"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Warning: Read This Post With Discernment !!!

William Paul Young's Book The Shack is available for sale through LifeWay's website LifeWay has posted a Read With Discernment tag on the book. Discernment? The book is a work of fiction. It is an allegory. It is not a theological textbook, nor is it confessional statement like the Baptist Faith and Message. Again, The Shack is Christian FICTION.

What seems humorous to me is the feeling by some that it is necessary to place a Read With Discernment tag on the book. Sometimes I feel we Southern Baptists are the equivalent of second graders spiritually. Here you have a book that is Christian fiction. There is no illicit sex, no foul language, and no promotion of immorality in the book. For heaven's sake, it was written for the author's own CHILDREN. But we stamp a Read With Discernment tag on it.

But before we get all over LifeWay for the silly little tag, we must remember that it was placed on the book after a few Texas Southern Baptists went on a campaign to get the book removed as "harmful and dangerous" to the body of Christ. In other words, LifeWay resisted the book banning Baptists and compromised with a discernment tag. Thank the Lord. If we allow Baptist Identity adherents to have their way we will wind up as Southern Baptists having an elite group of all knowing leaders who will tell everyone else what is acceptable to read.

The desire of some to guard the eyes of all Baptists reminds me of what I read on a Jehovah Witness website about the dangers of anybody in the Jehovah's Witness movement thinking independently for himself or herself. The leaders wrote:

"Avoid independent thinking...questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983 pg. 22)

"Fight against independent thinking." (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983 pg. 27 )

"Let us face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own." (Watchtower; Dec. 1, 1990; p. 19)

"Stay away from deep Bible study to determine meanings of the scriptures."" (JW Leader Karl Klein, Address to WT, April, 30, 1980)

William Paul Young, author of The Shack, will be at Emmanuel, Enid to speak on Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 2009. Our people are mature enough to read for themselves this work of fiction, and they will receive no "warning" that reading it may be harmful. Those present Saturday night will also have the opportunity to ask the author questions about the book and then on Sunday night we will listen to William Paul young recount his own spiritual journey and what led him to write the book. We may end up disovering that the author's theology doesn't line up with our own in all places. It will make us no difference. We are not a cult. We enjoy the feedom of debate. We appreciate differing views. We aren't threatened.

The Holy Spirit does a pretty good job of taking care of us.

So much so, we even don't mind people in our church reading the much more dangerous and bizarre Left Behind Books, which by the way, merit no discernment tag from LifeWay.

Smile.

Wade Burleson

214 comments:

1 – 200 of 214   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed Lifeway would even sell the book. Fiction or not is depicts God in a heretical way.

Dwight Schrute

gram said...

haha! this is going to be good.....
you're right on this one, wade...

Thy Peace said...

I have not read any of these books: either The Shack or Left Behind Books.

I have lot of books on my book shelves that I am certain will not be kosher with SBC. But I am a curious person. Lot of times, I get burned that way, but I always end up learning for the better.

My understanding of the cursory reading of arguments against The Shack, for the portrayal of The Trinity in human forms, and forms that are non-kosher for SBC.

How did SBC react to Harry Potter? How did SBC react to Star Trek? All the different version of it.

I guess, they do not sell that material at Lifeway.

Oh, just wondering ... What if one discerns that they have no discernment, does it mean they truly do not have any discernment?

This post will be fun, just to read the comments.

Wade Burleson said...

Dwight Schrute,

A pronouncement of heresy from a fictional character on a hit television series carries as much weight as Hugh Hefner pronouncing his magazine godly.

Sorry.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Good points all.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Why don't you just set up a bunch of copies of "The Shack" in your church? If it does not need a type of 'read with discernment' then you should be comfortable having your entire congregation read it.

What is funny is that Michael Yousseff even sees this book as dangerous for young believers, but here you are just taking more shots at the SBC. Any pastor would be a fool to have want his church to read this book. Christians who are not solid theologically could easily draw wrong conclusions about God from this book.

Dwight Schrite

John D said...

Fiction or not doesn't matter. It portrays a Modalistic view of God. Modalism is a heresy - the Shack is heresy.

I think that the best review of the Shack has been done by Tim Challies, a professional reviewer and amazing blogger. His review can be found here:

http://www.challies.com/media/The_Shack.pdf

Thy Peace said...

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Smyrl on the Attack - This Time its Lifeway and Tom Rainer

Boy, who put starch in Jim Smyrl's shorts lately? He seems to be getting mighty grumpy these days. Maybe the pressure this economy is putting on him and Mac is starting to get to him.

A few months ago he decided to label all Catholic priests as "cult leaders", and declared Obama voters as needing to repent of their sin to be in full Christian fellowship. Then last week from the pulpit he effectively accused FBC Dallas of "blasphemous self promotion" when he read selected snippets of phrases from their latest branding commercial - a blatant mischaracterization of the commercial to be able to label it as blasphemy.

Now in the latest installment of "Smyrl on the Attack" we see this week Jim is slamming the SBC agency Lifeway and its leader, Tom Rainer in Jim's 1/27/09 blog entry entitled "Lifeway Without the Way". This article appeared on the FBC Jax blogsite but apparently they are having blog technical difficulties once again. Isn't it an amazing coincidence how the FBC Jax blogsite blows up whenever Jim makes a post blasting other Christian leaders? Out of my devotion to Jim and to the truth, I have done Jim the favor of posting his article below. In it Jim accuses Lifeway of offering "poision" in selling the book "The Shack", and he seems to imply that Tom Rainer went back on his word in NOT removing it from the Lifeway offerings.

Chris Ryan said...

Wade,

You busted my sides with the comments on Left Behind. There is heresy at its finest.

Wade Burleson said...

"Why don't you just set up a bunch of copies of "The Shack" in your church? If it does not need a type of 'read with discernment' then you should be comfortable having your entire congregation read it."

Uh, if the author is speaking you might expect the book to be available. And, yes, it will be available without the discernment tag.

Thy Peace said...

All the below links are from NYT:

Best Sellers > Paperback Trade Fiction, Published: March 6, 2009

Christian Novel Is Surprise Best Seller
Eckhart Tolle may have Oprah Winfrey, but “The Shack” has people like Caleb Nowak.

