Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Shack

In a recent radio interview, The Shack author, Paul Young, told the interviewer he did not hold to the traditional view of the atonement in that he does not believe Jesus Christ bore the punishment (i.e., penalty) for man's sins when He died on the Cross. Look at a partial transcript here.

He also stated, with regard to this topic: "I don't know if you're aware, but that's a huge debate that's going on in theology right now within the evangelical community." That debate, to which Young refers, is the new theology (or as we call it the new spirituality) that is entering Christianity through contemplative and emerging figures such as Brennan Manning, Brian McLaren, and Marcus Borg.

This "huge debate" states that a loving Father would never send His Son to a violent death on behalf of the sins of others. And while they do not deny that Jesus did physically die on a Cross, they insist that His death was not to be a substitutionary act wherein He was punished for our sins. Rather, they say, He was killed by man, not for man. And he was a perfect model of sacrificial servanthood. As Episcopal new spirituality author, Alan Jones, states, "Jesus' sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution was the name of this vile doctrine" (Reimagining Christianity, p. 168).

We need, as Christians, to be aware of what is true doctrine and what is not; especially where it belittles the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.


Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

I love the Shack. It pains me to read the negative reviews -- some are actually outright lying about the contents. I wrote a review on my blog. Youngs words are twisted.

There is a new book out "Finding God in The Shack" in response to the negative reviews. You can read 1st chap free

Doug Harris - Reachout Trust said...

Thanks Robert. I think you may have missed the central issue in this post. We are not directly questioning the book but the words of the author. The question asked, "Is the God you find in 'The Shack' the God of the Scriptures?" is different to the one you answered.

It is not the words of the book we are quoting or indeed misquoting but the actual words of the author which clearly show he does not believe a central tenet of Scripture.

Which God therefore do we find in the Shack?