UPDATE: The best-selling book The Shack is now a Hollywood movie. Read our article!
Many people are being moved by emotional stories and seduced into accepting another Jesus rather than the Jesus of the Bible. Sadly, even Christians are being deceived into this false message about God and embracing an all-inclusive counterfeit Christianity that draws in fans but distorts the Bible. How does the Bible compare to the theology taught by William P. Young’s characters in The Shack? Learn the truth in a one hour audio message presented by Pastor Joe Schimmel. Get a copy today!
Because The Shack continues to be a best seller, and evangelicals and otherwise conservative churches are so taken in by this novel, we felt it was necessary to call attention to this subject again. Evangelicals have embraced the book and pastors have bought the book by the cases for their church members, even centering bible studies around it. Why would a book that contains 13 separate heresies about God be so popular with those who ought to know Scripture? It has caught on like wildfire because Christians today let their feelings determine truth rather than let truth dictate their feelings. Following are the 13 false representations of God found in The Shack.
Thirteen Heresies in The Shack
by Dr. Michael Youssef
1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.
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.
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.
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.
Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).
5. God will never judge people for their sins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:40).
13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.
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.
As if these 13 heresies weren’t enough, the author of The Shack, in an interview with Pastor Kendall Adams on KAYP Radio, also denied the penal substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross for our sins! (Source, go to 16:00 minute mark) As David Westerfield correctly points out in his response to Young’s unbiblical position:
“If Christ did not substitute Himself for sinners, taking the Father’s just wrath upon Himself on our behalf, in our place, then what in the world is the good news of the Gospel? That God merely loved us enough to die on the cross, non-violence triumphing over violence, without any regard to God’s own Name, glory and honor being smeared by sin, justice due to that sin, and Christ Himself satisfying divine wrath? That is the (theological) liberal’s gospel, not the evangelical Gospel. Or did Christ rather come to effectually accomplish something, namely the assuaging of God’s wrath in our place, i.e. propitiation?” (Source)