Mr. Nowak, a maintenance worker near Yakima, Wash., first bought a copy of “The Shack,” a slim paperback novel by an unknown author about a grieving father who meets God in the form of a jolly African-American woman, at a Borders bookstore in March. He was so taken by the story of redemption and God’s love that he promptly bought 10 more copies to give to family and friends.

“Everybody that I know has bought at least 10 copies,” Mr. Nowak said. “There’s definitely something about the book that makes people want to share it.”

Thousands of readers like Mr. Nowak, a regular churchgoer, have helped propel “The Shack,” written by William P. Young, a former office manager and hotel night clerk in Gresham, Ore., and privately published by a pair of former pastors near Los Angeles, into a surprise best seller. It is the most compelling recent example of how a word-of-mouth phenomenon can explode into a blockbuster when the momentum hits chain bookstores, and the marketing and distribution power of a major commercial publisher is thrown behind it.


EXCERPT ‘The Shack’

Bob Cleveland said...

Gee, one wonders why SWBTS didn't slap a "Listen With Discernment" tag on Rev. McKissic's sermon, and leave it up on their website.

Sounds like certain entities of the SBC have a really, really low opinion of the Spiritual discernment of the SBC members, which hints at a similarly low opinion of their Seminaries' ability to produce pastors with discernment and good preaching abilities, and also hints at a dim view of Lifeway's own material and its ability to lead to discernment among those who've studied it.

The mind boggles. I think we've all been insulted.

Alan Paul said...

Heh heh... nice post.

A clue for Dwight: No one in a post denom, post christian world is paying attention to your doctrinal arguments. I am guessing that the lost would PROBABLY respond better to love as opposed to being told their heretics for reading it.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Why not just go get the guy that called Jesus a racist to come speak at your church?

Dwight Schrute

debbiekaufman said...

Dwayne: There is no way that you could have read that book and come up with this all on your own. And for those that have, well, let's just say they can't see the forest for the trees.

The same argument has been and is going on concerning CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters and the Narnia chronology. So forgive me if I pay as much attention to the critics of The Shack as I do to CS Lewis critics, which is none.

I read the book, I enjoyed the book. And I knew it was fiction.

Amanda said...

My biggest beef with the "read with discernment" stickers is that they imply that there are certain books that aren't supposed to be read with discernment.

Robert said...

Lifeway sells only Christian Materials!
Quote from Lifeway Vice president

The Shack is not a Christian Book!

No body wants to ban this book from Barnes and Noble....it just should not be sold at Lifeway.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Jake Snodgrass said...

It is lame that lifeway would put a label on a book...I mean they sell plenty of other junk that has no label. They should put a label around most of their commentary sections that says 'this section as a whole represents low-end scholarship and if you want real commentaries you should go online."

With that said I read and bought The Shack to put it next to The Prayer of Jabez, The Left Behind Series, and my various copies of the Purpose Driven Series which are all located in my 'Christian Sub-Culture Mania' section. The Shack drums up emotionalism and inserts sappy sentimentalism which only grows the joke that has become of evangelicalism. Lifeway and The Shack are representatives of two equally annoying segments of Christian Sub-Culture. Fundamentalists and the therapeutics, neither find their identity in the gospel but simply in their rules and in their feelings. The author of The Shack is no CS Lewis.. this is a romance novel's attempt at theology.

David Samples said...

I read "The Shack" before I knew that it was controversial, having been given a copy by a dear friend. I struggled through the early chapters and almost abandoned the ship early on. I, like I suppose everyone else, struggled with the presentation of God, The Father. That whole early shack scene with the scenery changing, etc. just seemed silly to me. However, I stayed with it and I'm very glad that I did.

It seems to me that the storyline is about the main character's struggle with God, finding and giving forgiveness, and coming to peace with the chaotic events that had divinely interrupted his life. I read most of the book while on a family retreat to Steamboat Springs. I don't mind telling you that I wept and grieved over the losses in my own life as I began to identify with the main character's loss. The book took me to a place where I could identify with my own struggles, my own bitterness, and my own scars.

I recommend the book often, especially to those whom I know carry deep pain from past losses and abuses. These "broken" people seem to go where I went when they read the book, in terms of processing through some of their deep hurts. I would hate for someone to miss the comfort that The Shack offers for fear of falling into theological error. I did not fall into that error as far as I can tell. My theology has not changed based on reading The Shack. I still do not believe that the Father looks (even for a moment) like a big black woman (or for that matter like a big white- bearded man). For me it was more like a prayer journey than a theological text book.

I have also benefitted by reading other books like, "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" without changing my theology to view God has a big lion. To me the book is not unlike Pilgrim's Progress, or "Hinds Feet on High Places". It's simply a representation of our journey to find and know God.

While I'm confessing let me also say that I enjoyed "Bruce Almighty" and the sequel "Evan Almighty" (I should say that I don't believe that Morgan Freeman is God either).

Continuing with movies, I consider "The Passsion of the Christ" to be powerful and moving even though much of the movie comes from Roman Catholic tradition in addition to the biblical text.

I guess "The Shack" is one more item on our list of things to be against. That's too bad--because I for one greatly benefitted by reading it.

Robert said...

The Best Review!!!!!


http://tinyurl.com/4ej3ks


Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

Dwight Schrute can get help HERE

debbiekaufman said...

It seems to me that the storyline is about the main character's struggle with God, finding and giving forgiveness, and coming to peace with the chaotic events that had divinely interrupted his life. I read most of the book while on a family retreat to Steamboat Springs. I don't mind telling you that I wept and grieved over the losses in my own life as I began to identify with the main character's loss. The book took me to a place where I could identify with my own struggles, my own bitterness, and my own scars.

This was the same reaction I had to the book. Thank you David for articulating it so well.

Robert said...

More reviews

Kendall Adams http://tinyurl.com/chopsw


Al Mohler. http://tinyurl.com/dkf6e6

Chuck Colson. http://tinyurl.com/d8co3e

Mark Driscol. http://tinyurl.com/6lnxxu

Michael Youssef http://tinyurl.com/dzr5jo

Ben Witherington http://tinyurl.com/636aop


Lets see on Wades side we have the great theologian Wynona Judd


Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote a good critique on the Narnia books one time...the theologian acutally appreciated CS Lewis books but did note that the concept of the Trinity is not carried over well in the books. Ther are many Christian oriented fiction books do seemingly have problem in conveying this concept (for one thing it is not easy to do if you know of some that don't, I would love to know more about them and read them). In some Pentecostal circles some people abandon the Trinity all together.

