Tim Tebow Raises Concerns After Praising ‘Shack’ Movie Based on Universalist Novel Portraying God as Woman

New York Mets outfielder and former NFL great Tim Tebow recently praised the upcoming film “The Shack,” a movie that is based on William P. Young’s bestselling novel of the same name, which some say contains universalistic doctrine and other unbiblical material.

“Got a sneak-peek of @TheShackMovie last night. Great reminder that God is with us in our highs & lows & LOVES us no matter what!” he posted on Twitter on Friday, generating 1,700 likes.

Reaction to his post was mixed, with some conveying agreement and others expressing concern out of their belief that the book and film are heretical.

“I was able to get a sneak peek, too! I loved the way it portrayed the Trinity’s relationship with each other and us!” one follower wrote.

“The 2nd greatest book ever! Can’t wait to see the movie!” another posted.

“I can’t support this movie nor have I the book. Scripturally unsound,” another wrote.

“This movie and book are Scripturally unsound. No Christian should view!” a third opined.

  • Connect with Christian News

“Except for the heresy and misrepresentation of a holy God. Great reminder to read our Bibles,” another wrote in objection.

As previously reported, “The Shack,” released in 2007, is stated to have sold approximately 20 million copies and has been translated into 39 languages. In 2013, Lionsgate Entertainment obtained the rights to turn the book into a film, which is now scheduled to be released in March and is currently being promoted nationwide.

“The Shack” tells the story of a man named Mackenzie “Mack” Phillips who faces a crisis while on a family vacation as his youngest daughter Missy is abducted and presumably killed in an abandoned shack. Years later, the grieving father receives a note from “Papa,” who tells Phillips that it has “been a while” and to meet up at the shack the following weekend.

Reluctantly, Phillips returns to the site, where he meets the Godhead—the Father portrayed as a woman named Papa “Elousia”, who later transforms into an elderly man, the Holy Spirit being a young Asian woman with the Hindu name Sarayu, and Jesus as a Jewish carpenter. Together, they seek to help Phillips deal with his faltering faith and to learn to forgive.

But in addition to concerns about the portrayals, some who have read the book have noted that it contains much unbiblical theology.

Among the objections cited about the novel are the messages that God submits to men as the Father doesn’t want them to be “slaves” to the divine will, that God will never judge mankind for their sins, that there is no eternal punishment in Hell, that there is no holy justice because God is all love, that God forgave everyone on the cross regardless of whether they will ever repent or not, and that all will eventually make it to Heaven.

“My words are alive and dynamic-full of life and possibility; yours are dead, full of law and fear and judgment. That is why you won’t find the word responsibility in the Scriptures,” God the Father tells Phillips in the story (page 205).

“Honey, I’ve never placed an expectation on you or anyone else. The idea behind expectations requires that someone does not know the future or outcome and is trying to control behavior to get the desired result,” Papa reiterates (page 206).

“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,” she also states (page 120).

“Mackenzie, evil is a word we use to describe the absence of good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of light or death to describe the absence of life. Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to light and good; they do not have any actual existence,” God the Father outlines (page 136).

“I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into My beloved,” Jesus tells Phillips (page 182).

“In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against Me, but only some choose relationship,” Papa states (page 225).

Some are also concerned that the fictional story waters down the Godhead to make them look hip and human.

When Phillips first meets Papa, in one of the scenes he finds her listening to music and asks what she is playing.

“West Coast Juice, a group called Diatribe and an album that isn’t even out yet called Heart Trips,” she replies.

“West Coast Juice, huh? It doesn’t sound very religious,” Phillips replies.

“Oh, trust me, it’s not. More like Eurasian funk and blues with a message, and a great beat,” Papa declares, and sidesteps as if breaking out a dance move (page 90).

DeYoung

As previously reported, James B. DeYoung, author of “Burning Down the Shack: How the ‘Christian’ Bestseller is Deceiving Millions” and an acquaintance of Young, told Christian News Network that that he knew Young well prior to the book’s release, and personally witnessed Young’s slide into universalism—a belief that everyone will eventually go to Heaven, and that any punishment will only be temporal.

“In 2004, [Young] prepared and released a 103-page document for our M3 Forum in which he rejected his ‘evangelical paradigm’ and embraced universal reconciliation (UR),” he explained. “He has never renounced the particulars of universal reconciliation, [and] he refuses to say that other world religions are in error in their assessment of Jesus as the unique Son of God.”

Joe Schimmel, pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California and host of the documentary “Hollywood’s War on God,” also told Christian News Network that Young has made similar statements in public interviews, denying that God will pour out his wrath on unrepentant sinners, as well as the fact that Christ took God’s wrath as the substitutionary atonement for the wicked.

“Tragically, these heresies are reflected in the aberrant fictional theology presented in The Shack. These are not mere trivial matters but strike at the very heart of God’s character and the gospel that saves our eternal souls,” he said.

Schimmel

Schimmel preached a message at his church entitled “The Shack and the Seduction of the Church,” which he is currently making available as a doctrinal warning to Christians.

In addition to Tim Tebow, Campus Crusade for Christ—now known just as Cru—has likewise spoken positively of the film.

