In telling the story of Mack’s (the book’s main character) encounter with the Trinity in an old shack in the woods, Young introduces us to God the Father as a big, black woman named Papa, God the Son as a Jewish man with a big nose, and God the Spirit as a woman of Asian extraction named Sarayu. Young’s God is a God who is especially fond of everyone everywhere and loves everyone in the same way, a God who doesn’t punish people for sin (because sin is its own punishment). There is not order or authority in God. The Father submits to Jesus just as Jesus submits to the Father. In fact, God even submits to us. In Young’s theology, evil and darkness do not really exist, but are just the absence of goodness and light. I could keep going with the theological problems in The Shack… God’s sovereignty over suffering is rejected, and all human beings are already reconciled to God (we just need to choose to live in the relationship)… But the depiction of the Christan faith in The Shack is not simply a little off here or there. It is a deviation from the historic faith in many, and important, places.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
I think Kevin DeYoung, in his short critique of The Shack in his own book, Why We Love the Church, hits the nail on the head in regard to what is wrong with the liberal theology today. The popularity of The Shack then reflects the shallow theological understanding held by many of susceptible believers.