Anonymous said...

It does seem kind of stupid that Lifeway doesn't put a "Read with disdainment" sticker on all of Osteen's "stuff".

What message is Lifeway sending by NOT putting stickey notes on Osteen's "stuff"?

arsanq

Joe Blackmon said...

On page 120 of the Shack, the character who is written to represent God, a woman called Papa, says “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

On page 182, the character meant to represent Jesus says “Those who love me come from every stream that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions”. Mack asks for clarification. “Does that mean...that all roads will lead to you?” “'Not at all,' smiled Jesus...'Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you'”. Jesus then goes on to say “I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu (the character who plays the Holy Spirit).”

(sarcasm) I can't imagine why anyone would think that book contained heresy. I mean, those quotes line up perfectly with what the Bible teaches and do not contradict the Bible at all. I can see why someone would want to have that man come speak at their church. His book is full of Christian doctrine. (/sarcasm)

Karen in OK said...

Thanks, Joe.

As other people in other places have pointed out, The Shack is a parable, not a work of systematic theology.
And many people are emotionally helped by the book in some way, skating over theological problems because of their illiteracy.

As others have also pointed out, the reason for this book's existence is as a mouthpiece for the author's theology, his attempt to explain God's workings. So such a book that displays monarchianism, modalism, and other heresies DOES need to be read with discernment.

I personally think it is disappointing, Wade, that you would spend your church's time on one of the latest problematical evangelical fads. Reminds me of the internet monk's recent famous commentary on the decline of evangelicalism.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

The book, while fiction, represents an underlying ideology of theological cynicism and a revisionary approach to the understanding of the Godhead. For the moment, the intent of the author and your deep passion for the right of the book to be judged on the author's merit and the books right to be read and studied as Christian fiction should be placed aside. The book should then be judged on its resulting tenor. The fact is that this piece of fiction has outraged many believers of many stripes. Your cynical response to them is without grace to say the least, if I might so respectfully say. One only needs to listen to or read Dr. Mohler's review to realize that there are deep theological concerns that those of us with lesser credentials should pause to consider without screaming "FICTION," as if this title gives a license to rewrite biblical theology for the sake of entertainment. Christian authors, even those of fiction, have a responsibility to biblical fidelity. John MacArthur's fiction is a good example of fiction which maintains that biblical fidelity. Even our friend Dr. Sproul has attempted some good biblical fiction with a smattering of unintended humor built in.

So, love The Shack if you will, recommend it to your flock, but please do not criticize those who view the book as dangerous. Authorial intent makes no difference when the readership in a specific demographic clearly views the intent differently.

I too place The Shack on the same heretical level as Left Behind.

K

PS: The Harry Potter/Star Wars argument/defense is non sequitur.

Joe Blackmon said...

Karen

Regardless of whether the work purports to teach theology or not the quotes are very obviously anti-biblical. I think it says quite a bit about a pastor that would permit someone who would write something like that to speak at their church. Roach poison is 98%+ dog food.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

This is dangerous that Wade would subject his people to this kind of "wolvery" but what is even more dangerous is that he would seek to have Anne Rice speak at his church simply because she has affirmed the deity of Mary the Mother of Christ--Our Lady of Guadeloupe/Our Lady of Fatima, and that now feels the local Catholic Priest can forgive her sins and that Benny16 is the only true Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Here is my perspective. I am outing you Wade. You may please forgive me for the sake of the Gospel, but your recent schmoozing with other "authors" is blatantly poised to put you in the Country Club private circles of the theological "rich and famous." For the purpose of trumping up your name for the release of your new book. Your new friends are the product of a century and a half old philosophy of biblical historical criticism which will I predict lead you to a place to deny many great traditions of our faith. As disgusted as I am in many ways with the SBC right now, I would never dream of selling her out.

You do so many wonderful things, then you do something like this...and it’s all for naught...


k

Bill Pfister said...

I was dissapointed Lifeway had it for sale. If you have to put a warning label on it shouldn't be sold.

I read all types of books and love studying different religions as well different branches of Christianity, but the Shack is in a different category entirely because it speaks about God and teaches doctrine while hiding behind fiction. You know the author had an agenda and an axe to grind and many people take it as Gospel truth.

A few people in our church read the Shack and those that were more emotionally-driven or who suffered loss in the past loved the book to the point that it meant more to them than God's Word. In one case it led a person to leave the church since the book led them to feel comfortable with their sin.

The Shack is fiction but it was written to teach doctrine and theology, and a non-orthodox version at that.

Bill

John Daly said...

If I were to invite someone to speak to the congregation that the Lord has graciously allowed me to shepherd. A congregation that I am to guard from false doctrine and error. I would due my utmost to only bring in speakers who would lead my people toward the Christ of Scripture.

If I invite’em…I endorse’em and there’s no getting around it.

And if I invite someone who I don’t necessarily agree with then I have acquiesced in my duties to guard the flock.

Anonymous said...

Greg Boyd, Minnesota pastor and author, Sunday, June 22, 2008 The Shack: A Review

Warning: Do not read this novel on a plane or any other public place where you're trapped around people -- unless you're totally okay with becoming emotionally undone in front of perfect strangers. There are points where this book rips your heart out. At least it did me. The body building dude sitting next to me on the plane must have thought I was a first rate wimp, weeping over a novel. Anyway, to my surprise, I loved this book!

Joe Blackmon said...

John Daly

Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?

Jon said...

Here we go again with the non discerning posts...

There seems to be many people who think that if others (including LifeWay) doesn't think like them concerning The Shack we are less spiritual at best... heretical at worst.

Is there a problem with this type of thinking among Christians?

Has anyone looked at the authors life, maybe to better understand where he is coming from?

Check out some of his story on wikipedia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Young

ESCERPTS

"(The institutional church) doesn't work for those of us who are hurt and those of us who are damaged. . . . If God is a loving God and there's grace in this world and it doesn't work for those of us who didn't get dealt a very good hand in the deck, then why are we doing this? . . . Legalism within Christian or religious circles doesn't work very well for people who are good at it. And I wasn't very good at it.