“Personally I didn’t care for the book, but when I saw this movie I absolutely loved it because I saw God in a way that He deeply wants to meet each person where they are … and speak into each individual heart,” Staff Effectiveness Director Mark Stewart said in an online video. “It’s a tremendous movie.”

“Now it’s not perfect; we should never take our theology from a movie,” also said Cru theology professor Alan Scholes, who advised that his only quibble with the film is that the Father and Holy Spirit are depicted as having nail prints in their hands, implying that they died on the cross. “However, I think if you go to this movie you will see God in a new—and mostly biblical—way.”

The organization has offered free tickets for a limited time to students “to help spread the gospel to non-Christian high school or college students.”

But for some, promotion of the film by entities like Cru and Tebow has been a concern.

“@TimTebow @TheShackMovie God is a woman? You endorsing this junk!!!” wrote one commenter.

“@TimTebow. @TheShackMovie and the book are heretical. Unfollow. Sorry,” another stated.

Tebow did not respond to a request for comment.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. Now, as the cold winds of winter blow in, we are seeking to also meet the physical needs of the people by providing fuel-operated heaters for the refugees and their children to stay warm. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work (James 2:16)? Please click here to send a heater to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly
  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Although the overall message of the book was indeed comforting, both the book and the movie are blasphemous – a quite different imagery from the God whom the Holy Bible reveals and the indwelling Holy Spirit testifies. Humanists and New Agers would love this work, but Christians should stay away. I think white people love black motherly-figures too much for some unknown reasons – what are we missing in life? – but there should be a limit on any inclinations in portraiting the Godhead because the Word of God is specific and not vague.

    • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

      Amazing that the written word has been around 1500 years and people pick up a dime novel off the shelf , the creation of one person, and call it ‘comforting’ ; face palm.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        It talked about the deepest kind of human suffering and God’s abundant mercy, but with a wrong kind of picture on the Godhead.

  • Trilemma

    Hopefully this movie will cause Christians to doubt what they believe about Hell and the Trinity. If Christians would study the Bible with open minds they would realize the Bible does not teach Eternal Conscious Torment or that God is triune. Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.

    • Scott “Sable” Miller

      That is a complete lie, the Bible is very clear on that subject

      • J J

        This guy has some weird fixation on Christians. I think he’s old and bored.

      • Trilemma

        If the Bible were very clear on that subject there wouldn’t be so many divergent opinions on that subject

        • Amos Moses

          there are so many divergent opinions due to rebellion to God ……..

          • Trilemma

            Rebellion to God has nothing to do with it. The people with all these divergent opinions are all trying to follow God.

          • Amos Moses

            and many are in rebellion ……… despite their proclamation …….

          • Trilemma

            If they are in rebellion and don’t realize it then it’s possible you’re in rebellion and don’t realize it.

          • Amos Moses

            we are all in rebellion …… and what it comes down to is what any person is trying to make scripture say …….. again ….. God is who He says He is ….. not us ……….

          • Trilemma

            God has not clearly said who He is. That’s why Christians don’t agree on who or what God is.

          • Amos Moses

            nope …. He has …. they just do not want to accept what they have been told ………

          • Trilemma

            God has never clearly said He’s Triune but many believe He is and many believe He is not.

          • Amos Moses

            “God has never clearly said He’s Triune”

            yes He has ………….. and you are one of those who does not accept what He has already told us ……

          • Trilemma

            Please quote a Bible verse in which God clearly says He’s triune.

          • Amos Moses

            we have already done this ….. you do not believe what you have been told by scripture ….. what would be the point ….. you deny scripture ……..

          • Trilemma

            You didn’t quote a Bible verse that clearly says God is triune because no such verse exists.

          • Amos Moses

            we have had this discussion ……… previously ….. you did not accept it then and you will not accept it now ….. what is the point …….. you deny scripture … you deny truth …….

            3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
            3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

            there is the Father talking to the Son …. all three are there …. Father, Son, and the dove as Holy Spirit ………. unless you want to say it was a ventriloquism act ….. or that He was talking to Himself ….

            it really does not matter to me what you say ….. you will deny scripture ……….

          • Trilemma

            I don’t deny that all three are present in these two verses you quoted. I don’t deny that these two verses record God speaking and the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus as a dove. But help me out here Amos. How do these two verses clearly say that God is triune? How do all three being in the same place at the same time in the same verse make them a triune God? Peter, James and John appear together in the same place at the same time in the same verse in a number of places in the Bible but that doesn’t make them a triune apostle. So how does God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus all being in the same place at the same time make them triune? What I see happening here is Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit and becoming an apostle.

          • Amos Moses

            just because the word “triune” is not used is not relevant ….. this is what God has revealed about His nature ….. 3 persons, totally distinct from one another and yet all completely Holy and no disagreement between them …… three in unity or triune ………

          • Trilemma

            How does Matthew 3:16-17 clearly say that these three distinct persons is God? And how does Matthew 3:16-17 clearly say that the Holy Spirit is a person?

          • Amos Moses

            they are all there … they are all God ………

          • Trilemma

            Matthew 3:16-17 does say they were all there but it doesn’t say they are all God. It doesn’t say Jesus is God and it doesn’t say the Holy Spirit is a person. And it certainly doesn’t say they are all the same god. You claimed that God has clearly said that He is three distinct persons in one god. Can you please quote a verse that clearly says that?

