Why “The Shack” is a dangerous book

In Uncategorized by Martin3 Comments

Would you read a book by an author who says the following?

“Jesus is a million times more vicious and vindictive than Pharaoh, Nero or Hitler put together”; that Jesus Christ is “not the Savior from sins”; that Jesus died “a failure and in vain and never saved anyone”; thus Jesus “is not even a good man but a liar, a rogue and a deceiving rascal”; that “Calvary is a farce, a travesty and a sham.”

Probably not right! The author of “The Shack” supposedly made those remarks and espoused them in a 2004 document, where he also rejected his evangelical faith and embraced universalism as well. That is the allegations of a former colleague and friend James B. De Young.

The take away from reading the various articles written on the bad theological message of the book is that so many Christians fail to read their Bible or understand what it is about. Without that study, they can easily fall for any heresy, or cult that passes their way. They don’t know how to discern bad theology from correct theology. Take my earlier post on cults such as the Jehovah’s Witness, William Branham (all the Churches that fall under his spell), etc. People have a hunger for the word, and when you’re hungry you will eat anything. In the Cults case it’s a message that is false, given by false teachers.

Eric Barger (Eric Barger Link) wrote about The Shack and had this to say;

Several chapters into the book, a most unorthodox version of the Holy Trinity is revealed. Young’s tale diminishes Almighty God from His rightful position as a supernatural being. Instead of speaking by His Word and His Spirit, He is morphed into a feminine figure, reduced to passing notes to those with whom she wants to communicate.

From my first glance at The Shack, it struck me that the idea of God in human form, even in the pages of a novel, is more than just theologically questionable. It is forbidden by several passages from both the Old and New Testaments, not the least of which is the Second Commandment (Exodus 20: 4-5). The Apostle Paul proclaims, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…” (Romans 1:21-23a)

Young’s “Papa” character insists that sin is its own punishment. This distorts the reality of Hell and discounts eternal retribution for sin.

– Readers of The Shack are told that Jesus is only the best way to know God – not the only way.

The Shack teaches that, when Jesus went to the cross, God Almighty died there, too. This is a heresy known as patripassianism. (In our private conversation I challenged Young about this, but to no avail.)

The Shack states that there is no structure or hierarchy within the Trinity and that the three personages of God are all equally subject to one another and to humans as well. I challenge fans of The Shack to open a Bible and try to make that square with the Scripture

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr (Dr Albert Link) wrote about the book and his conclusion was;

All this reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment. It is hard not to conclude that theological discernment is now a lost art among American evangelicals — and this loss can only lead to theological catastrophe.

 The Shack is a wake-up call for evangelical Christianity. An assessment like that offered by Timothy Beal is telling. The popularity of this book among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us — a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge. Discernment cannot survive without doctrine.

Finally an Article recently in Charismanews (Charismanews Link ), which goes to the heart of the books main heresy, that of Universalism – that there are many paths to salvation not just one. It concludes with the following;

“So here we media people are faced with one of the greatest challenges in our nation’s history. Will God grant once again to us a revival and a new reformation of biblical truth to withstand the onslaught of the inclusivism and universalism of our day, represented by The Shack, or will we be overwhelmed by false teaching? Will we influence the church to become a “complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so we may no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness with deceitful scheming, but, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself” (Eph. 4:13-15)?

May it be said of us, in the apostle Paul’s words to other Christians struggling to discern the truth and live godly lives: “But you did not learn about Christ in this manner, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:20-21). Christian media need to be at the forefront of leading a new awakening.”


I urge readers to not blindly follow the lost into false teaching, You have the power to discern for yourself what the Bible teaches, don’t be confused and be as the Bereans who Paul sates;

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11


Sources links.