Paul Young’s novel ‘The Shack’ continues to sell to Christians and non-Christians.
Honestly, I can’t bring myself to put money in anyone’s pocket by purchasing a copy, or invest the time in reading it.
The challenge for the reader is that the book clearly aims to provide an insight into the nature and character of God.
When deficiencies or error in that portrayal are pointed out, the general defence seems to be: it’s only a work of fiction.
I actually believe that Young absolutely believes everything involved about his portrayal of God in the book. He wrote it for his children. Why would he lie to them about his understanding of God?
Rising universalism (everyone is saved, some folk just don’t accept it) among people professing to be evangelicals will be a major issue in the 21st century.
The Shack marks an initial popular expression of that doctrine.

Anyway, this post is prompted by two recent articles on the book by Tim Keller and Albert Mohler.
Keller offers us ‘The Shack – Impressions‘ at Redeemer City To City. (This article is not a full review.)
Mohler provides ‘The Shack — The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment‘ at his self-named blog.

4 thoughts on “Keller and Mohler Visit The Shack

  1. Scott says:

    I haven’t read “The Shack” nor do I intend too. I do recommend Mohler’s article about it, because he hits on a very serious issue in modern churches; and that is the lack of discernment with many Evangelicals who gravitate to a book like “The Shack”. Loving the message of “The Shack” then dismissing theological conflicts as being just a work of fiction is an interesting point. On technical terms, those same people can easily dismiss most translations of the Bible as fiction based merely on the publisher’s claims. Most translations of the Bible have a copyright, yet under the law, confirmed by numerous court cases, you cannot copyright Facts, True Stories or Public Information. You can only copyright Fiction, Opinions, and Presentation.

    There is a stark difference between what Publishers claim about their translation and what Churches will often claim about that same translation. Publishers admit to using pre-existing theological opinions, non-bible historical accounts and even artistic license as part of their translation. If Christians took the time to actually read the principles of Bible translation used by modern translators they would dismiss their Bible as a work of fiction anytime it said something inconvenient as well.

    1. gjware says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
      Thankfully the most significant truths of the Bible are generally testified in numbers of places, so that a bad translation would have to be conciously seeking to obscure something in order to cover all the circumstances in which it appears.
      Translations that bad will not stand any test of time or scrutiny.

  2. Scott says:

    Thanks for your response. I completely agree with your first point.
    the most significant truths of the Bible are generally testified in numbers of places

    I’m going to partially disagree with your last point.
    Translations that bad will not stand any test of time or scrutiny.

    Consider the New World Translation used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It has been in publication since 1961, which makes it 10 years older than the NASB and 17 years older than the NIV. I think we would agree the NWT translation does not stand to scrutiny, however it has stood the test of time. If enough ministry leaders stand shoulder to shoulder, insist up and down to undiscerning memberships that it is the best translation available, use it constantly, it can stand the test of time…regardless of any scrutiny. No one should be so presumptuousness to think they are above getting trapped in an similar theological and doctrinal circumstance. This is why I mention Mohler’s comment about critical discernment.

    Aside from your “test of time” point, I completely agree with your response.

    1. gjware says:

      Yeah, the NWT was floating around the back of my mind when I wrote that reply.
      Thanks for returning again to Mohler’s use of critical discernment.
      Did you see the recent video post of Mohler conducting a tour of his personal study?

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