Young, is a "Canadian raised from birth by his missionary parents in Dutch New Guinea, Young was sexually abused by some of the people his parents preached to, as he was again back home, at a Christian boarding school. Young drifted through life as an adult, buoyed a little by his faith and a lot by his wife, Kim, keeping his secrets and building his shack: "the place we make to hide all our crap," he calls it. Until, at 38, he found himself at the nadir. "I had a three-month affair with one of my wife's best friends. That was it, that just blew my careful little religious world apart. I either had to get on my knees and deal with my wife's pain and anger or kill myself."

Just a few thoughts...

Paul Burleson said...

David Samples,

Thank you for a sound, sane, and personal word that mirrors my own response to "The Shack' as a book of christian fiction.

I'm NOT into modern chrisian fiction much at all, [Nor into modern christian theology books either for that matter] but, I must say, Paul Young took me down the path of some of my own emtional struggles in pastoring people who have lived through alcoholism, abandonment, incest, [with alcoholism being in my own family of origin] immorality, and tragedy of every nature including spousal murder, rape, and the list goes on. I've given counsel to the victims and those who remain behind for over fifty years while struggling with my own emotional issues about it all. [Knowing well the theological realities of where they [believers] are and that God has purpose and thankful for that assurance.]

I agree the book IS fictional, In fact, close to being allegorical and maybe too sentimental for some. Not needed by some I'm sure and maybe even a bit silly to others. But for some of us it is a gift the Lord has given for emotional wounds. I have thanked Him for that tiny gift and continue to trust Him for who He really is as revealed in scriptures with His divine purposes in it all.

"The Shack" is NOT a theological handbook for ANY theological truth but, I must say, some of the theological dangers some reviewers put forth that they see in the book are less dangerous to me than their attempt at correction of those same theological dangers. What some reviewers say about an eternal hierarchy in the Trinity and the eternal submission of women that they bring along with it is heresy in itself IMHO.

I guess it just goes to show the 'Shack' doesn't have it ALL right, the negative reviewers don't have it ALL right, You don't have it all right and...I'll go ahead and say it...I don't have it all right. Oh but one day......:)

By the way, as illustration of what I'm saying I put up the paragraph review by Greg Boyd just above but somehow hit the anonymous button and it posted separate from this post. Sorry Wade.

Joe White... said...

And the slide to the left continues...

Wade Burleson said...

Joe, Karen, Robert and the rest of my Baptist Identity friends:

Here is what our church believes regarding the Second Person of the Trinity:

We teach men to confess one in the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly man of a rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood. Jesus the Messiah is to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person."

I'll make a deal with you BI guys and gals. When anyone of you writes a piece of Christian fiction that precisely teaches what we believe about Christ in relationship to the Godhead, per our confession above, then we will invite you to come to Emmanuel and give you an even larger honorarium than William Paul Young.

Until then, accept the fact that we are more conservative than probably you theologically, but we appreciate dialogue, discussion, and the way God uses Christians of all stripes to bring healing to His Body.

In His Grace,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

Through out history, when you ban a book or place discernment stickers on them, more people want to read these books. Why? People are curious. For the same reason, rubber necking occurs at car accident scenes. By creating this controversy or questioning the mental and spiritual state of Pastor Wade's discernment in bringing Paul Young and possibly Anne Rice to Emmanuel, lot of people gravitate to this material. It's all publicity.

If only people ignored them, then all this publicity would die down and then people would lose interest. Unless the book is really good and is able to hold people's interest and resonate with their own problems and coming to grips with life's questions. Then let this book be read. It appears from the early sales of this book, it was mostly spread through word of mouth and most people who are enthused by this book, end up buying 10 copies each and they distribute them to their family and friends. This is viral marketing at it's core. But it's the book that is speaking to the people here, that cause this phenomena.

To balance this, if at Emmanuel, Pastor Wade and Paul Young have question and answer session that might attempt to answer and clarify any theological questions people might have and show the differences of them in The Word vs. The Shack.

After watching more than 30 sermons of Pastor Wade, I believe most people at Emmanuel are discerning enough to realize this work of The Shack is a work of fiction and their core beliefs of The Word are not swayed.

I feel people are richer to know error and lovingly confront the error. But first they have to read the error themselves and possibly ask questions to themselves, is this correct and does it coincide with what is revealed in The Word.

To be a Christian, is to do this with ALL of life and ALL of life's moments. Another way of looking at it, is to have a constant conversation with God, either in prayer or simple talking to one's self in their mind to God.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Masters,

Your last comment was completely inappropriate. Please refrain from making such allegations about others by name on this blog. If you are a man of passion and principle on this particular subject, then write a post on your own blog with facts to verify your allegation and your own legal team to protect you.

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

I'm BI now? What a hoot! Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

Wade Burleson said...

You probably didn't laugh as hard as I did when you wrote "the slide to the left continues."

Smile.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Ron said...

Wade,
I have read The Shack and although I wasn't wild about it I found the fictional account interesting and food for thought but not dangerous. I think we have to read most anything with discernment but do not find it necesary to post a warning on all books.
At least they were not able to do to this book what they did to Dr. Leon McBeth's history of the Sunday School board and destroy all copies except one which they hid deep in the Lifeway vault. Until Lifeway has the integrity to release McBeth's accurate history it will not have much credibility with me.
I find it interesting that you mentioned the Left Behind series. I read the first 5 or 6 books and got tired of it. I also found several things that I thought were outside the Biblical teaching on end times but I had no objection to others reading it and thought it may be that some would read it and be helped by it. It may be that the theological problems in the Life Behind series are the result of Tim Lahaye's strangely twisted influences as a student of Bob Jones University, close associate of Sun Myung Moon,CNP founder and leader of the conservative resurgance.
Ron West

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

It's early and a Monday but you might want to check who actually wrote "...the slide to the left continues...". I'll give you a hint--it wasn't me.

Glad you had a good laugh anyway.

Caleb said...

Isn't it a given that everything that's published and sold as a Christian book, fiction or not, should be accompanied with a "Read with Discernment" tag?

Robert said...

Wade,
I could care less about any Lawyer because no lawyer can deny the truth, especially when you personally have talked to people who know this happened too.
See Wade you claim to stand for justice but really you just HATE Southern Baptist,s.
You dont support all women just ones who are against the SBC.

Wade I was there in Dutch New Guineau, Irian Jaya, West Papua.
So get your facts straight and stop supporting evil.

