The press release reads at the beginning like this:
“Northwest Nazarene University Alumni Association is proud to welcome William Paul Young, author of The Shack, to campus Sept. 22, 2011. The Shack is one of the top 70 New York Bestsellers of all time.”
This school continues on a path of reckless invitations to just about anyone who claims that they are Christian. A few years ago, it was universalist and panentheist Dr. Jay McDaniel promoting his version of the gospel, to the apparent delight of NNU professors and leaders. (False Teaching In A Christian University: A Shocking Example).
There have been other very dubious speakers at the school. Brennan Manning was a guest speaker on the college campus church. He was quoted favorably at a chapel service in 2008 by the college president. Manning promotes contemplative mysticism, practicing “the silence”, mantras, centering prayer and other forms of New Age occultism and Eastern meditation. In his book Abba’s Child, he refutes the Cross of Christ as the only way to salvation. He mocks Bible-believers and calls them bibliolaters. He believes that homosexuality is acceptable. He is ecumenical and embraces other religions as valid.
Another false teacher welcomed in 2008 was Brian McLaren in his famous “Everything Must Change” tour. McLaren and his friends wants to change EVERYTHING about Christianity, because in his wisdom, we have not learned a thing right in 2,000 years. He is free to make that judgment, but then turns around says he has no clue if homosexuality is a sin. In this video, Eric Barger describes some of the bizarre goings on at that conference at NNU with McLaren.
You can read more on the school’s bad decisions in this article I posted, Northwest Nazarene University: Symbol Of What’s Wrong In Our Christian Schools.
Will Northwest Nazarene leadership ever learn anything about proper discernment? The Shack is one of the most heretical novels ever plied to Christians, yet so many have shown lack of biblical discernment with this novel. If you have a pastor who promotes this book, he has a serious lack of discernment.
It promotes the most heretical concepts of God and His nature, and is blasphemous just on the basis of depicting God (called Papa) is depicted as a tall African-American woman, the Holy Spirit (Sarayu) as a small Asian woman, and Jesus as a Jewish carpenter. It promotes the modalistic view of the Trinity that is taught by TD Jakes and other. Modalism is the belief that God manifest Himself in three different ways, instead of what scripture teaches, that God is One, but three Persons in one.
The God of The Shack is also absolutely non-judgmental, which fits in with the ideology of the emergent church, of the ecumenical movement, of the New Evangelicals, and other aberrant movements that hold holds with just about anything.
In the novel, Jesus also tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” The best way, NOT the only way.
Papa also says to Mack, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”
That is wrong. God is a holy judge, and He will clearly punish us for our sin against Him.
In his review of the book, David Cloud notes:
In “The Shack,” Young presents traditional Bible-believing Christianity as hypocritical and hurtful. The book’s main character grew up under “rigorous rules,” and his father, who was an elder in the church, was “a closet drinker” and treated his family with cruelty when drunk (p. 7).
Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.
Another foundational problem with “The Shack” is its denial of the Bible as the absolute and sole authority. Note the following quote:
“In seminary he [the book’s main figure, Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. … Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (pp. 65, 66).
Not only is “The Shack’s” god suspiciously similar to the one described in the books of the more liberal branch of the emerging church (e.g., Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren), it also has a strong kinship to the New Age god promoted by John Lennon and Oprah Winfrey.
Additional quotes from the book:
“Those who love me come from every system 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. … I have no desire to make them Christian” (p. 182).
There is so much more wrong with this book, and yet NNU is proud to have William Paul Young on campus. This is just one of the many reasons I do NOT recommend anyone to send their child to this school. You do so at their peril.
The Shack’s Cool God (David Cloud)
The Shack — The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment (Dr. Al Mohler)
A Look At The Shack (audio) Dr Al Mohler
Matt Slick interview the ‘Shack’ author Paul Young:
Anthony Harper’s interview with the ‘Burning Down The Shack’ author Dr. James DeYoung – link below: