Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opus 2017-188: Book Review: The Shack, part 3 of 3

So why would I urge a word of caution about this book?  It has a very new age/emergent church view of the atonement and salvation.

Although sin is mentioned it tends to be watered down in its significance.  Take this for instance.
“I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie, 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.” pp. 119-20
If you have the feminine new age view of God then you reject His wrath and how sin demands punishment.  Take the very familiar verse,
(Romans 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
While the love of God comes through it is very clear that sin demands punishment.  The book contradicts itself here.  In this chapter it tends to make the justice and wrath of God misunderstandings of the Bible, leaving the way open for having a God of the Old Testament and a God of the New Testament.  Later it refutes that, as it should.
“Mean?  Sad, isn’t it?  He came to show people who I am and most folks believe it about him.  They still play us off like good cop/bad cop most of the time, especially the religious folk.  When they want people to do what they think is right, they need a stern God.  When they need forgiveness, they run to Jesus.”
    “Exactly,” Mack said with a point of his finger.
    “But we were all in him.  He reflected my heart exactly.  I love you and invite you to love me.” p. 186
One of the heresies that I have read in emergent church literature is that Jesus did not die to pay for our sins but to make us feel good about ourselves.  This book tends to follow along that path.  It uses some of the same language but doesn’t deal with the sin problem. 
“Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully:  through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.”
    “The whole world?  You mean those who believe in you, right?”
    “The whole world, Mack.  All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally.  It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way.” p. 192
It doesn’t really tell us why the world needed to be reconciled.  You see the beginning of a sense of universalism.  This is stated more clearly on the last page.
“And one day, when all is revealed, every one of us will bow our knee and confess in the power of Sarayu that Jesus is the Lord of all Creation, to the glory of Papa.” p. 248
I could go on with pro’s and con’s but that is more than enough.  If your faith is strong, read it for yourself.

Young, William P.  The Shack.  Los Angeles:  Windblown Media, 2007..

homo unius libri


  1. I discovered long ago that the more I read ABOUT the Bible (including "religious novels"), the less I actually read THE BIBLE, so I don't.

    1. That is one reason I have made use of Bible commentaries less and less over the years. There might be an occasional case where there is an important point that needs to be explained but most of the time it is there opinion vs yours and often it seems like they have not read the Bible they are commenting on.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.