The mission agency was the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Enid. Another member of Emmanuel suggested I read The Shack. After reading it, I highly recommended it to my pastor Wade Burleson. I also bought several copies and gave to friends and family. A woman who had not been attending church began coming to my Sunday School class at the time she read the book and has talked about how meaningful it was to her. She will be baptized in a couple of weeks.

I am not emotional by nature and I have studied the Bible for over sixty years, know a little Hebrew, Greek, (and am now trying to learn Chinese.) I have three children and seven grandchildren. I have not gone through any great pain and suffering in my life.

For me, The Shack made the trinity come alive. What could be more representative of El Shaddai than a loving black woman who was the Provider, preparing delicious food to sustain the group. Most who have read the book comment on the portrayal of the Holy Spirit who seems to be flitting place to place bringing a sense of beauty and peace that passes all understanding. And in this book, Jesus is shown as the One who is ultimately beside us when we go through our darkest moments.

Of course I noticed the universalism. But it didn’t make me want to run out and become a Buddhist. Moreover, when I read a Christian book that tells me to just name it and claim it I am not inclined to recant my Christianity when that false doctrine doesn’t work.

Mona Loewen

Tom Kelley said...

I haven't read The Shack, and from what I've read about it I'm sure I would have serious concerns and disagreements with some of its theology. I might read it someday, to form a more intelligent opinion, but I doubt I'd recommend it without some caveats. However, I agree with those who have said that, if you're going to put a "read with discernment" warning on a book, there are plenty of others sold at Lifeway that deserve such a warning.

Even so, I trust that God's people are not nearly as helpless and God not is nearly as impotent and some seem to believe when they express such concern over people reading a work of fiction. Some pastors don't seem to realize how arrogant they sounds when they say things that imply "Of course, I could read it, but my church members are not so spiritually mature and need to be protected from exposure to such things." If you teach the truth you will be equipping folks to recognize error when they hear it.

I though it was interesting when David Samples said I still do not believe that the Father looks (even for a moment) like a big black woman (or for that matter like a big white- bearded man).

This makes me wonder ... how many folks would have objected so strenuously had the author of The Shack chosen to portray God as an old white man? Methinks some of the prejudices of our Southern Baptist heritage (women and people of color) are showing through here...

Allie said...

I'd love to hear Young speak. I was honored to review The Shack and participate in a phone interview with Young and several bloggers last year.


When asked if I'd recommend it to people, I say "it depends". I've already told one friend to not get it for her mother based on her mother's racist tendencies (can you imagine what would have happened had she read it? I can only imagine...)

My closing statement from my review: I think people will still have a problem with The Shack – and that’s ok. Even I still have some issues with some of the statements Young makes, but I realized that the real value in the story was making me strip away my preconception of who and what God is and allowing Him to explain to me who He is. The key is listening to God, reading His word, and letting the Holy Spirit guide us – don’t take what other people say as gospel and assume it’s true – even The Shack.

I figure why re-write what I already wrote... LOL

Jeff said...

To all Dr. Phil is not funny, and in fact he is not better than the people he makes fun of on his blog. It's not cute. It's not funny. It's unchristian to make fun of someone. This is exactly what Dr. Phil has done. I doubt he is a doctor and based on his blog, he has not mature past the teen years.

Wade, I'm all for people blogging but Dr. Phil's post contribute nothing and are not funny. Do something about him please.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon,

My sincere, deepest apologies. Please forgive me for confusing Joe White with you.

:)

Thanks for the kind correction.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Mona,

Nice comment.

:)

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

De nada.

Wait, is that speaking in tongues on a blog? Does that mean I'm disqualified to be a missionary with the IMB?

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

I have deleted the majority of Dr. Phil's comments. If you wish his web site taken down, I would call FBC Jacksonville and ask for the security office.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon,

You can't be B.I. You have much too keen of a sense of humor.

:)

Chris Ryan said...

Joe B,

I do actually have a friend whose father was fired from a church because a Hispanic woman was speaking Spanish in a service. According to other church members, he was letting her speak in tongues and not demanding an interpretation.

She was muttering under her breath to try and put the words of the sermon back into a language and thought framework she could better understand.

You joke, but there are some who would say you are now disqualified from missionary service.

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

So very sad - but so very true.

Wade Burleson said...

Bob Cleveland:

Gee, one wonders why SWBTS didn't slap a "Listen With Discernment" tag on Rev. McKissic's sermon, and leave it up on their website.

You sir, have the acuity of Einstein, the sagacity of Lincoln, and the wisdom that only comes as a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Thank God you are a Southern Baptist.

Joe Blackmon said...

Chris

That would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

Wade

I developed my keen sense of humor to put people at ease when I'm performing an audit. Bwahahaha

Josh in FL said...

"...wisdom is proved right by her actions."

If The Shack was a recommended reading to build a theological foundation in a Systematic Theology class, then yes, I would be up in arms.
However, it IS fiction. Fiction means, "not real."
If we believe the Bible is non-fiction (meaning "real"), then why is anyone up in arms about a book that claims it's not real?
Do we believe the fiction is going to violate the non-fiction?

Wesley said...

Josh,

You are much too logical to debate Southern Baptists.

John Fariss said...

I haven't read the book, but I probably will. If anything, Lifeway's actions make me more inclined to do so. That is, if I can find an actual book there. Last time I was in one, it looked to me like fully half their floor space was given over to reproductions of syrupy and artistically lacking Thomas Kincade paintings, t-shirts, trinkets and other junk, and maybe another 10% was CDs and other music. Let's face it, fellow Southern Baptists: even though I like Dr. Rainer, Lifeway is about making money, not about ministering.

I am reminded of all the bru-ha-ha in Christian circles over the DaVinchi Code (please pardon my spelling). I heard all these Christians talking about banning it and doing everything they could (which wasn't much) to stop it--and probably everything they did helped sales. But the best response I head to it was from one of the deacons at the church I serve. Someone in his family bought a copy of it and asked him what he thought about it, if he thought it could be true. He asked where the family member bought it, and they responded with the name of a bookstore. He said, "Yeah, but where in the bookstore? What section?" They replied, "The Fiction Section." He smiled and said, "Enough said."

And I agree that the Left Behind series needs one of those "Read with Discernment" tags too. Ugh!

John Fariss

greg.w.h said...