          • Amos Moses

            Jesus said He was God ……. not here …. and it says “and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” ….. what is the SPIRIT of God if not the HOLY SPIRIT …. God is HOLY ….. it could not be anything else ………. you are set on denial … you deny what scripture is saying ……….. what else needs to be said …..

          • Trilemma

            I think it’s pretty obvious that Matt 3:16 was talking about the Holy Spirit.
            I don’t deny what the Bible says but I do challenge efforts to make the Bible say things it doesn’t. Where in the Bible does Jesus say He was God?

          • Amos Moses

            “Before Abraham was, I AM” ………. John 8:58 ………. I AM is the name of God …..

            Exo 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

          • Trilemma

            Jesus did not say, “I am God.” Since He was using a name of God, then any other name of God would have carried the same meaning. He could have said, “Before Abraham was, Jehovah.” Nobody would interpret that as if He had said, “Before Abraham was, I am Jehovah.” You’re adding your perceptions to scripture.

          • Amos Moses

            “Nobody would interpret that as if He had said, “Before Abraham was, I am Jehovah.””

            the people to whom He said it to, IMMEDIATELY took up stones to stone Him to death …. they did that BECAUSE that is EXACTLY what they understood Him to say ….. FAIL ….

            8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

          • Trilemma

            That’s your perception. It doesn’t say why they picked up stones to throw at Him. He just said He was older than Abraham or more important then Abraham. For either of those they would throw stones at Him.

          • Amos Moses

            G4151
            πνεῦμα
            pneuma
            pnyoo’-mah
            From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

          • Trilemma

            My spirit or soul is not a separate distinct person from myself even though I sometimes talk to myself as if it were. So neither can the Holy Spirit or God’s spirit be a separate distinct person from Himself. The Holy Spirit is god in the same way my spirit is human. My spirit or soul is my personhood. So the Holy Spirit or God’s Spirit is His personhood or soul.

          • Amos Moses

            You and your perceptions are not at issue …. scripture is … and you and i are not God….

          • Trilemma

            Perceptions are the issue. Everyone perceives what the Bible says differently. People tend to perceive what they want to see or have been taught to see. Most Christians perceive the Bible saying there’s a place of eternal conscious torment called Hell and saying that God exists as three persons because that’s what they have been taught to perceive.

          • Amos Moses

            no … adding your perceptions to scripture …. is adding to scripture ….. and then it is not scripture ………

          • Trilemma

            People have been adding their perceptions to scripture for 2000 years. Hundreds of years ago, people of pagan background perceived eternal conscious torment and a multi-person god in scripture. Now those perceptions are accepted doctrines.

          • Charles

            Rebellion has everything to do with it. These people with these divergent views are following their own God. Not the God of the Bible.

          • Trilemma

            They’re not in rebellion just because they have a different opinion from you about the God of the Bible.

          • Charles

            You’re right. They are in rebellion because they don’t believe the Word of God.

          • Trilemma

            What makes you think they don’t believe the Word of God?

          • Charles

            If they did believe, they would understand the Word of God.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Be honest and ask God to help you understand His Word and read the Holy Bible again.

          • Trilemma

            I did. That’s why I understand the Bible differently now.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You didn’t; that’s why your conclusions and decisions are altogether wrong based on the Holy Bible. Please read the Gospel and repent of your godless unbelief.

          • Luminous

            Trilenema, why don’t you just be content to hate Christians and not try to convince others to hate Christians?

          • Amos Moses

            and if they all have a different idea of what that is ….. then some of them are wrong ….. God is not who we say He is …. He is who He says He is ……… many are called but few are chosen ……

          • Trilemma

            There are many divergent opinions about who He says He is.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          You need to read the entire text of the Holy Bible instead of picking and skipping and sleeping. The honest and logical conclusion always comes to the God of Holy Trinity and the existence of eternally conscious Heaven and justice-hell.

          • Trilemma

            Reading the entire Bible leads away from the doctrine of Hell and the triune God theory.

          • Balerion

            I do have to say, it does make for some very interesting reading material:

            Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace[c] and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch[d]; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

            24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.” 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            What is your question? Ehud killed an evil kind and liberated Isral. Read the entire chapter. Mankind wasn’t protected all the time by the finest Christian Church like Americans have been. You guys should stop being spoiled and face reality.

    • Luminous

      Oh, please “Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.” You sure don’t doubt YOUR stupid beliefs. Why should we doubt ours? Like all atheists, you are ten times more dogmatic than any Christian, and even more determined to convert people to your way of thinking.

      • Trilemma

        I’m not trying to get people to think my way; I trying to get them to think.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          “I can’t make you feel, but I can make you think.”. – Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull

        • Luminous

          Of course – and once they start thinking, they’ll agree with you on everything.

          FAIL.

          “Atheist bigot” is redundant. If you had the power, you’d have us all executed or in prison. For now, all you you can do is spew you hate on the web. Poor little Trilenema.

      • FHRITP

        Priceless! Luminous considers his own beliefs “stupid.”

    • Amos Moses

      yeah … no …….

  • FHRITP

    Though he is clearly gay and so misguided he participated in the genital mutilation of third world children once because he believed a deity wanted him to, Tim is a great guy.

  • June Bug

    Who committed the first sin?

