“True worship must worship God as He exists, not as we wish Him to be. The essence of idolatry is the making of images of God. An image is a shadow, a false representation. We may not bow before a statue or a figure, but if we make an image of god in our mind that is not in accord with God’s revelation of himself, then we are not worshipping in truth….” writes James R. White. “If we love Him and worship Him as He deserves, we will not dare to ‘edit’ Him to fit our desires.”
“Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15).
In my last column I established that the best-selling book The Shack is being touted as more than just a novel. Within the pages of the book itself, we read, “[This book] offers one of the most poignant views of God and how he relates to humanity that has been written in our time…. [It is] a magnificent glimpse into the nature of God that is not often presented in our culture.” (Perhaps this is because our culture has become biblically illiterate.) Through his numerous interviews, author William Paul Young has shown that The Shack is his personal theological and philosophical response countering the “evangelical, fundamental Protestant” culture in which he grew up. His former beliefs were skewed, not orthodox. It is good he abandoned them but, unfortunately, as we are seeing, his new views are also skewed and not orthodox.
The Shack is Young’s attempt to deal with the problem of evil, the nature of God (His goodness and love), and mankind’s redemption. In my last column I argued that Young’s anthropomorphic portrayal of God strays into the realm of blasphemy. Other reviewers have said that Young’s portrayal of God the Father as an African American woman and the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman reminds us of those who exchange “the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings” (Romans 1:23). As Alexander Pope wrote, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”.