Tom Kelley wrote:

I haven't read The Shack, and from what I've read about it I'm sure I would have serious concerns and disagreements with some of its theology. I might read it someday, to form a more intelligent opinion, but I doubt I'd recommend it without some caveats. However, I agree with those who have said that, if you're going to put a "read with discernment" warning on a book, there are plenty of others sold at Lifeway that deserve such a warning.

I read the book and, surprisingly, God did not strike me down with a bolt of lightning for doing so since it obviously--to those who have not read it--a complete repudiation of everything biblical.

It makes you wonder if they read the Bible or only rely on others for their theology and doctrine--rather than the Bible--as well.

;)

Greg Harvey

Jeff said...

I am not sure what to make of everything Robert wrote in his post, but I do agree to an extend with his point about fiction. Does fiction excuse bad theology? I don't think so. If Left Behind is bad theology its bad theology. If the Shack is bad theology its bad theology.

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

I forgot to mentioned that the local Methodist church has on their sign the following

Lenten Lessons From The Shack....

How about lessons from the Bible....

My problem is that people are not reading it as fiction, but are using it as theology. The local Methodist church is using instead of the Bible.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Jeff said...

To all Dr. Phil is not funny, and in fact he is not better than the people he makes fun of on his blog. It's not cute. It's not funny. It's unchristian to make fun of someone. This is exactly what Dr. Phil has done. I doubt he is a doctor and based on his blog, he has not mature past the teen years.

Wade, I'm all for people blogging but Dr. Phil's post contribute nothing and are not funny. Do something about him please.

Mon Mar 16, 11:32:00 AM 2009



Jeff said...

Wade, notice the last two posts from the possum grape hillybilly. If you are truly interested in dialogue do something about it.

Tue Feb 10, 10:55:00 PM 2009

(The following was edited so as not to offend Wade's sensibilities and necessitate deletion.)

Dr. Phil said...

My mood is dark. Out of respect for Pastor Burleson and the depression from having to hear women cry for hour upon incessant hour, I shall not expose my real feelings of being forced to create a blogger account just to comment about a grown man crying. However, Jeff "Doubting Thomas," listen to me carefully. I will let you slide tonight. But ask CB S[c]ott about my sharp pen. So help me, if you so much as tinkle another inkle of ire because of the comments from Native Arkansas, the man you call "possum grape hillbilly," I will kick your [backside]. You dish, dish, dish, and then when it's time to eat, eat, eat, you cry like a sissy. I mean it, I'll come after you with my words like I have Wesley K[enne]y. You can delete your profile all you want, but you cannot hide.

Dr. Phil

Tue Feb 10, 11:47:00 PM 2009

Jeff said...

Phil, where did you get your license to practice...possum grape.

Tue Feb 10, 11:55:00 PM 2009

Jeff said...

Byron, Just caught what you were saying. I am not sure what happen, but I can promise I don't hide behind stuff like that. I am the Jeff who responded to the Possum Grape Hillybilly dude.

Wed Feb 11, 12:12:00 AM 2009

Jeff said...

I sorry I haven't responded sooner native arkie, but I was too busy thinking about how great I am!

Do you know what they call someone from Possum Grape? They don't we just leave them inbreeding fools alone up there!

How's the moonshine business?

Their is one for you! Or is that There is one for you.

Or is Their you be, or there you are.

Tue Feb 17, 10:28:00 AM 2009


You're so right, Jeff.

Hey, I found a new profile pic you might find more appropriate for one or both of your profiles.

Anonymous said...

I read Alan Greenspan's book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World", recently. It was not intended to be a work of theology, but I read it, and found that it enhanced my faith.

I have purchased over 100 copies, and have given them out to derelict passersby on the street here in town.

Mr. Greenspan has been invited to our church to talk about the Gospel and Monetary Policy. He is going to sign copies of his book.

Lifeway won't sell his book, unfortunately.

Next year we plan to have several guest speakers, including Tyra Banks, Oprah, and P. Diddy.


Louis

Steve said...

Jeff,

One should remember high and mighty complaints are often a mirror of low and ugly personal faults.

Anonymous said...

Louis,

Do I detect sarcasm in the Nashville attorney?

John Fariss said...

Jeff,

Just to be consistant: are you also opposed to Sunday School lessons based on The Andy Griffith Show? How about Peanuts? I don't remember who published them, but someone does or did.

And have you asked the local Methodist church if they are using The Shack instead of the Bible, or are you just assuming they do from a billboard or sign--or even using hyperbole to make a point? If either of the later--is it just vaguely possible they are trying to use a contemporary trend to reach some people who wouldn't touch a Bible with a ten foot pole?

Not trying to be argumentative with you, just asking.

John

Anonymous said...

I think that we should lay off Lifeway.

There are a variety of opinions about the Shack and whether LifeWay should sell the Shack within the Southern Baptist Community that LifeWay represents.

No one constituency will be happy with LifeWay's approach on this.

But I think that selling the book and putting it in Lifeway's Read with Discernment program is both defensible and probably the best approach for dealing with all the feelings about this issue within our Convention.

Louis

Anonymous said...

I have never read The Shack or any of the Left Behind series, so I will have to take with words of people who have.

Thanks for the quotes from the book, and thanks, Robert, for posting the websites for reviews of the book.

It appears that those concerned about the Shack have concerns that it contains huge theological errors relating to the nature of God, salvation, the exclusivity of Jesus etc. It seems these are significant issues that go to the core of our faith, so I can understand the concern.

I understand that nothing in the Left Behind series questions the Trinity, salvation, or any of the core doctrines that Baptists believe. It apparently does have some strange eschatology, but my guess is one can find faithful Baptists who might agree.

At any rate the significance of the errors in the Left Behind series does not appear to be leading anyone to question Christian essentials, and I have never heard that charge.

But I am concerned about the line up of friends that Dr. LaHaye has! Any time we start seeing The Council for National Policy, the Trialateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Illuminati, Halliburton, the CIA etc., mentioned in this blog, you know we are entering the fever swamps!!

Louis

Kerygma said...

Have they slapped a similar sticker on the Holy Bible? Because, given the circumstances, it would seem the wiser course....

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Wade Why do you support the sexual molestation of missionary kids....is that not much more evil than Sheri Kloudas treatment.

L.s I thought you were all for justice for women?

greg.w.h said...

