The author writes, “What I see here is God as Mother, receiving back into her womb the one whom she has made in her own image.”  The author claims the return to “God’s womb” is the “deeper meaning” to the story of the prodigal son. 
God as Mother? Nowhere in the Bible are we ever instructed to address God in this manner. Yet this is become increasingly common. We have already seen in the past year an ostensibly Christian church worshiping a Mother Goddess.
According to the author, “The mystery, indeed, is that God in her infinite compassion has linked herself for eternity with the life of her children.” 
Finally, the author speaks of the “first and everlasting love of a God who is Father as well as Mother.” 
What’s going on here? Pretty much the same thing that Satan has been trying to accomplish since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is all about watering down or perverting the biblical understanding of God.
Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John:8:44)
Some have tried to present God as goddess (call it for what it is) because Christ used the simile about a mother hen protecting her chicks. (Matthew:23:27, Luke:13:34) This is quite a stretch, attempting to justify this based on this one passage. And Dads and grandpas and uncles can be pretty protective and tender as well, right?
So, who is the author? Surprisingly, it’s not Paul Young, author of The Shack. The man who wrote this is contemplative darling Henri Nouwen, a heretic who remains popular in seminaries and with many Christian leaders. It is not surprising to find one of Nouwen’s books on The Shack author’s list of “Twenty Books Everyone Should Read.”
Young and Nouwen are purveyors of another Jesus, and therefore another gospel, which is not the gospel at all:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians:1:8)
Nouwen, deceased since 1996, continues to serve as a lure into contemplative practices and his version of universalism. How can this be? Nouwen has powerful advocates, such as Mike Bickle, Francis Chan, and others.
1. Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Direction, pg. 76-77