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Calvinism in The Shack? :)

Discussion in 'Books & Publications Forum' started by Humble Disciple, Jul 16, 2021.

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  1. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    This quote from Wm. Paul Young's The Shack is often interpreted as promoting universalism, but I find it can be used as an illustration of God's irresistible grace:

    If you are among God's elect, then He will travel any road, among any nation and tribe, to call you unto Himself. Rather than forcing you, kicking and screaming, into heaven, God's irresistible grace transforms your will and desires, so that you joyfully march on as a child of the Lord.

    Revelation 5:9
    And they sang a new song, saying,
    “Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

    The Shack's story of an Indian princess who gives up her life to save her people can also be interpreted as supporting the doctrine of limited atonement.
    Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:68, John 10:11, John 15:13

    When reading a work of fiction, it can be interpreted in various ways, regardless of the author's own beliefs.

    A lot of the backlash that The Shack received may have been due to sexism and racism. If God can appear as a dove, an angel, a burning bush, pillars of cloud and fire, etc., then He can appear as a black woman if He so chooses. Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6
     
    #1 Humble Disciple, Jul 16, 2021
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  2. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    This section of the Shack wonderfully illustrates the Reformed doctrine of salvation by faith alone through grace alone:

    “But as I’m sure you know there are many,” responded Mack, “who think they are made righteous by following the rules.”
    “But can you clean your face with the same mirror that shows you how dirty you are? There is no mercy or grace in rules, not even for one mistake. That’s why Jesus fulfilled all of it for you—so that it no longer has jurisdiction over you. And the Law that once contained impossible demands—Thou Shall Not . . .—actually becomes a promise we fulfill in you.”

    http://benzieacademy.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/49675093/The%20Shack%20Novel.pdf

    According to Martin Luther and John Calvin, the true purpose of the law is to serve as a mirror of our own sinfulness, so that we will be convicted of our need for a savior. Anything we do out of obedience to the law is in gratitude for, rather than a condition of, our salvation.
     
  3. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    This is from the 1689 London Baptist Confession, which was adapted from the Westminster Confession:


    God can save whoever He pleases, even those who never hear the Gospel, "who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."
     
  4. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    This line from the film adaptation of The Shack answers the question of what’s the purpose of prayer if God foreknows everything that comes to pass anyway:



    This line from the movie agrees with Calvinism that everything which comes to pass, good and evil, is for God’s ultimate glory, whether we understand it or not:


     
    #4 Humble Disciple, Jul 16, 2021
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  5. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    That whole book is garbage.
     
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  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Sorry to say I read it and it is!... The author of the Message Bible which I wouldn't give you a plug nickle for, on the front cover says... The Shack will do for this generation what Pilgrim's Progress did for John Bunyan's generation... I disagree Pilgrim's Progress is a classic and is by the same man that wrote, Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners, another classic and true... If you haven't read them read them... There is a difference between class and trash... Here is a link to Grace Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners... Brother Glen:)

    https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/bunyan/Grace Abounding to the Chief of - John Bunyan.pdf
     
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  7. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    The Shack is a work of fiction, and as such lends itself to various interpretations. If you didn't get any benefit out of it, that's okay. It's helped me accept God's providence in the midst of life's tragedies.
     
  8. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Well I am glad to hear it helped you thru difficult times but have you read the other two I mentioned?... Brother Glen:)
     
    #8 tyndale1946, Jul 16, 2021
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  9. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    No, I have not.
     
  10. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    You need to Pilgrim's Progress is a classic and well worth the read... Grace Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners may surprise you... Bunyan fought his demons too... I left you the link... If you get around to it!... Brother Glen:)
     
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  11. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Pilgrim's Progress is a Christian allegory... Brother Glen:)
     
  12. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    Isn't the Shack one too? I had the graphic novel of the Pilgrim's Progress as a kid. It was pretty cool.
     
  13. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Good grief! And you supposed to be a Calvinist?
     
  14. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    No. It's a sacrilegious piece of garbage.
     
  15. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In a sense universalism is sort of kin to irresistible grace. Jesus died for everybody and everybody will be saved, whether they want to be or not.
     
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