Louis wrote:

I read Alan Greenspan's book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World", recently. It was not intended to be a work of theology, but I read it, and found that it enhanced my faith.

But Greenspan is regarded as a continuing adherent to Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Are you sure that isn't a theological work? I think most of Rand's work is designed to excuse the worst excesses of capitalism by calling them "virtues" instead.

Greg Harvey

Jeff said...

I do not believe one should do Bible studies based on Andy or Barney. I believe that the basis of a bible study should be the Bible.

I have not contacted the local methodist church so I should apologize for judging assuming that they are not using the Bible. However, I do think their marketing is misguided.

As far as how I conducted myself on this blog concerning other people. I regret my childish insults and have attempted to be more mature in my posts. However, that does not detract from my point about the childish nature of name calling and foolishness of making fun of people because you disagree with them. The only value of Dr. Phil's post and others is that it reminds me to be more mature and honest in my communication with those who I disagree with on this blog.

I also credit Wade's series of messages on speech. I certainly think Dr. Phil would benefit from listening to it too!

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Kerygma:

They should put stickers like that on the new Holman Christian Standard because some of the people at Holman Publishers are friends with the Coors family, know people on the CNP, and attend Renaissance Festival weekends.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Greg:

You are a sharp one.

I wonder if in the end Greenspan drifted away from Ms. Rand's philosophy?

I have not read Atlas Shrugged or Fountainhead, but understand they are interesting books.

Too bad she is dead. We could invite her to our church as well. Our people could handle it.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, Jeff. :-)

Doug Hibbard said...

Caleb said...

Isn't it a given that everything that's published and sold as a Christian book, fiction or not, should be accompanied with a "Read with Discernment" tag?
Mon Mar 16, 11:16:00 AM 2009

Caleb's right. Actually, anything we read/watch/listen to ought to done with discernment.

We have an immense lack of discernment in general. I think my difficulty with The Shack is that I have members of my congregation that have suggested teaching a class or two direct from it instead of Scripture. I told them that wasn't a good idea. Recommended they use their Bibles instead. Fiction to illustrate, Scripture to teach.

Which is the same thing I would have said about teaching direct from C.S. Lewis, as well. Want to discuss a work of fiction and how it relates to Scripture? Go ahead. But always 'Read with discernment.'

But Left Behind is the best thing to ever happen to the church! I mean, if it weren't for the hope of the rapture to help us avoid tribulation, how else could we justify our easy Christianity in America?

Oh, wait...the sarcasm tag didn't show up on that last paragraph.

Anna A said...

I've read "The Shack" and enjoyed it. In fact, I then went out and bought several copies, one for myself and others to share. (If a book is not likely one that I would want to keep, I use my public library as a source)

I found it a delightful parable, just like the stories that Jesus taught.

I agree that it could go toward problems with understanding the Trinity. BUT, I have been unable to figure out any way to talk/think/write about the Trinity in a non-theological way that isn't heretical. As soon as you try to explain it, you get into trouble.

Robert said...

Louis,
Why would Lifeway sell a book that is thoroughly pagan.

Maybe we should have a Shack book burning downtown in front of Lifeway. Afterwards we can burn Dr Rainer in effigy while he describes how Lifeway supports the sexual molestation of missonary kids.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Steve said...

Um, Robert, it seems to me that it was Wade Burleson who brought the recommendation before the SBC to identify sexual predators - a recommendation you were against.

greg.w.h said...

Louis wrote:

I wonder if in the end Greenspan drifted away from Ms. Rand's philosophy?

I have not read Atlas Shrugged or Fountainhead, but understand they are interesting books.

Too bad she is dead. We could invite her to our church as well. Our people could handle it.


I know of no occasion where he publicly repudiated that philosophy and given his reputation for rambling, incoherent, intentionally non-transparent statements, I would think he thinks he is just as much smarter than everyone else as Ms. Rand thought about her own gifts.

I have read Fountainhead, but haven't finished Atlas Shrugged. I will be honest: I understand where Rand is coming from. She perceives that religious thought is weak because it enables behavior that isn't productive and then often simply excuses it. (That doesn't mean I agree with her, by the way, but that I get the point she's making.)

I actually would be honored that any work I wrote would be slapped with a "Warning: Read This With Discernment!!" That means the points I am making are sharp and can impact people's minds.

Jesus had the same problem, it seems. I hope my desire to have a similar impact is under submission to him and not just so I can make an idol^H^H^H^H...I mean "monument"...to myself like Rand--and perhaps Greenspan--have attempted to do.

Greg Harvey

P.S. Robert: it's unconscionable that you accuse Wade of supporting sexual molestation of missionary kids without documentation whether you do it in a post with your name on it or do it anonymously.

The only difference is that you can't delete your own anonymous posts and therefore force Wade to either leave it up without supporting documentation or to make it look like he's trying to hide something by deleting it. Shame on you! Maaf Pendeta Wade untuk Robert!!

Anonymous said...

Matthew 7:15 - "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

Wade,

I'm not claiming that Young is a false prophet, but as the Shepherd of God's people I find it very disturbing that you would bring him into your church and let him speak. While the book is technically classified as "Realistic Fiction", it most definitely has some real aspects. It is the author's life. A story of his life. I find that hard to classify as completely fiction. Check out this article on Ronnie Rogers Blog.

http://www.ronniewrogers.com/2008/12/29/the-shack-a-2007-novel-by-william-p-young-blog-article-by-billy-wolfe-december-23-2008/

Michael Scott

Robert said...

Steve,
Lets see the differences here.....the person is already known,the person is not SBC. Lifeway still sells the book!

Wade Burleson could really care less because the person is not SBC.

Not too hard to figure out.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

Robert:

We have already hashed through the Shack issue months ago.

I know you are kidding about the book burning.

But still let me say that there are some things, given the more recent historical precedents, that should not be done - and one of them is book burning.

As for Dr. Rainer, I thoroughly like him. For all of the Baptist executives that I know, he takes himself the least seriously, in a good way.

Burning people in effigy is as ugly as book burning. Also, isn't that kind of a middle eastern thing, anyway?

I do note, however, that Dr. Mohler was hung in effigy (not burned) during his early days at Southern Seminary. That's the most recent memory of anything in the SBC like that.

Let's let that group of former, liberal Southern students hold on to that distinction.

