The Shack, a short article

There is a famine in the land, and Christian discernment is dying.  The book “The Shack" is a feel-good fictional story about a man named Mack whose daughter is murdered.  Mack subsequently has an encounter with God in a shack in the woods, and through this meeting, he's healed emotionally and spiritually.  Sound good?  Of course it does.  The only problem is the many false doctrines laced throughout the book. 

Instead of describing God as the Majestic Supreme Being that He is, The Shack dumbs Him down and reshapes Him into a feel-good figure.  God the Father who, according to the Bible, cannot be seen (John 6:46; 1 Tim. 6:16), appears in the form of an African-American woman named "papa" (p. 86--talk about gender confusion) who has scars on his wrist (p. 95).  Wrong!  The Father was not crucified.  Jesus is presented as a Middle Easterner wearing a plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves (p. 84).  The Holy Spirit appears as an Asian woman (p. 85).  The Shack’s author, Mr. Young, justifies these false representations under the rubric of literary license and says it is only fiction.  Okay, but does that mean it is alright to refer to God in a way that is in direct contradiction to Scripture?  No, it does not.  God has chosen to reveal Himself without gender confusion in the man Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5), but The Shack doesn’t stop with flamboyant reconstructions of God.

Within its pages, you will find other false doctrines.  On page 124 you’ll see a denial of the hierarchy within the Trinity.  Remember, the Father sent the Son, not the other way around.  On page 136 Young presents the humanist philosophy that good and evil “do not have any actual existence.”  Contrast this with Luke 18:18 and John 17:15 which speak to the contrary.  On pages, 145-146 God wants to be submitted to Mack so he can “join us in our circle of relationship.”  Sorry, but man is to be submitted to God, not the other way around.  Page 206 tells us that God has never placed an expectation on anyone.  Biblically, this is not so. In 1 Peter 1:16, for example, God expects us to be holy. On page 225 the heresy of universalism is taught when we find the African American woman who is God the Father say, "In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship."  This contradicts verses such as Matt. 25:46 and Mark 3:29 which clearly teach us that all are not forgiven.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  Real biblical Christians are supposed to follow the voice of Christ (the Bible), not the ear-tickling melodies of teachers who use feel-good stories and emotionally laden half-truths to lessen God’s majesty, present humanist philosophy, and teach universalism. 

Is The Shack a good book?  No, it isn’t.  Be warned.


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.