Tag Archive | William Young

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.


More on the False Teaching of “The Shack”

The Shack” as referred to in the post Why is God Referred to as Male?, is reviewed at Steve Camp’s site in THE SHACK REVIEW…a call to discernment. My husband said just last night that “The Shack” was still on the first page of the CBD catalog, it has been for months.

For more information on “The Shack” see:

“The Shack” – A Warning

“The Shack” for Sunday School?

The Shack – still a best seller with “Christians”


Why is God Referred to as Male?

Both Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch and The Shack by William Young portray God as female although God is typically portrayed as male by Bible believing Christians.

Conversations With God

“You’ll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her. Because you’re looking for a Him.” page 40

“Yet the thinking mind begs to ask: if God has a way She wants me to be, why didn’t She simply create me that way to begin with?” page 82

“I am Goddess as you now comprehend Her.” page 117

The Shack

For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.” Page 93

God is referred to hundreds of times in the Bible with Masculine pronouns and Masculine names. The majority of references to characteristics are masculine. God is portrayed as masculine in most analogies.

God as Father

Ps 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. KJV

Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal Son

God as King

Ps 10:16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. KJV

God as a Warrior

Neh 4:20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. KJV

God as a Husband

Jer 3:1 … but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD . KJV

Jesus as a Shepherd

Matt 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: … KJV

Jesus as a Bridegroom

Matt 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. KJV

Jesus as a Son

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. KJV

God has no body or physical form.

God Is Spirit

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? KJV

Deut 4:15-19

15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. NKJV

John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. KJV

Jesus is God in human form.

Phil 2:6-8

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. KJV

Jesus referred to God as his Father

John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. KJV

John 4:23-24

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV

There are a few instances that describe God’s characteristics as similar to a females. But God is just comparing His actions to those that are typically displayed by women.

Isa 42:14 For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. ESV

Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. KJV

Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! KJV

What difference does it make if you refer to God as masculine or feminine?

If all of Scripture is inspired by the hand of God, then even His names and His pronouns are inspired. We cannot change even the gender references to make God more acceptable or appealing to others.


Why do others, such as Walsch and Young, desire to change the masculine gender references to God? 

Changing the gender of God appeals to many women and encourages feminism. When the gender of the Lord is changed from what He has chosen then every part of the Scriptures is put in question as to its meaning.

Gen 3:1 Yea, hath God said, … KJV


If you do not stick to the gender which the Lord chooses for Himself, then it is very easy to question the gender specific verses for men and women.

Eph 5:22-23

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. KJV


The Shack – still a best seller with “Christians”

The shack is still listed as the number one seller on Christianbook.com. I do not understand why so many “Christians” are busy reading this book and yet don’t have time to read their Bible.

Open Mind, Closed Bible by Tim Challies at Challies.com.

Almost eight months after my review of The Shack I continue to get daily emails about it. This is proof, I suppose, of the book’s continued success. I do not know if the novel’s popularity has peaked yet but can see that it is still at the top of its category on many of the bestseller lists. The emails I receive typically fit into one of two categories: the “thanks for the review” category or the “how dare you?” category. Today I want to address just two of the more common critiques of my critique of the book.

Here is how one reader expressed herself: “Hello Tim. I read your review after I had already read The Shack and I think your review is ridiculous. Your review reminds me of exactly why ‘stodgy old religion’ is so unappealing to masses of people. …

Here are more links to information about The Shack.

Christian Research Network in the article A Preliminary Critique of “The Shack”

After listening to the audio interview below and more critically perusing through this book, I am led to think that the author of this book holds to some type of “Christian universalism”, i.e., 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.

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry in the article The Shack.

On page 145-146 we find, “Mack was surprised. ‘How could that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?'” “Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.” We have to ask. Is there any place in Scripture where God expresses a desire to be submitted to an individual human being? Nope. But, we have the incarnation of Christ where Jesus was made under the law (Gal. 4:4) and was therefore in subjection to his earthly parents. But, this is due to the incarnation and was part of the process of the atonement. Where in Scripture do we find God desiring his submission to individuals? I know of no reference. If anything, we the creatures are to be in subjection to the Holy and Majestic God of the universe, not the other way around. I found this to be a reduction of God’s glory and an elevation of man’s stature — something false religious systems do.


"The Shack" – A Warning

The Shack by William P. Young

The Shack is a book I had planned to just ignore, as just one more thing that needed to be trashed (or bulldozed). I had heard several critical comments and had glanced at them but was not really interested in dealing with it. Then in the course of a week, I have been made aware that a previous acquaintance has a blog with bragging about how life changing the book was to him. Then I saw another website of young moms that were thrilled about how great the book was. It was beginning to sound like the hype about A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Then CBD (Christian Books Distributors) were pushing the book on their website as a top seller. So I had to research the book in order to be able to give a good answer if questioned.