    So, god created mankind perfect, the planet was perfect, all the plants and animals were perfect. Sure god said it was good, but is god honestly capable of creating something less than perfect be it before or after the fall of man? The answer is No otherwise were are saying that god intentionally created something faulty. To a perfect god, good is also perfect.

    Now, god placed Adam in the garden and Adam loved god and wanted nothing more than to please god in all that he would do. I opine that god wanted Adam to sin, but Adam never did, so god placed in the garden a temptation known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We know that Adam would not sin against god as described in Genesis because Adam said (wrongfully) that he was not even to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Because Adam would not sin against god, god placed Satan him self in a disguise and into the garden to tempt Eve and then in turn tempt Adam into failing god. As expected and as we already know, god succeeded in his attack on Adam and caused Adam to sin.

    I have a 1 year old little girl. I placed a bowl of candy on the coffee table and told her not to touch it. I then left the room, but kept watch from around the corner. As soon as my baby touched the candy I stormed into the room, snatched her up and began spanking her so that she knew that what she did was wrong. I was not wrong for causing her to take the candy even though I tempted her. Is that correct?

    Are we any different? Does god not also call us children and himself the father? Is eternal torment a just punishment for breaking rules if the creator of the rules is also the same one who is tempting us? It was not man who sinned against god, it was god who sinned against man. If the story about my daughter were true then it would be my sin and not her sin that should be punished.

    • Amos Moses

      yep … unless He created them so perfect they thought they were perfecter that He …. and they went into rebellion …….. oh wait …. thats what happened ……….

    • Richard T.

      The arguments you have presented here is a fairly common attack on the character of God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. And it has been refuted many many time also. This whole argument of yours ignores the freedom of choice. The key is that God gave Adam a choice, to obey or not to obey, to listen or not to listen. In short, Adam choose to disobey God and fell into sin and bondage to the devil, and lost his rightful place as the prince of this earth. It is all about freedom of choice.

      The example of putting a bowl of candy in the room for the child is false. Because you are accusing God of asking Adam to do something he cannot do. The assumption is that Adam will fall because of temptation. God does not tempt people. We are tempted by our own lust! If a child doesn’t like broccoli, placing a bowl of broccoli on the table is not a temptation. Adam was not tempted. Eve was tempted and deceived. Adam made a choice to disobey God. Eve made a choice, too. They all blame on another person, but the problem is they made their own choice. No one forced them too And do you think God wouldn’t help them fight off the temptation if they cried out for help?

      The key again, is the freedom of choice. God wants us to obey Him and love him not because we have to, but that we choose to. So everyone had a choice, including Satan and all the angles. They all made a choice, for God or against God.

      What about the eternal punishment of sin? Well, the choice against God, the rebellion against God is sin. And sin separates us from God. Without taking care of that sin, we are forever separated from God, and that is hell. Hell is the place where those who rejected God choose to go forever. Because they rejected God, they rejected His holiness, they rejected HIs rightouesness, they rejected His purity and love and grace and mercy. So hell is the place God has prepared for those who rejected Him.

      So it’s even more important to repent and choose God while there is still a chance! Don’t wait until it’s too late!

  • Luminous

    Universalism is a horrible doctrine. It makes human beings into puppets or robots, not agents of free will. God made us so we can say “No” to him. That’s what hell is. There’s an eternal banquet going on, but you can choose to shut yourself up in your closet and sulk. As C. S. Lewis said, the door to hell is locked on the inside.

    Jesus talked as much about divine judgment as he did about divine love. Universalism is a religion of cherry-picking the New Testament.

    • Richard T.

      The door to our hearts does not have a door knob on the outside. However, the door to hell or the gates of hell do have keys and Jesus Christ has them, according to the Scripture.

      • NCOriolesFan

        The heart of everyone does too have a door knob that only we can turn ourselves. Some people will lock their hearts in, or out, others will welcome visitors inside.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          I’m an atheist, but I’d just like to say, I think that’s very true. Well said.

        • Coach

          When an atheist agrees with you on theological points, your theology isn’t biblical. God opens the heart, as He did with Lydia in Acts 16.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Or maybe I just agree with him one thing.

    • FHRITP

      All Christians constantly cherry pick, and free will is an illusion. In “Sam Harris on Freewill” on Youtube, he explains why far better than I can.

  • Sharon Jackson

    I read this book many years ago and after thinking about it, as a Christian, I threw it in the garbage, realizing that it was heresy and made a mock of God’s true agenda for his people. You can’t take certain parts of the Bible and reconstruct them to appease those who are unfamiliar with the real work of God, the Bible. I’m afraid that in an attempt to draw in those who had no previous knowledge of the Bible will be drawn in by this book’s complete deconstruction of the written word of God. If you want to know what God says, read the Bible. Not someone’s fictional idea of what the Bible represents. I know there will be the haters of this opinion, but if you want to know what God says, go to the source, the Bible which was written in the spirit by his chosen people like Paul, Peter, etc. The Bible says that in the last days except for the ability to ascertain false doctrine, even the elite will be deceived by such writings. You can’t rewrite the Bible. The last sentences in the Bible says clearly that those who chose to add to or delete anything from the Bible will relinquish their place in heaven. It is worth it? I think not.

    • Trilemma

      Universal Reconciliation does not require the Bible to be rewritten. It just needs it to be translated correctly.

