Upcoming ‘Shack’ Movie Depicting God as Woman Could ‘Far Outweigh’ Harm of Novel
Christian leaders who have issued warnings about William P. Young’s bestselling novel “The Shack,” which portrays God as a woman and espouses universalistic beliefs, state that if the scheduled national film release is faithful to the text of the book, its distribution could “far outweigh” the harm already done to souls through the printed page.
“If the film is a faithful portrayal of the events and the theology of the book, then every Christian should be gravely alarmed at the further advance of beliefs that smear the evangelical understanding of the truth of the Bible,” 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.
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 2017 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.
DeYoung says 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.”
DeYoung encouraged Christians to ask themselves key questions about the film’s content.
“My word to the viewers of the movie ‘The Shack’ is this: If they confess to be Christians, they should pay close attention to the statements made by the actors and ask themselves: Does this theology agree with the Bible and Christian doctrine? Or, is it more in line with the old distortions of the truth that Christians have identified as…
(Clark, “Christians Warn Upcoming ‘Shack’ Movie Depicting God as Woman Could ‘Far Outweigh’ Harm of Novel, ChristianNews Online, 12/20/16).