Most of my readers will be aware that I am a big fan of the book, ‘The Shack‘, by Wm. Paul Young. I strongly recommend that people read this book, because it is simply incredible.
Via a great and moving storyline (it is written as a story), the book proposes total freedom, a carefree relationship with God, and also a closeness with God that some believers do not seem to have. It is essentially an extended parable. But rather than learn from this, some believers actually would rather try to discredit the book (and the movie that has been made of the book), most of them without even reading it themselves and instead relying on hearsay to ‘know’ what the book is about.
The Shack has life-changing concepts in it. You can look at my previous articles on it by clicking the category ‘The Shack’ at the top of this piece. The book is, of course, not Scripture, but, in the same way as the Scriptures were written, that is, by ordinary people writing about their interactions with God and their ideas about God, so too The Shack is such a book. As are all of the millions of books that Christians all over the world read. Theology is not confined to the Bible, it is also contained in the billions of pages of wisdom (or otherwise!) written in these countless books from people like Billy Graham, Joseph Prince, Derek Flood, Rob Bell, to name but a very few.
As I said above, many people ‘don’t like’ ‘The Shack‘, even though they’ve never read it. They say it contains ‘heretical’ ideas. While ‘heresy’ just means ideas that are formed from thinking outside the ‘box’, still many people in the Church shy away from it as something ‘dangerous’.*
So, after all that introduction, let me tell you that I read a great article the other day, an article that presents some of the claimed ‘heresy’ of The Shack, and discusses those claims in a level, balanced and rational way. This is one of the best articles I have ever read on this debate; indeed, it is one of the best-written articles I have ever read. It is a real joy to read.
Click the picture below to go to the article.
*If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31) What possible danger does God not protect his children from? These people know little of the awesome power of God!
I think that some leaders don’t want their people reading this book because it will cause them to lose ‘control’ of their flock. Some of these guys see themselves as the backstop, the guardians, ‘shepherds’, if you like, of their ‘flock’. I know they feel they are ‘protecting’ their ‘flock’. And that’s fine up to the point where they replace Jesus as the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11). Jesus is perfectly capable of building His Church. In fact, I would not have thought like this in the past, but I now consider that if someone says that people should not read a certain author, a certain book, or go and hear a particular speaker, then a) that’s a sure sign of control; get out of there as soon as you can; and b) Go and listen to that speaker, read his/her books and especially that book that they don’t want you to read!
At the time of writing, the Kindle eBook edition of The Shack is only 99p (in British money!) on Amazon UK, and $1.27 on Amazon.com. The links are here: Amazon UK and here: Amazon.com if you’re interested.