The Characters in The Shack are:

Mack is a father grieving the murder of his daughter years before.

Papa reminds me of Aunt Jemima or Mammy, an older African- American woman, who in the end becomes a pony-tailed, grey-haired man.

Jesus is a young man of Middle – Eastern nationality.

The Holy Spirit is Sarayu, a small, Asian woman.

The following quotes are from:

A Reader’s Review of the Shack   is a 17 page review by Tim Challies of  http://www.challies.com/ & http://www.discerningreader.com/

“A question worth asking is this one: does The Shack point Christians to the unfailing standard of Scripture or does it point them to new and fresh revelation?”

“Though the cross is central to the Bible and central to the Christian faith, it appears only sparingly in The Shack. A person who is unfamiliar with the Christian faith will not be able to glean from this book a biblical understanding of what the cross was for and what Jesus’ death accomplished. Nor will he understand how God saves us and what He saves us from.”

“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). 

“Jesus says to Mack, “I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” Jesus does not say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” as he does in John 14:6, but merely states that He is the best way.” “The book presents less than the full gospel message. It teaches that God died for the sins of the whole world and that He now waits for us to respond to this potential gift. It teaches that God does not punish sin, but that sin is sufficient punishment in itself. It opens the possibility that people can come to God in ways other than a saving faith in Jesus Christ.” 

“Quoting Buckminster Fuller, a Unitarian-Universalist who wrote a book entitled I Am a Verb, he has Papa say, “I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. I am verb” (204).”

“… in The Shack we find a man who stands in the very presence of God and uses foul language …This is not a man who is in the presence of One who is far superior to Him, but a man who is in the presence of a peer.”

“But this is not all. The discerning reader will note as well that the author muddies the concepts of forgiveness and free will. He introduces teaching that is entirely foreign to the Bible, often stating with certainty what is merely speculative. He oversteps the bounds of Scripture while downplaying the Bible’s importance. He relies too little on Scripture and too much on his own theological imaginings.”

Christian Research Network’sarticle is titled The Shack’s False Godhead

“In The Shack ‘god’ the father is an African American WOMAN called Papa (a goddess!), ‘god’ the son is a plain looking Middle Eastern man with a big nose and ‘god’ the spirit is a small, delicate little Asian girl (another goddess!). The Shack also teaches the heresy of modalism and is chock full of other serious doctrinal errors.”

Quotes from Berit Kjos in Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus”: The twisted “truths” of The Shack & A Course in Miracles

“That seems to be the aim of The Shack’s female “God.” Here she is speaking to the main character, Mackenzie (Mack for short):

“For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”[p.93]”

“No one has seen God at any time,” said the true Jesus. (John 1:18) Yet, here we see all three in human form — on earth! “God” explains:

“‘By nature I am completely unlimited… I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence:’ she said, quite pleased. ‘Just one of the perks of Me being Me.’ “That made Mack smile. This lady was fully enjoying herself… “We created you to share in that. But then Adam chose to go it on his own, as we knew he would, and everything got messed up. But instead of scrapping the whole Creation we rolled up our sleeves and entered into the middle of the mess—that’s what we have done in Jesus…. When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. …flesh and blood.”[p.98-99]”

“In this new story, sin no longer separates unholy people from our holy God. It fits right into postmodern churches that ignore Biblical commands such as “Do not be conformed to the world” and “Abhor evil” (Romans 12:2,9). Chipping away at the reality of sin, guilt and God’s just judgments, this transformational process undermines any real understanding of our need for discernment, repentance or the cross. Even God’s amazing grace becomes meaningless!”

Sermon Audio has a Webcast: The Shack – This Old Heresy

 The actual discussion of The Shack starts around 30 minutes into the audio so you can skip ahead if you want then it ends abruptly at 45 minutes.

Please read this book with much discernment and “be Berean” and compare it to the scriptures.

Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the
Thessalonians,for they received the message with great eagerness and examined
the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true
.” NIV

Eve was the one deceived and we as women will often let our emotions rule our beliefs. Just because something appeals to our emotions does not make it worthy. Fiction either reveals the truths of the Bible and lines up totally with the Bible or it takes away from or adds to the Scripture and teaches falsehoods.

“In one of his first encounters with Papa, “Mack noticed the scars in her wrists, like those he now assumed Jesus also had on his” (95). Note that these scars were present on the wrists of the Father and not just the Son.”