Al Mohler rebroadcasts an episode of his radio program that looks at the bestselling book, ‘The Shack’. Before airing Mohler talks a little bit about what has happened since the first episode.
One of the most shocking things comes from an interview where the author William Young denies penal substitutionary atonement — he denies that Jesus Christ died on the cross for sin, taking the punishment we deserved. Rather he considers the Gospel to be God pursuing man to adopt him as son, which is true, but he doesn’t explain how that happens, and denies the clear teaching of Scripture that Christ took our punishment for sin on the cross.
Mohler says this book includes undiluted heresy and is deeply troubling. It not only does damage to the biblical understanding of the Trinity and the humanity of Christ, it also redefines Christianity. The Shack asserts that Jesus isn’t the only way to God the Father, just the best way. God is also not a God of wrath. God does not punish sin, sin is it’s own punishment. There is a lot of confusion in this book, and there is a great danger here for those Christians who don’t know their Christian faith very well.
Mohler concludes by saying, this book is subversive because it proposes spiritual transformation of life yet attempts to do that apart from biblical truth and the Christian Gospel. Young’s teaching of the Gospel clearly falls under Paul’s condemnation of “another gospel.”
Christian fiction, in many ways, is more of a dangerous effort than a straight theology book because you are inventing dialog, and the chance for error is more precarious.
By any measure ‘The Shack’ is not a transformational book. It does not propose a biblical gospel. Nor does it provide a biblical road to understanding God.