The Shack Author is Christian Universalist

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Marcia, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I am not putting this in the book thread because that is a fellowship thread and this would be seen as stirring things up. I posted a link there several weeks ago to my article on The Shack but couldn't really discuss it. (The thread is gone now).

    Here is an article by James B. De Young, someone who has known William P. Young, the author of The Shack, for over 12 years, and he says that Young became a Universalist about 4 yrs. ago. Young does believe you need Christ to get into heaven but he believes eventually everyone will be reconciled and believe. The author calls this Chrisitan Universalism. (Don't get De Young and Young mixed up! The names are so close).

    http://theshackreview.com/content/TheShackShorterReview.pdf

    This can be seen in a subtle way in the book, which was something that bothered me (among other things).

    De Young says that more universalism was originally in the book but that the editors took it out. The book was rejected by quite a few publishers at first (perhaps because of this?).

    I have not finished reading the article yet but it's good so far.
     
  2. Marcia

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  3. mcdirector

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    This is a book I decided not to read after reading/listening to the various reviews. I am surprised it's as popular as it is among groups that I would consider fundamental (or at least conservative). Of course, there are as many good reviews as bad ones.

    Based on what I'd read about the book, I'm not surprised about the universalism.
     
  4. Marcia

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    After so many wrote on the BB Books thread that they read this and liked it, I was hoping they would come to this forum and at least learn this about the author.

    I'm surprised no one has criticized me for putting this up, but maybe it's too soon. There are some really strong defenders of this book.

    Betsy, you made a good decision not to read this book. You don't want the images of God he has in the book in your head. It's not just the universalism, but the flawed view of God's nature and of the Trinity that are disturbing.
     
  5. Born_in_Crewe

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    I know a few who have read this book, they have generally seemed positive or neutral. What are the main problems with the view of God in the book? I have not read it and therefore have no particular opinion.
     
  6. annsni

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    Here's a review that I think is good by a man I respect:

    http://www.challies.com/archives/book-reviews/a-review-of-the-shack-download-it-here.php

    It's a PDF.

    Here's Mark Driscoll's view on The Shack and the Trinity:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK65Jfny70Y
     
  7. Matt Black

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    Is he a Calvinist Universalist? Whilst I disagree with that soteriology, I can kind of understand how those who hold to TULIP Calvinism and struggle to reconcile that with a loving merciful God can end up going Universalist. Not saying I agree with then logic, but I can understand it.
     
  8. annsni

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    I've never heard of a Calvinist universalist. Is there such a thing? I don't think that fits with the Calvinist viewpoint.
     
  9. Matt Black

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    I know quite a few. They're Christians who want to believe in an omnipotent, but all-loving God. As I said, I can see the attraction, even if I believe they're mistaken. There seem to be three main types of Reformed Christians:

    1. Predestinarian with Particular Atonement: ie: God can save everyone but wills that some are saved (with the implication that He wills some to be damned)

    2. Universalist: ie: God can save everyone and indeed wills that all are saved. Tends to be held by those at the liberal end of the Reformed spectrum

    3. Agnostic (as to who is saved): ie: God is omnipotent, but God is also love; the soteriology flowing from this is a bit of a mystery. Generally held by Reformed in academia
     
    #9 Matt Black, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2009
  10. donnA

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    Someone at church gave me this book, they were undecided about it but over all liked it. I read about 3/4 of it, it's still sitting by the bed, probably won't be completed, unless I find time. I did not like it, but didn't know why. I can't buy God is a big fat black woman for one, God the mother? Jesus called God Father, He is called HE in the bible. This is a distorted view of God, it opens the door to view or call God by assorted nonbiblical names or representations. You can not change God to suit flawed human understanding.
     
    #10 donnA, Mar 2, 2009
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  11. Marcia

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    Please read my article - the link is here
    http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_TheShack.html

    Here are the main problems as I list at the end of my article:
    Portrays God the Father and the Holy Spirit in human form

    Portrays God the Father and the Holy Spirit as female

    States that God the Father and the Holy Spirit incarnated as flesh and blood

    States that God and the Holy Spirit became God the Son

    A demeaning of God's majesty

    Undermines sin and the price Christ paid on the cross

    Undermines God's righteous wrath and justice

    Undermines the Bible, the authority and written word of God

    The book's Jesus character rejects the label "Christian" for those he will "join in their transformation"

    Sophia presented as a real person with divine powers

    Statements reflecting problematic views of Paul Tillich

    Implications of inclusivism_________End excerpt from Marcia's article

    Of course, now I see the inclusivism is really his universalism.

    It also explains some of the other problems, such as a lack of God's judgment & wrath on sin.
     
  12. Marcia

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    I don't know. I am still reading the article by De Young but so far he does not say that Young is a calvinist universalist. Someone PM'd me and said this view of Young's is also called Universal Reconciliation.
     
  13. Marcia

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  14. Matt Black

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    Folks, we have to remember that it is just an allegory, not sound theology. I remember similar problems the best part of 20 years ago with Frank Peretti's books; many Christians found them inspiring but problems arose when some started treating them as the source of part at least of their theology.
     
  15. Marcia

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    But Matt, the story is about God! The purpose of the story is not just to tell a good story but to communicate beliefs about God and other things to do with God. Therefore, what he says about God counts very much.

    Here is what I wrote at the beginning of my article:
     
  16. Marcia

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    Here's another good review of The Shack by an Australian named Paul Grimmond:

    http://matthiasmedia.com.au/briefing/library/5395/
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    I agree with you, Marcia. I was going to read the book because I had heard it was so wonderful but after hearing how God was portrayed in it, I decided not to waste the time or the money. I do not want false, anti-Biblical thoughts in my head about God. He is not a woman.
     
  18. Marcia

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    Good decision! :thumbs: I am still working on getting those images out of my head.
     
  19. donnA

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    I agree with you also Marcia, and it does matter, it matters a lot.
     
  20. billwald

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    What good is gender to a spirit?
     

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