Friday, June 20, 2008

The Shack

Mohler, Driscoll and other evangelicals pick The Shack apart plank by plank.

"No, God can't be a presented as a woman. No, the three parts of the Trinity did not all become fully human. Yes, there is a hierarchy in the Holy Trinity with God the Father in command. Yes, God will punish sin."

As I think more about these objections the more I realize how wrong they are. God gave an example of Himself as a mother a few times. I think it's like Steve McVey said. People simply want to tear anything apart that proclaims the Gospel in all it's truth. That is, the Grace of God with no fine print. I could be wrong, but it's my opinion as to the continuous objections to the Shack. Of course, in the book, there are what seems to me to be hints at universalism which I didn't care for. But other than that I didn't see anything wrong with it. It's fiction.

The first objection that says God cannot be presented as a woman. But I say that you had better tell Him that. Because He has likened Himself to a mother and the tender love a mother has for her child. We all know God isn't a woman. The book never says He is. Will Young, in my understanding is simply trying to make the point that God is not man or woman. He is God.

The second objection is that all of the Trinity did not become fully human. Were there 3 Jesus'? Of course not but again, I believe Will is saying pretty much what Colossians 1:19 says. "In Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the Blood of His cross."

Jesus said Himself that His Father was in Him and He was in the Father. And of course we know the Holy Spirit was and is with Him. So was not God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit dwelling in one body? Yes, they were.

So, is there hierarchy in the Trinity? I think I agree that it's not about who rules over who in the Godhead. They're all one and they all seek to glorify one another. It's not about who is in charge. Jesus said Himself that whoever would be greatest among you must be your servant. They love each other. It isn't about hierarchy. To say it is is to completely miss the heart of God.

And will God punish sin? Absolutely. And He already has in His own Son. And the only reason people go to hell is unbelief in what He did. Jesus told the people who wanted to kill Him, "Do not think I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses (The Law), on whom you have set your hope.

Again, Jesus said Himself: "All sins and blasphemies will be forgiven the children of man. But the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." Children of man sounds like all men to me. But unbelief will not be forgiven. The rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ will not be forgiven. Their blood is on their own head because Jesus didn't condemn them. He didn't come to condemn the world but to save it.


Joel Brueseke said...

Great post, Matthew. I think the problems that people have with the book are due to having their very own preconceived views of who God is.

Anyway, after all this time of discussing the book with others, reading reviews, listening to interviews with Paul Young, Wayne Jacobsen, etc, I've finally begun to actually read the book myself. :)

My sister in law is visiting and she saw it and picked it up and she says she's very intrigued by it, so she thinks she'll get her own copy.

Matthew Daelon said...

I agree, Joel. It's scary to step into the knowledge of God. I mean really knowing and understanding who He is. Because what if we're wrong? What if God isn't love? What if I've put all my trust and hope in the love God has for me in Christ and I'm wrong? What if I overestimate how loving He is?

I understand these guys objections. I really do...but at the same time I refuse to go back to that stale, boring, trying to force myself to love God Christianity. I hate that constant introspection and constant anxiety wondering if God loves me or not. I want to know God. Knowing ABOUT Him doesn't satisfy. I want to know Him.

All throughout the Bible I see things that are ours yet I don't see a lot of us experiencing them and so I realize something is wrong. We're scared, in my opinion, the really get close to God. We still fear He is angry with us.

Anyway...I hope you enjoy the book, Joel. For me, it steadily kept me wanting to read. I was always excited to read the next sentence in the conversation between Mack and God. It's a very interesting read to wrestle with and think about. Which is what it was meant for. To wrestle with.

The Lewis Family said...

Yeah, it's like we have this warped perception that God is out to get us, which causes us to teeter on the precipice many a time. Lies. Such lies.

I am drawn to the one who loves me without measure. Not the one who condemns me for not loving well enough, not being obedient enough. . . I am drawn to the one who holds no standards against me, but instead welcomes me with open arms. How can we love others in such a way if we can't receive it in the first place?!

Yeah. . . That is why I quite liked the book that Young mentioned at the end of 'The Shack' called 'He Loves Me. . .' It is so refreshing and true and edifying and i could go on and on.

There is just something about His love. . .

Aida said...

Great post, Matthew! I think you did a really good job shooting down the criticisms. While I didn't particularly care for the book, I honestly can't see what all of the fuss is about. I've never met Paul but he sounds to me like an awesome man who has a wonderful relationship with Father. I have met Wayne and corresponded with him off and on throughout the last few years and have only the highest respect for him.

While I can't say anything about Paul, I do know Wayne is not a universalist and I'm pretty sure Brad isn't either.

"And will God punish sin? Absolutely. And He already has in His own Son."

What an awesome reminder. Jesus took care of it all so now we're free to develop a realtionship with a Father who loves us dearly and is especially fond of us.