A Great Example of how “Theology Matters”
Dr. James White is one of our favorite apologists. One of his favorite slogans is “Theology Matters”, and boy is he ever right. I can personally testify that Baptist Churches are certainly no strangers to being affected by doctrinal, philosophical, and pragmatic weirdness, and one example of such weirdness that has recently come across my pastoral radar screen has come in the form of a book titled “The Shack”.
After listening to the audio interview with the author of “The Shack” (linked below) and critically perusing through a copy of this book given to me by a friend, I have made the tentative conclusion that the author of this book holds to some permutation of “Christian universalism”, i.e., the belief that a person that believes that all people eventually will be saved through Jesus Christ even though they never repented and believed in Christ in this earthly life. This seems to be what he suggests in his book (p. 225) and it certainly seems that this is the case in the audio interview below.
Now, it is possible that Paul (William) Young is simply doctrinally confused, or hasn’t thought through the implications of what he is saying. There are a lot of folks like this; our churches are full of them. However, if this is what he believes, then his views are heretical, he should be exposed, and the sheep should be warned (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Timothy 2:23-25; Titus 1:9; 3:10-11). If he doesn’t really believe this, then he is simply one of many a confused Christian author that needs to be educated so that he can correct his theology and the doctrinally weird areas of his book in subsequent reprintings because he is confusing the already ignorant mass of evangelicalism; a group of people that do not need to be confused any further. Either way, this book is bad news because it is rife with bad theology (see linked article below for details); which of course, is nothing new to the ever-apostatizing church represented by modern American evangelicalism; especially many Baptist Churches.
Either way, “The Shack” is as great example of how a robust, biblically faithful and historically grounded soteriology, doctrine of atonement, and doctrine of God is so very important. Again, “Theology matters!” While the ever creeping effects of postmodernism erode away many people’s confidence in any doctrinal formulation produced by the dead, white, European males of the Puritan era; we stand firm on the fact that God’s good providence has deigned to cause these men of the past to work hard at hammering out what God hath said so that we can avoid offering up another dose of “Strange Baptist Fire”.
The .mp3 audio below is an interview with the author of “The Shack” and the article linked under it is a detailed critical review produced by Christian apologist Matt Slick of Carm.org.
We hope you will benefit from the interview below and Matt’s article that follows.
Slick says in his review,
“The Shack is a popular book in Christian circles, at least at the time this article was written in May of 2008. The Shack is supposed to be the account of a person who spent a weekend with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in a shack in a forest. It is a fictional story1 of Mr. Mackenzie Allen Phillips, written by William P. Young. Mack suffers the horrible loss of his young daughter to a serial killer. Of course, Mack is highly distraught and traumatized. The book is about his “healing” via an encounter with the persons of the Trinity who all three take human form and dialogue with him in this cabin and the surrounding countryside. It is written well enough to be an enjoyable read. It has many positive things to say such as God being loving, that he wants a relationship with us, and that Jesus died for us. That is fine, but this is supposed to be an actual account of what happened to Mack immediately prior to a serious car accident. Okay, so is it true? Let’s take a look.”
Continue here to read the rest of Matt’s article.