      • Charles

        To fit a Universal Reconciliation, it would have to be rewritten (Which they’ve been subtlety doing for some time now anyway with new “Translations”).. Doesn’t have a thing to do with the translation.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          Isn’t every Bible you read just a “translation”, though?

          • Charles

            Yes. It’s done all the time. You can read it side by side with interlinear versions if desired.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I mean, the Bible was originally written in Greek or something, so everything’s a translation, right?

          • Charles

            Right. Somehow though, I think Trilemma was thinking interpretation. But maybe not.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I even read a theory that said William Shakespeare worked on the King James Bible. At any rate, modern English is basically derived from the KJV and Shakespeare.

          • Trilemma

            I was thinking of both. Once a few Greek words are translated correctly then a different interpretation logically follows.

          • Charles

            Example?

          • Trilemma

            The Greek word, “aiōnios” is often translated “eternal. But the word is the adjective form of aiōn which means age. Therefore its meaning is tied to an age and not eternity. The word should be translated “age during” or “eonian” or “age abiding” or even “millennial.”

          • Charles

            Well.. Not really because the Greek word Aion, or Aionios is transliterated from the Hebrew word Olam. Means Eternity. For ever.

          • Trilemma

            If aiōn means eternity then why do Bibles translate it as age?

          • Charles

            Which Bible are you talking about…. Specific.

          • Trilemma

            Young’s Literal Translation. But all Bible translate aiōn as age to some extent. The NASB does so 28 times.

        • Trilemma

          The Greek would not have to be rewritten, just translated into English correctly.

          • Charles

            Nothing wrong with the translation. We do it all the time.

      • Coach

        Go ahead explain the parts where Jesus speaks of hell, weeping, gnashing of teeth, enter by the narrow gate, etc. You must be thinking of “the message”.

        • Trilemma

          Jesus didn’t speak of Hell. He spoke of Gehenna. The narrow gate and the wide gate both lead into Heaven. The narrow gate into a period of time of celebration. The wide gate into a period of time of correction. Weeping and gnashing of teeth describes those who discover they can’t enter Heaven through the narrow gate but have to enter Heaven through the wide gate.

          • http://www.gmail.com/ David van Heerden

            “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

            Jesus has keys for the place you don’t believe in. He has an enduring interest in the place:

            And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

          • Trilemma

            and he who is living, and I did become dead, and, lo, I am living to the ages of the ages. Amen! and I have the keys of the hades and of the death. – Revelation 1:18 – YLT

            Jesus has the keys to hades which refers to the grave not Hell.

            and the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name. – Revelation 14:11 – YLT

            This torment is happening in the presence of the Lamb which means it’s happening in Heaven and not Hell. Also, it doesn’t last forever but only until the ages of the ages at which point all have been reconciled.

          • http://www.gmail.com/ David van Heerden

            I don’t speak Greek. What is this “hades thing of which you speak? Fortunately, I have an excellent translation by people who DO speak Greek. Καταλαβενετε?

          • anonymous

            That’s a new one!

          • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

            “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber.

          • Trilemma

            Mixed metaphor. Matthew 7:13-14 is talking about the two gates into Heaven. John 10:1 is talking about false teachers misleading believers.

          • Coach

            Trilemma, you’re on the way to proving yourself wrong. There will be no escape when you are cast into the lake of fire for all eternity, you need to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. You love your sin and you have formed a false god in your mind who conforms to your sinful foolish understanding, therefore, you suppress knowledge of the truth by saying within yourself that people shouldn’t go to hell.

            If God in His mercy shows you your sin before He ends your fleeting life, you will praise His judgement and agree with God in your own condemnation, seeing that not only are unbelievers cast into the lake of fire to suffer literal conscience torment for all eternity, but rightfully asking, why does anyone escape?

            Your universalism, though subtly becoming increasingly popular, completely contradicts the Bible and implies that God is unjust or too weak to punish evil, attacking God’s righteousness, God’s sovereignty, and God’s salvation.

            You can celebrate spending eternity in the same place as Muhammed Ali, George Michael, Pope John Paul, Adolf Hitler, etc. but I assure you, they will spend eternity in the lake of fire, which burns forever.

            Even the YLT makes it clear that those whose names are not in the Book of Life will be cast into hell, the Revelation 20:1515 and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire.(YLT)

            I could get into the problems with that translation, but they have nothing to do with your false universalist notion, which you derived from your wicked heart, that hates God, therefore, you formulate a god in your mind to fit your depraved mind, but your god is false and you serve demons.

            1 Corinthians 10:19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

          • Trilemma

            Eternal conscious torment in a fiery Hell completely contradicts the Bible and implies that God is an unjust sadistic monster. Eternal conscious torment in a fiery Hell is horrific beyond all comprehension. It is not a just punishment for any human’s brief life of sin. It implies that God is too weak to change someone from evil to good.

            The YLT does not say anyone will be cast into Hell because the word Hell does not appear in the YLT. It also says time in the lake of fire is not eternal but until the ages of the ages when all things will be reconciled to God. Also, nonbeliever’s names will be in the Book of Life too.

            Why do people end up in Hell? Is it because God doesn’t want to save them or is it because God is not able to save them?

