Friday, June 9, 2017

God Does Not Reside in “The Shack”

It’s no surprise that mankind continues its desire to “connect” with God. That’s been going on since the days of Adam and Eve. There are no shortages of man-made gods or religions all designed to fulfill that deep longing to “connect” with God. Men and women have written innumerable volumes attempting to describe, define, and explain or even to contain God so that mankind may better be able to “connect” with Him.

One of the latest attempts comes in the form of a book and, now, a movie, “The Shack.” The book was released almost ten years ago in 2007, the movie in March of 2017, almost ten years later. When the book first came out, I was given a copy and asked to read it and share my opinion of it with the person who gave it to me.

Since the book was first published, much has been written as to what this book is and what it is not. Many scholars and theologians have rightly critiqued and compared this book to the Bible. They have well documented the theological errors, heresies and doctrinal inaccuracies found in “The Shack” and those writings are still available online.

It’s interesting that the movie has come out ten years later. It seems odd that so much time has passed and now it returns to a new audience in the form of a visual story as opposed to a written one. Our culture has become so entrenched in visual form of entertainment that, perhaps, those responsible for the film are simply seeking to cash in on another form of entertainment.

For believers, to read or not read this book, to see or not see the movie, is your own personal choice. However, there are some things to remember and pay close attention to:

  • By the authors own admission, “The Shack” is a novel, which, by definition is fiction, that means it's a made up story, and, therefore, not real. Fiction allows the author to have as much creative license as he/she desires. The point to remember is that “The Shack” is fiction. Therefore, any attempt to connect this fictional work with the God of the Bible is silly at best and dangerous at worst.
  • For believers, and unbelievers who really want to “connect” with the one and only God of the universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all creation, there is only one book that will allow you to better know Him, and that is the Bible, the Word of God.

Bookstores are filled with books written by men and women, most with good intent, who desire to “explain” God to the average person. Many, many people purchase these books, again, with good intent, with the desire to “connect” with God.

What is fascinating is that so many people are so willing to spend their hard-earned money on books written about God by men and women rather than to simply open and read the one book that was written by God Himself, their very own Bibles.

If your desire is to “connect” with the one true God, to better understand Who He really is, a good place to start is by reading and studying the last four chapters of the Book of Job, chapters 38-41. It is in these chapters that you will learn about the One and only all knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God.

There is no shortage of books written in an effort to educate people about God. There is only one book written by the One whom we are all trying to know better, it’s called the Bible. Sadly, the level of interest in reading and studying it, as opposed to other books, is far too low, especially as we are seeing what’s happening in our country and around the world.

The apostle Paul wrote the following to Timothy, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (1 Timothy 4:1-4). Paul’s words have never been more appropriate than in our day and time. Be careful what you read; be careful what to accept as “truth” about God.

“The Shack” is fiction; the Bible is absolute truth. “The Shack” is entertainment at best; the Bible is God’s Word written by Him through His Holy Spirit to reveal mankind’s desperate need for a Savior. “The Shack” is the product of the author’s imagination, admittedly fiction; the Bible is nothing less than God revealing His attributes, His character, His love for mankind, and, most importantly, the revelation of Himself through the Person of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

The God of the Bible does not reside in “The Shack.” He resides in His heaven and, by His Holy Spirit, in the lives of every true believer.

May the Lord bless you as you seek to learn more about Him from His Word.

By His Grace,
Dr. Gary T. Dromi