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The Death of Discernment

by Eric Barger and David Benoit
SKU: X1284

$18.00

The Shack is indeed a novel. And many will wonder what could be wrong, since it is identified as a Christian book and authored by a man who claims to be a Christian. The bottom line concerning The Shack is that, if we fail to use scriptural discernment, we can be taken captive by “evil imaginations.”

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How The Shack Became the #1 Bestseller in Christianity

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (1 Kings 3:9).

The Shack is more than just a little offbeat but is, as Dr. Albert Mohler pegged it during his May 26, 2008, radio broadcast, “blatant heresy.”

The Shack is indeed a novel. And many will wonder what could be wrong, since it is identified as a Christian book and authored by a man who claims to be a Christian. After all, The Shack is heralded by many seasoned Christian leaders. Pastors are preaching from it. Sunday School classes and small groups are reading and discussing it. Many Christians are buying it by the case to give as gifts. Some Christian schools are even sanctioning and encouraging the reading of the book.

Now, in March 2017, a whole new array of materials are being offered to coincide with the motion picture release. But this is not just a benign story of man overcoming life’s challenges. Make no mistake, the book presents Paul Young’s erroneous doctrine throughout its clever and gripping story—something the author clearly intended to do. Therein lies the problem.

The Shack is a publishing phenomenon, but you may ask, “Is it really any big deal?” This self-published book has sold nearly 12 million copies since its May 2007 release. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List and remained at either #1 or #2 for an astounding 87 weeks. It has also held the #1 position on many other bestseller lists, including Amazon.com, USA Today’s Top 150 Books, Barnes and Noble, and Borders Books, and was the #1 book of 2008 at ChristianBook.com. According to the author, in late 2008 the book was selling at a rate of 87,000 copies a week in the secular book stores alone. As I update this piece in 2017, we’re told that The Shack has also become one of the 40 biggest selling books in history.

Here are just a few of the many issues raised by The Shack:

  • Young’s “Papa” character insists that sin is its own punishment. This distorts the reality of Hell and discounts eternal retribution for sin.
  • Readers of The Shack are told that Jesus is only the best way to know God—not the only way.
  • The Shack teaches that, when Jesus went to the cross, God Almighty died there, too.
  • The Shack states that there is no structure or hierarchy within the Trinity and that the three personages of God are all equally subject to one another and to humans as well.
  • Young’s “Papa” character is suspiciously akin to a Polynesian/Hawaiian goddess who also happens to be known as “Papa.”Although Young denied any knowledge of such a deity, the similarities with The Shack’s God character are stunning.

The bottom line concerning books, movies, television shows and other input like The Shack is that, if we fail to use scriptural discernment, we can be taken captive by “evil imaginations.”

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit … (Colossians 2:8)

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