          • Coach

            Although you just completely attacked the truth and called God things a saved person wouldn’t dare say. Though I don’t agree with the YLT, you disagree with it also, because it doesn’t fit your false doctrine and you’re trying to make it do so, you don’t even have an explanation for the phrase “ages of the ages”, yet you suppose it to somehow jump through the loops of your flawed understanding. You’ve denied the lake of fire, which the YLT attests to, then you add that unbelievers are in the Book of Life and assume that God will take your Word over His in the day of judgement.

            To answer your question: God is fully able to save whom He wills to save, I refer you to one of the most hated portions of scripture, Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

            19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

            22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory

          • Trilemma

            I did not attack the truth. I attacked what you believe is the truth. I did not call God anything a saved person wouldn’t say. I said the doctrine of eternal conscious torment says horrible things about God.

            As for the “ages of the ages,” it means that of all the ages, the ages of the ages are the best ages. It’s the same way “the Holy of Holies” means that of all the Holy places, the Holy of Holies is the Holiest. This is a common Hebrew way of constructing a superlative. Examples of similar constructions are “servant of servants” (Gen 9:25), “Sabbath of sabbaths” (Ex 31:15), “God of gods” (Deut 10:17), “Vanity of vanities” (Eccl 1:2), “Song of songs” (Song of Songs 1:1), “king of kings” (Ezra 7:12), etc.

            I did not deny the lake of fire. I denied you assertion that people spend eternity there. If the Book of Life does not have any names in it of unbelievers, then there was no need to have it opened at the judgment depicted at the end of chapter 20 of Revelation.

            So, you believe God not only does not want to save everyone but that it’s His will that the vast majority of humanity spends eternity in Hell. What does that say about God’s character? Whatever we would say about parents who have children so they can torture the children for their whole lives can be said about a God who wills people to spend eternity in Hell.

          • Coach

            Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

            You claim God doesn’t send anyone to hell for eternity, but that you didn’t deny the lake of fire, but you did. One problem with your false interpretation is that you would have to conclude that the righteous spend the same amount of time in heaven as the unrighteous spend in hell.

            You search tirelessly to find a way to justify your unbelief, but fail to look to Christ Jesus, your only hope of escaping the wrath to come, instead you blaspheme the Lord because you love your sin.

            If a child lies to his friend, his friend may be upset, if he lies to his parents, he receives a spanking, if he lies to a judge, he will be incarcerated. All these people are higher degrees of authority, yet all of them are sinful themselves.

            God is infinitely holy and infinitely good. You are neither of those. The greatest command is to love God with all your heart soul mind and strength, so inevitably the greatest crime would be not to do that. There’s not a single moment of your life that you’ve obeyed the greatest command. God is holy and if He could set apart His justice to show love, His love would be unjust, if He loved that which is evil, His love would be evil.

            God must punish sin, His nature depends on it. On the cross of Jesus Christ, the Father poured out the full force of His wrath on His Son for the sake of His elect. Christ bore the punishment of every believer who’s ever lived and ever will live. He is the only Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus could suffer the eternal punishment for His people in a few hours on the cross because He’s worth infinitely more than all of the universe combined. That’s my King!, but you don’t know Him.

          • Trilemma

            And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during. – Matthew 25:46 YLT

            According to the Bible, believers enter Heaven into a celebration depicted allegorically as a wedding feast and unbelievers enter Heaven into punishment depicted allegorically as the Lake of Fire. The celebration is the age-during life. When the celebration ends, life continues on in Heaven as a different age-during life. When the punishment ends, life continues on in Heaven as a different age-during life. Just because the celebration ends and the punishment ends doesn’t mean life in Heaven ends.

          • Coach

            way to twist scripture, you’ve learned well as a disciple of the devil

          • Trilemma

            I’m untwisting what was twisted hundreds of years ago.

          • Coach

            What makes you think you’re not on your way to the lake of fire?

          • Trilemma

            I’ve striven to do the things God has led me to do.

    • Linda Antoine George

      Thank you Sharon.
      Very well said.

      • FHRITP

        “Stated.” She “said” nothing.

        • Scott “Sable” Miller

          you just don’t want to understand or hear what she said – unadulterated truth

  • TheKingOfRhye

    The only thing I have to say about this is that Tebow was pretty much a failure in the NFL. He’s an option QB, who was trying to make it in a league where that just ain’t the thing.

    • Vern

      Thanks so much for pointing that out. After reading your post, it’s obvious that we should never listen to anything Tim Tebow says. His opinions as a Christian are worthless.

      You’ve done us a huge favor.

      • TheKingOfRhye

        Um…i hope that’s sarcasm. Poe’s Law, ya know.

  • Jsalley

    Good grief.
    Some of you people are pathetic.
    One thing about Christians: most of them don’t mind eating their own.
    Unfortunately, there is still A LOT of Pharisee in the church.
    Look: There is a REASON that we have Catholics, 115 denominations of Protestants, innumerable nondenominational churches, Greek Orthodox, etc.:
    NO ONE has perfect theology. No one.
    Is ALL the theology in the book, and the movie, perfect.
    Nawww.
    But you know what? It’s ok.
    Because the core tenants of this movie are RIGHT, and they are desperately needed.
    Does God love you, desperately?
    Is He with you, even when bad things happen?
    Does He want the personal relationship with you, so He can heal you?
    Are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the same nature – LOVE?
    Yes.
    Yes,
    Yes,
    Yes.
    Look. God isn’t a woman (the ridiculous part of the criticism here is that He is shown as a man later). God isn’t a man. God is spirit.
    It’s a parable, a dream, and way to open the door to the hurt part of your spirit.

