Come, Let Us Reason Together
I find it rather fascinating that many of those who subscribe to and enjoy our newsletter tell me they like to read the "Letters" page first. Perhaps it's because they want to know what others think about what we've written previously. To give you a little insight, we have no particular scheme or design regarding the letters we select; our objective is to always reflect a balance of readers' reactions from month to month.
I don't think we have ever responded in print to any of the letters, simply letting our readers have their say--whether we agree or not. This TBC Notes may be the only exception to our unwritten rule.
In deference to the wishes of the writer of the letter defending The Shack, I will refrain from debating his views. However, I'm compelled to ask some questions that his letter raises. I hope that he and others will carefully and biblically consider the questions and their responses, to the end that they are consistent--not with what I think--but with the faith delivered once for all unto the saints (Jude 3).
If our Creator, who is infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing, has communicated to His finite and fallen creation what we need to know about Him and can only know in truth because He has revealed such information to us, don't we need to search the Scriptures to compare what anyone thinks or writes about Him with what He has revealed in His Word?
Shouldn't everything that man writes regarding Christ (books, poems, hymns, etc.) reflect the truth about Him as revealed in His Word? No matter how good it seems or makes one feel, if it's not true to the Scriptures, wouldn't this lead to a false characterization of Jesus, and ultimately to "another Jesus"?
Specific to The Shack and the letter we received, could a fictional book that pretends to "reveal His nature" truly give one "a greater sense of how much [Jesus] loves humanity and how close and personal He really is"? Greater than revealed truth? How does that "good food" compare with "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew:4:4)? Can the "food" be good if it's false? How can the "fruit of the spirit truly flourish" except in truth by the Spirit of truth? Can a "different lens" that imagines things that do not conform to sound doctrine truly "allow the Spirit and Love of Jesus to flow"?
Finally (only for lack of space), and most critically, who would dare, other than a false prophet, psychic, medium, channeler, shaman, etc., to conjure up or contrive conversations with God? Who is actually speaking?
These questions (and many, many others) need to be answered by those enamored by The Shack.
T. A. McMahon