Tim Challis’s Review of “Burning Down ‘The Shack'”

The book The Shack by William P. Young has been record breaking for a multitude of reasons not the least of being on the bestseller lists for almost two years.  You would think the book’s popularity would have decreased by now but it hasn’t.

Tim Challis  has reviewed a new book that points out the fallacies in The Shack, written by James De Young called Burning Down ‘The Shack’: How the ‘Christian’ Bestseller is Deceiving Millions.

De Young believes that Young’s belief in universal reconciliation is absolutely crucial to anyone who would truly wish to understand The Shack. It is the key that makes sense of the book and the theology it contains. Though far from the only theological problem with the book, it is the one that makes sense of the others.



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24 thoughts on “Tim Challis’s Review of “Burning Down ‘The Shack'”

  1. I haven’t read the book, but from what I’ve read about it, I have been rather surprised by the numbers of Christians who read it and like it.

    The characterization of God as female has been enough alone to keep me from reading it.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    Not only is God female in the book but God is a weak, incompetent female. 🙁

    It is sad that something such as this book is better read by those claiming to be Christians than the Bible is. Of course, if they’d read the Bible more beforehand they wouldn’t have fallen for the book. A vicious cycle!

    Berean Wife

  2. I talked to a man who excitedly told me about the Shack and told me how awesome this book was and I should read it. I didn’t know anything about it at that time, but he then said in the same line of subject, that he and his wife are re-reading ‘Lord of the Rings’. I said “Oh”, astonished over this. And he said the Lord of the Rings was written by a Christian, and that made it okay. I just shook my head over this. These so called Christian books are nothing more than deceptive and addictive candy to pull one’s focus away from God. But I guess, if you are not truly saved to begin with…it’s not much of a feat.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Paul,

    It’s funny how some people can see no problem in certain books. I’ve seen the movie “Lord of the Rings” and did not care for it. Never could even make it through the book. I’m afraid when it gets right down to it, all fiction is addictive and taints your taste for real truth. Maybe could let “Pilgrim’s Progress” slide through though. 🙂 Most of my children have read “Chronicles of Narnia” however, if I knew then what I know now I would have never started it then. 🙁 Oh, well, at least I’ve grown and matured in my understanding over the past 20 years.

    Berean Wife

    Anonymous Reply:

    The thing you have to understand about The Chronicles of Narnia, is that it’s meant to be a metaphorical reference to the gospel, not the gospel itself. Nobody agrees on every doctrine, which is why we have so many denominations. In regards to The Shack, it seems that he’s pretty confused about why Christ died on the cross.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Anonymous,

    True that neither book is the gospel. However, when fiction, even allegories, give a “truth” that is not only not true but is blasphemous then we need to be concerned about what is being taught. We do learn from what we read whether we admit it or not. From the Chronicles of Narnia we have this quote in The Last Battle:

    “Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him.”…

    “But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me….”

    “Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. …”

    See the blasphemy there? That someone could serve Satan all their life and then at the end be credited for having served the Lord and not have known it? I don’t think so!!!

    If that is something a church has as doctrine then it is a false church.

    The Shack is full of false teaching and blasphemy also.

    See C.S. Lewis – What Shall We Think of Him? for more on C.S. Lewis.

    Berean Wife

  3. http://revivalandreformation.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/c-s-lewis-taught-theistic-evolution/

    Before we start defending Mr Lewis, check out this link concerning what he actually believed. Christian? I don’t think so…

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Paul,

    I didn’t ever sit down and discuss Lewis’s theology in his books beyond his Chronicles of Narnia books. However, see the link above for just a sampling of the problems in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Wish I had known that back over 15 years ago. 🙁

    Berean Wife

    Paul Reply:

    As Anonymous quoted above, that we learn from what we read, and therein lies the danger. It presents to the enemy an open door for him to place half truths or nearly truths and this is where the leaven of deception finds its place. Why not stick to the Bible? Why not stay away from the side roads and the “greener pastures” and stick to our Master’s side and depend on Him opening our eyes to the truth enclosed in His Word? Mr. Lewis is not an innocent “Christian” author as so many would point out, he is one of the MOST dangerous, because he claims to be Christian and fills the reader’s mind with half truths wrapped in allegory.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Paul,

    I was really shocked with Lewis when I decided to read his works, not as an acclaimed Christian writer, but with Biblical discernment. While he does say some profound things at times the overall beliefs of his are dangerous and not Biblical.

    Berean Wife

  4. You know who said profound things as well? Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, Christians today just as yesterday grab on to half truths and almost truths that have a small center of Bible but a whole thick crust of deception and compromise wrapped around them.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Paul,

    Most anyone can say profound things that is true. The problem with Lewis is I spent years being taught how he was such a good Christian writer. But did no one really read his work? I think very few did. 🙁

    Berean Wife

  5. Sad but true. How much precious time have we all spent in following after false teachers, pathways leading us subtly away from God, and in avenues that did not advance the kingdom? We have so much to answer for.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Paul,

    And we will have to give an account. 🙁

    Hebrews 4:13 (ESV) And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    Berean Wife

  6. I have read “the shack” I have tried to read “burning down the shack” I am a Christian and have a good relation ship with my God at least I hope I do, and I loved the shack, I am a normal person with an average up bringing I am not a theologian, or scholar but I have not had a terrible tragic past either, but I connected with “the shack” in a deep way, I do not think its harmful in any way, an open heart is the way to read it, let it connect with you in your way! “burning down the shack” is unnecersarry, and pointless as far as I can see, you would not tear down a lovely sculpter just because its anatomically incorrect, it’s art and art is interpreted in many different ways.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Kay,

    If you connected with “The Shack” in a deep way can you also state for a fact that you connected in a Biblically accurate way? See the Bible is our guide not our emotions. Our heart is desperately wicked and will deceive us.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

    Have you read Tim Challis review of The Shack itself? A Readers’s Review of The Shack

    In it you will find many of the problems others have pointed out about The Shack.