    People that would never come to a church will come to this movie, and they will discover that there is a God who truly, deeply loves them, and wants relationship with them. They will go to church to find answers.
    My fear is that, with most of our churches, they really don’t know who He is.

    • Richard T.

      First, the reason that we have many denominations among the Protestants is because people do disagree about doctrines and they do separate based on their beliefs freely. However, ALL Christians from the denominations should all believe in the same major doctrines that make us Christians. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, that Jesus died for our sins according to Scripture (Old Testament), he was buried and on the 3rd day was raised from the dead and now sits next to the Father in Heaven. And very soon He will return to judge and rule the whole creation. Christians may disagree on many other points, but true Christians will never deny the redemptive work of Christ and the deity of Christ. Any major deviation from this truth, then they are not believing in true Christianity.

      Secondly. even if some of the ideas espoused by the book and the movie is right, doesn’t mean the whole thing is right. Lies are many times half truth or lies mixed with truth. In fact the most dangerous lies are the lies that are mixed with truth and mixed with twisted truth. We do not build our theology and doctrines on one verse of the Bible alone. It has to be build upon the whole complete teaching of God.

      So let’s look at what the book is claiming:
      1. Does God love you?

      Yes, God does love everyone. That is why Jesus had to die to pay for the price of sin so that He can redeem us. God is love, but God is also just. That’s why He cannot forgive us without someone to pay for the sin. So God does love the world and has provided a way to salvation through Christ, and Christ alone. No one can come to the Father except through Christ.
      2. Is He with you, even when bad things happened?

      First of all, is this question directed to people who knows Christ or people who don’t know Christ? For people who knows Christ, all things works for the good of them. And yes, God has promised never to forsake them. But this is not true to people who don’t know Christ. Yes, God is everywhere with His ominpresence, but people can’t feel Him or reach Him with His ominpresence. We can only see Him and reach Him when He reveals Himself to us with His revealed presence, such as in the Tabernacle. But He cannot reveal Himself to us because we are not holy, if He does, we would all be consumed. In order to enter into His presence, there’s need to be a lot of preparations. God is not our “pal” that we can just “hang out” with. He is HOLY!
      3. Does He want a personal relationship with you?
      Yes, God wants us to know Him personally. But we have to come God’s way, through the way that God has prepared for us, that is through Christ.

      4. Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s nature:
      The nature of God is very broad and rich. All throughout the Bible, God has revealed Himself to us. The most prominent being that God is fire, God is light and God is love. Yes, God is love, but God is also a consuming fire. God is also light, that reveals evil and dispels darkness.

      The book and the movie distorts the characters of God, hence it is blasphemy. It wrongly represents God’s love and totally ignored God’s justice and the need for salvation in the first place. If God is all loving, why not just forgive everyone anyway, why go through the trouble of dying on the cross to pay the price? The danger of this book is that it spreads false doctrines about God’s characters and it will lead many astray from the truth.

    • Coach

      Maybe the Shack writers simply want what you want and it’s not God, you want another god, because you hate the God of the Bible. There’s the true bride of Christ, His church and then there’s a bunch of religious lost people on the road to eternal damnation. Right now, God is making manifest who His true bride is as the professing church goes deeper into apostasy.

  • onehstrybuff

    For one thing, he’s not a New York Mets outfielder, he’s only in the farm system. And he certainly wasn’t an NFL great, or he’d still be employed there. Quit the sensationalism, it serves no purposes other then to lead into your “unbiblical” story. The bible was written by man, not by god.

  • Kaye

    God himself could come to earth and some would argue with what he would say or how he appeared. It’s a book and movie not fact.. If it gives one person more joy and compassion to show more love to people and to heal pain it is a success.

    • anonymous

      Unfortunately, Kaye, there will be those who go to the movie and develop their theology through it, rather than the Bible.

  • NCOriolesFan

    Let me put the movie this way; The God and Father of Jesus Christ would never force anyone back to the scene of a tragedy, worse the murder of a loved one, to re-focus on a lost faith or even demand forgiveness of the perpetrator. That would make God look to be vengeful and Jesus dying on the Cross a lost cause. God allows victims of tragedy to make those choices themselves.
    Secondly, no way is the Holy Spirit or Ghost a woman in the Holy Scriptures.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      Maybe its just a theological question, but why would a God be either male or female?

      • NCOriolesFan

        Because in the Holy Bible, Jesus is the same as God the Father, hence the male answer.

      • FHRITP

        Not “just.” Please omit “Maybe it’s just a theological question, but.”

        • TheKingOfRhye

          I guess what I’m wondering is, what use would God have for being of one sex?

          • FHRITP

            “Guess?” That makes no sense. Either you’re wondering something or you’re not. Please don’t try to “guess” what you might be thinking. “Know” what you are thinking. Again stop being so wishy washy. Your question is quite viable if you omit “I guess what I’m wondering is, “

          • TheKingOfRhye

            okay. Fine. I rephrase my question . Why does God have a sex?

