll points out the more serious doctrinal issues starting at 4:20."

To that I say "Huh?" Who talks like that? Surely not someone that has absolutely no idea who God is, or has been turned off by the brow beating of people saying "Turn or Burn". Even I, a Moonie from way back had to read it a few times to even understand the thought.

What a great tool The Shack can be to show those that don't know Him, how much He loves them. Obedience in ALL that we do, comes after the acceptance of what He did.

And, what a great picture to those that think of God as a Big Brother figure that doesn't care about us.

AND! What a great picture to us, that have walked and tried and failed and walked and tried and succeeded and walked and tried and tripped, that God still cares about us.

He cares so much that he even asks us sometimes..."What do you want to do?"

Pastor Jim said...

My question is this: Is it really a great tool if it misleads people in the foundational truths about God?

I have heard from many, including my mom and a dear professor from seminary, that it's a helpful book. Especially for those who have been hurt and/or abused.

So I'm tender toward those that hurt but really struggle with its weaknesses.

Does the book really teach people that God loves them if it does so by making God the Father into god the mother?

David said...

Mr. Ennis here,

First let me clarify a sentence that I left a few words out of:

"I don't have a problem with the metaphors and imagery in the book, but Driscoll points out the more serious doctrinal issues starting at 4:20."

Second, isn't it the goal of the book to make people aware of God and His Son (and the Spirit)? Isn't the point of the book to correct misguided views of God and His nature and have the reader walk away with a new view of God's love?

If that is true, and it is also true that large portions of the ideas in the book are outside of the boundaries of Christian doctrine, then it seems we can't just give the book a pass because it's a novel.

It is a best-selling novel misrepresenting the Christian God.

Jim's point about "foundational truth" is the key. The ideas aren't "in-house" debates between denominations, but are "outside the pale of orthodoxy."

If we are going to give it a pass and say people don't care about doctrine, then we might as well give people the book of Mormon if it helps them realize God's love for them.