06 Mar The Shack Movie
Back in 2011 when Paul Young’s book, The Shack, came out, we provided some concerns about the book from a Biblical standpoint and warned about the errant theology represented in this fiction book. We also pointed out, by quoting the author in an interview he gave, that he intended when writing this book to influence Christian thinking, even though he wrote a fiction book.
If you would like the most thorough review and Biblical critique of the book, The Shack, I would recommend reading Burning Down The Shack, written by James De Young, professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.
Regarding the recently released movie based on the book, I would once again warn our people about the subtle and not so subtle theological errors and deception contained in the movie. We must be using discernment as we read or watch, and this movie has enough of the false teaching of the book to cause me to recommend that you not see it. This, of course, is entirely your decision, but if you do see the movie, please have your theological guard up and test all you see and hear by God’s Word.
The arts – books, movies, videos, music, etc., have a way of often by-passing our minds and influencing our beliefs and emotions. God’s Word calls us to test everything according to the revealed Word of God, so be discerning.
Many who are upset about critical reviews of the book or the movie, argue that “its only fiction, its not intended as a teaching tool, just fiction so relax and stop complaining about it.” However, in some interviews the author, William Paul Young, gave not long after the book became a big hit, he expressed the following comment, in other words this is the author’s own motive and purpose in writing this ‘fiction’ book:
- Q. What is the central message of the book?
- A. “Its first of all about the character of God.”
“Its FIRST of all about the CHARACTER of God”. This ‘fiction’ book is intended, by the author, to teach things about God. Therefore, the book must present a biblically accurate representation of who God is, how He acts, and what His gospel is! Sadly it does not and thus is rightly criticized and warned against.
Just one example of the theological or biblical heresy contained in the book, “Jesus tells Mack: “Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions.” Jesus adds, “I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved.” (quoted from Mohler’s critique of the book). “I have no desire to make them Christian.” WHAT??? God is all about joining Buddhists, Mormons, Muslims, in their “transformation into sons and daughters”! In Luke 13 Jesus tells those who do not believe in Him and Him alone as the way of salvation, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish”. Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” He is not joining us in our worldly or satanic versions of some religious system, but rather we must repent, turn from, abandon, and admit any way other than salvation in Jesus is wrong. We must embrace His way – His Son or else we are destined for the lake of fire, eternal punishment in hell.
This said, here is the definitive reason this book and movie should be avoided by Christ-followers, Tim Challies in his latest blog reviews Young’s newest book, entitled, “Lies We Believe About God”. In it he says, “we see Paul Young apart from the subjectivity of narrative. And as he proclaims what he denies and affirms, he outs himself as beyond the bounds of Christian orthodoxy. This book is a credo for false teaching, for full-out heresy.” You can read Challies review of this book HERE.
Here are a few critiques and assessments of The Shack movie that I think can be trusted. The first is by Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, the next three are by Toronto pastor and blogger, Tim Challies, and the final one is a little “softer” review by John Piper’s ministry staff.
Mohler, The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment – click HERE
Challies on why I won’t be watching The Shack movie – click HERE.
Challies on why the ‘papa’ of The Shack is not ‘Aslan’ of the Narnia series – click HERE.
Challies review of Young’s book, The Shack – click HERE.
Piper’s ministry on The Shack movie – click HERE.