          • anonymous

            Every father or son that I have ever known have been male.

      • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

        Might search on The Holy Spirit- God and Spirit are neither, however the ‘nouns’ could be regarded as either masculine, feminine, or neuter – the Spirit of Holiness , the word for it in Aramaic (only from a few sources) regard the word for the Spirit to be ‘feminine’ but that has nothing to do with ‘sexuality’. but language usage (German has neuter, feminine, and masculine articles and nouns..even inanimate objects can be neuter or feminine, e.g.). Regardless, the use of ‘unisex’ is coming from the liberal mindset and is a rather new invention other than paganism…Universalists might like it ..some from the UCC …and organizations like Alchoholics Anonymous Universalism is nothing new but does make not only God but Jesus a liar. “No one comes to the Father but through Me, and no one can come to Me unless the Father enables them”. Jesus never referred to a ‘female’ God restricting to God the Father…and he said. who is my mother, and my brother and my sister?..and he spread his hands out to those whom He had chosen since the foundation of the world. ” But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘your father’, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven. “

    • FHRITP

      Is it not beyond debate, rather a tenet of Christianity that God IS very vengeful? Doesn’t he send sinners to an eternity in hell out of vengence? Didn’t he kill the entire planet save a handful on an ark out of vengence? Also, does He not act in mysterious ways far beyond our comprehension, thus negating your claim to know how He would act in any given situation?

  • HpO

    Let’s go beyond this great article by Heather Clark, by pursuing an evangelistic course of action – the re-evangelization of W. Paul Young.  How?

    1st, based on this article, by asking W. Paul Young, How come in The Shack, you’ve decided to incorporate “universalistic doctrine and other unbiblical material … heretical” even; then portray a “misrepresentation of a holy God” – such that “God will never judge … is all love … forgave everyone … look hip and human … died on the cross”?

    2nd, hear W. Paul Young well as he answers that question: “I grew up a modern Evangelical fundamentalist preacher’s kid (but) I don’t want you to try to have a relationship with the God I grew up with. But let me write, as best I know how, the character and nature of the God who actually showed up and healed my heart.” (W. Paul Young, interview, Beliefnet, February 17, 2017)

    3rd, follow that up by asking W. Paul Young, Healed from what, and healed how?

    4th, again hear W. Paul Young well as he answers the first part to that question:  He writes The Shack to be healed from sexual abuse, authoritarian patriarchy, and adultery: “sexual abuse was a part of my world before I was five years old, … it took me decades to work through the damage” (W. Paul Young, interview, Goodreads, September 2015).  “A lot of my imaginations of God was a projection of my own damage because of my father” (W. Paul Young, interview, New Statesman, 3 January 2013).  “All I had left was the shame (of my adultery) … and I had to make a decision to either kill myself or face (my wife) Kim” (W. Paul Young, interview, BookPage, December 2008).

    5th, now hear W. Paul Young well as he answers the second part to that question:  He writes The Shack to prove and demonstrate that his healing comes from secularism, pushbacked imagery, and paradigm tampering:  “I am constantly trying to find … huge amounts of resonance within secularism that religion has created inhibitions to address.” (W. Paul Young, interview, Goodreads, September 2015)  “I have had this pushback about the imagery” of God.  “Imagery doesn’t define God, it helps us understand the character and nature of God.” (W. Paul Young, interview, NPR, December 1, 2012; and interview, Eden, January 11th, 2013)  “I wanted to play with the paradigms we have theologically … to re-think how we view God, how we view our relationship with God … to tamper with some of your sensibilities just by virtue of what it is … to challenge the existing narrative” (W. Paul Young, interview, TitleTrakk, 2012; and interview, Eden, January 11th, 2013; and interview, Goodreads, September 2015).

    6th, convince W. Paul Young that secularism, pushbacked imagery, and paradigm tampering still haven’t healed him from sexual abuse, authoritarian patriarchy, and adultery.  Only God’s ransoming Fatherly love through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and savior of the rest of the world, can accomplish all that – if only you, W. Paul Young, would come to possess a living faith in such saving gospel.

  • msicairos

    The true purpose of life is to know your God who created all. Not just to know about Him, but to trully know Him and develop an intimate personal relationship, that will restore to all Life through the resurrected Holy Spirit. Jesus said: ‘Ive come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ Jn.10:10. I ask; What kind of people need life? Only dead people; (We all died in Adam) when God told Adam and Eve; “..for in the day that you eatest thereof you will surely die” Gen.2:17. They did died Spiritually.
    “Salvation is the restoration of life” Rom.5:10

    • FHRITP

      As written your statement is false. To make it true, add “my” before the first “life,” and change “your” to “my.”

      • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

        Not really..he capitalized LIFE that infers Eternal Life… He wrote it exactly as it is written…

  • Carol Martin

    That is not the first time Tim screwed up.

  • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

    What people might read instead is Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. I haven’t read this ‘shack’ book nor have any desire to, but from what I’ve seen on it, it looks like a very cheap . shallow. and broad spin off on Pilgrim’s Promise by John Bunyan which is far more theologically relative than this comic book version of Reality – “The Shack’ is just that. It’s like the santa claus version of Truth ..though there is none but in the vanity of the imagination of the natural man