Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Shack Reviewed

I was a latecomer to reading The Shack and I'm not the only one. Recently Al Mohler, Tim Keller, and Books & Culture put together some reviews. You can find those below and here is what I wrote after reading it:

The three main elements of the book can be broken down into the categories of silly, mistaken, and dangerous. There is much cross-pollination between the last two and here are some examples:

Silly: the author has a low view of scripture (65-6) and seminary (91), values emotion and experience over intellect and propositional truth (93), teaches woman was hid inside of man from the start, just waiting for the Trinity to release her (148), we learn to hear the Spirit's thoughts in our own thoughts and become better at this as we grow in that relationship (195-6), all the tearful times are healing and tears are the best words the heart can speak (228).
Mistaken: God doesn't desire to punish sin (120), not only are all parts of the Trinity in submission to each other but they are in submission to us, their creation (145), man's desire to be over women is in their sin nature as part of the Fall (147), Jesus doesn't want Buddhists and Mormons and Muslims who love Him to become Christians (182), forgiveness of another person is a prerequisite to their redemption (224).
Dangerous: heretical view of the Trinity and the incarnation where all three spoke themselves into human existence and died on the cross (99), there is no concept of final authority in the Trinity and no hierarchy (122), the Greek goddess Sophia is a personification of God's wisdom and part of the mystery of the Holy Spirit (171), God's purposes are ever and only an expression of love (191).

This is not to say that the book has nothing of value to say but finding these things in all this muck of backward, heterodox, and finally heretical thinking is not worth it, to my mind. For a good, discerning review I recommend Tim Challies essay here.

Tim Keller
Books & Culture
Al Mohler

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