    Including quotes like the following:

    “In fact, God does not need to punish sin at all, says Papa. “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it”” (120). “Those who love me come from every stream that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions”” (182).

    If you don’t see the problem with those kind of ideas then you really need to reexamine your Biblical theology, because that is contrary to the Bible.

    “let it connect with you in your way! “

    We are to do things God’s way not our own way.

    Berean Wife

     

    Kay Reply:

    When I say I connected with “the shack” I mean in my heart, it left me with a deep feeling of love and a deeper spiritual love of the trinity, I do not say it taught me anything biblical or otherwise, it was a feeling of warmth and an understanding of love, my relationship with God is based on his love for me, and I follow my spirit through life, doctrine? Not sure what this means? I love God with all my being and follow the spiritual feeling inside, when making decisions, the holly spirit does not lead me wrong, but I do sometimes hear wrong, if my spirit is light then I nw it’s right, if my spirit is heavy, then I don’t do it, burning of the shack made my spirit heavy and sad, will pray about it and try to read it again, but The holy spirit may have wanted me to learn only what he/she wanted me to learn from “the shack” and that is done. I do not question God? Sometimes too much information can confuse a simple mind.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Kay,

    You said The Shack left you with a deeper feeling of love for the Trinity. That would be fine if the love it engendered is for the actual Trinity and not for a false God.

    Imagine with me if you will:

    You begin to correspond with a pen pal from a long way away. You both write letters back and forth over the years. One day an acquaintance sends you a picture of your pen pal so now you have a picture to look upon while you read the letters. You find your heart growing fonder and fonder of your pen pal. One day finally you both meet face to face in the plans of planning a wedding. You are so excited to see the one you love in person. However, upon meeting you are shocked to find a different person. This is not the person whose picture you have cherished for years. You’ve been duped by your acquaintance. You have fallen in love with an image that is different from the real thing.

    God will send for the Church, the Bride of Christ, for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Will you find you have fallen in love with an image of your own making? God is a God of love, justice, mercy, wrath, hate, peace, etc. The Shack only portrays the love and denies the judgement and justice. You have fallen in love with a false god and not the God of the Bible.

    The Shack does portray an image of the Trinity. Just not an accurate image. God the Father is female in The Shack despite the fact that God always refers to Himself as Male in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is a female in The Shack even though Scripture clearly refers to the Holy Spirit as Male. God is not a human nor is He ever given an image. Only Jesus was God in the Flesh. God is Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4:24) The 10 Commandments forbid representing God as any image. God, the Creator, cannot be represented by a created image. That is idolatry.

    Romans 1:22-23 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    I could continue to go on but the point is The Shack encourages you to fall in love with a false image of the Trinity. You are listening to Satan, as Eve did, instead of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals blasphemy never encourages it.

    Doctrine is the actual teaching of the Bible, without that you just have the imaginations of your heart.

    The Lord desires for all to grow in Wisdom. Do not be content with a “simple” mind.

    Berean Wife

  7. Pingback: Duped By Compromise « The Master's Slave

  8. Sorry I confused, when I said it left me with a deep love for the trinity, I did not mean the trinity in the book, the true God, Jesus and the holy spirit, are the only trinity I have in my life, If I read Sherlock Holmes, I do not then believe the characters in his book real, but it does not stop me learning something about how to think more laterally , I read ” The Shack” and did learn from it, and loved it, I will read it again, and maybe feel differently about it, my relationship with God is in my heart, where I believe it’s meant to be, not in my head, he speaks to me through the holy spirit, and I try to listen, I have read the bible, about 7 times from cover to cover and still have not scratched the surface of what it says, but I still have to live and learn along the way, we all do and with God in my heart directing me I hope and pray I get it right mostly. And if I am led to talk to a person or read a book not considered biblically correct I will and believe God has my best interest at heart and just ” without question” do what is asked of me.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Kay,

    How can a book that displays a false trinity encourage a love for the real Trinity?

    It doesn’t. It is like reading a romance novel and claiming it helps you love your husband better. What they really do is give you false expectations and create a dissatisfaction with the real thing.

    You know it is well and good to listen to the Lord through the Holy Spirit. But how do you know you are listening to the Holy Spirit? Satan disguises himself as an “angel of light“. He takes God’s Word and twists it. Not only that your own heart will deceive you.

    Unless you can prove things through the reading of God’s Word you can’t be sure about it. It may be Satan or your own heart that is leading you astray all while you think you are doing God’s Will.

    Have you read Matthew 7:22 -23:

    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    These people, who are rejected by Jesus, felt led by God to do many wonderful works in His name. Yet Jesus says He never knew them. How do you know you are not in the same boat?

    Read this and see how deceived those who claim the name of Christ can be.

    Ten “Christians” God Will Not Allow Into Heaven

    God speaks to you through His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit enables you to understand His Word. The Holy Spirit never teaches contrary to God’s Word. God’s Will for you can be found clearly in His Word. Following your heart is dangerous.

    Berean Wife

  9. I am at total peace with God no fight going on in my spiritual life, God bless you and may we meet some day in peace

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Kay,

    That’s fine that you are in total peace. I just pray you are in peace with the real Creator God, the God of the Bible, and not a figment of your imagination influenced by false teaching such as The Shack. Judgement day will reveal the truth but then it will be too late. Examine yourself closely and see if you are in the faith.

    2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

    Berean Wife

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