Evangelicals are about as divided over “The Shack” as they were during the 2016 presidential election. I’ve seen every argument for the book/movie, and every argument against it. Let me offer one more.
Just the other day, I came across a post from someone who said he wanted to start “a Bible study on The Shack.” The post went on to discuss the book’s dealings with forgiveness. I’m certain there were many folks who agreed with this idea and were happy to jump on the “Sign me up!” train.
This is what I was afraid of all along. This is the primary reason why I have been against this book. Because the book is (literally) FILLED with heresies and false doctrines, it absolutely cannot be used as a Bible study aide. The book itself denies that Christ is the only way to the Father. Other places deny that Christ is fully God and fully man. “Papa” (the female image of God the Father) at one point says, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” One other place has Jesus (in the image of a Middle Eastern man) saying, “I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved.”
What in the world? Are these the kinds of things we want to teach our brothers and sisters, particularly the younger ones in the faith?
Now, some of you may say that this book helped you with forgiveness, love, and patience. These are all attributes of God’s character. But let’s not kid ourselves. This book ONLY looks at the sides of God with which we are comfortable. Let us not forget that God is also a God of judgment, wrath, and righteousness. He doesn’t sweep sin under the rug. He does not waver or repine. He will never contradict His Word. And if we only focus in on the attributes of God that don’t convict us, we have a lot more Bible to read.
Why in the world would a Bible-believing Christian want to study themes of a man-made book with themes that totally contradict the fundamental doctrines of the Bible? Furthermore, why would you do a Bible study on a non-sacred text? I thought the whole point of a Bible study was to…study the Bible?