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

"I found it a delightful parable, just like the stories that Jesus taught."

Would you do me the kind favor, Ann, of citing any of the "stories that Jesus taught" (they were called parables, by the way) where He said something about God, man, or sin that was untrue? If you're not able to, then I would submit that there is nothing resembling anything that is "like the stories that Jesus taught" in the Shack since the Bible flatly contridicts the Shack at every turn.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Greg:

It just seemed to me that as Greenspan's career moved on that while he did not renounce Ayn Rand, that his actions at the Fed moved him away considerably from being for things like the Gold standard and other positions that he held in the 70s and early 80s.

Just wondering.

Maybe he'll tell us that when he speaks at our church.

I'll let you know.

Louis

Jon said...

Did anyone catch the 2 hour premier of Kings last night?

We recorded it and I will be checking it out this week,

Side note: I fell asleep prior to UNIT but caught it this AM as it also was recorded. Great show this week.

Robert said...

Louis,
Actually you made some pronouncement about the Shack.
My point about the book burning and efigy burning is that those were options other than going to the board of trustees.
You said they were none!

I notice you did not address the sexual molestation charge concerning the Missionary Kids.

Iam fairly confident that Paul Young himself would not deny that charge...even if he did I would recommend you call Margie Ulsh. Editor of Among Worlds. She will tell the truth...although maybe reluctantly!
http://www.amongworlds.blogspot.com/

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Christiane said...

A book like 'The Shack' may prove to be a difficult read for some.
Long ago, when our daughters were in Montessori pre-school together, my good friend and I spent many hours over endless cups of tea and discussions of literature. She was a professional book-reviewer for a newspaper, and I once asked of her this question:

'Kathryn, what books, that if I should read them, would I be considered 'well read'? Her reply was simply this: there is no list. When you encounter any book, you bring yourself to it. It is a personal experience. Some books will speak to you in ways you understand. Others will not.


I suppose that some will read The Shack and the encounter with it will resonate with something in them in a meaningful way. Others will come away untouched, or angry, or even defensive of a faith where God must be 'kept in His place' in a safe 'form' that they can handle.

Allegory is hard for some. Allegory is much easier for children who, in their innocence, can understand the imagery.
Allegory is much more difficult for people, who have lost something of the ability of innocent children to see the wonders of our world.

Can you read a book that sets you craving for 'the Presence of God'? Can you believe that God can use ANY thing in creation to speak to our hearts? Each one must answer for himself, but not for others. It is a personal encounter.

I visited the gravesite of my parents, as part of a Lenten devotion, to pray for a while.
I have always, in the past, driven away in tears.

On this particular day, after praying, I arose to leave, and for some reason, turned back to look at the gravestone. There, on the stone, was a robin. I stopped for a moment and was filled with such a sense of being blessed by God.
And on this day, I drove away and I did not weep.

Does God use 'other ways' ( a book perhaps ?, or even a small robin?) to reach us and heal us? Each one must answer for himself. God is infinitely merciful and His ways are so far above our ways. Blessed be His Holy Name.

Love, L's

Robert said...

Greg W.H
Please see the end of the post to Louis above for sources.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Allie said...

Jon - I missed it, but am watching it now (well listening to it) online while I'm on my lunch and checking back on these posts during my "commercial" break.

I find it....interesting. I only today learned its supposed to be based on David. I figured originally that it would be an anti-christ sort of figure.

Nate said...

L's,

Your comment is exactly what post-modernity says. Post-modernism has come in academia through social sciences, humanities, and especially literary studies. This is precisely their teaching. When you read how does it speak to you. Disregard context, history, even what the author meant. Instead if it means something good to you or you get a good experience from it go with it.

As you probably know, this has snuck into the church. The emergent movement is precisely that type of post-modern thinking. Let's all come together and share our experiences (even our spiritual ones). No one persons opinion is greater than another. There is no teacher or preacher. Only a facilitator. He has no authority.

This is even where we are with the Scripture and doctrine. No one can fully know what is right or wrong. No one can hold to a teaching of the Scripture with absolute confidence. We all must share equally and experience the Scripture. What does it mean to me? That may be different than what it means to you. But we both could be dead wrong.

Be careful using this Post-Modern train of thought when it comes to Theological issues. Especially when it comes to the Scripture. There is a right and wrong interpretation.

greg.w.h said...

Robert wrote:

Iam fairly confident that Paul Young himself would not deny that charge...even if he did I would recommend you call Margie Ulsh. Editor of Among Worlds. She will tell the truth...although maybe reluctantly!
http://www.amongworlds.blogspot.com/


Went to the blog and saw nothing that confirms any claim that you have made regarding Wade Burleson. I don't even see a nuance with respect to Paul Young that agrees with wherever you may be going with your latest campaign. Produce facts or stop.

Greg Harvey

Stu said...

Robert,

You, sir, have little class, a modicum of Christian decency, and are short on character as well. William Paul Young was a victim of abuse, not an abuser.

Anonymous said...

maybe the popularity of the book is due to lack of compassion and care and spiritual teaching and preaching in our churches. I am so sick of the theological treatises I hear from preachers and "conservatives" that offer no real connection to what people are going through. The Shack is not a systematic theology. what are people so afraid of?

Signed a frustrated pastor who has confidence in the priesthood of the believer and their ability to discern truth and fiction.

Anonymous said...

So is the worry the people will start looking for a "shack" to see God? Or is it that people will start thinking of God as a woman? Or is it that people will somehow think that Jesus wears a flannel shirt?
You all who are so against this book need to put some faith in the Holy Spirit and the Triune God to reveal himself. Give me a break all this hyper outrage.

Christiane said...

Dear NATE:

You speak in terms of the authoritarian approach of 'black' and 'white', a world where there are no allowances for God to move in the ways that He chooses to move. And only 'the authorities' may judge what is 'true'?

Is your interpretation of 'The Shack' different from mine?
Or do we both see the same identical elements?

How can we both react the same, as God Himself made us to see things differently: so we could maybe need to meet and talk and share what we each see through the eyes that God gave us.

This story will heavily impact anyone who has lost a child. I have not, but a friend did: her son, a boy of eleven, died over a period of three years from a terminal illness. I have never seen anyone suffer from grief as my friend has suffered, and I hope I never will again.

She read this book also, and her interpretations and reactions were informed by her agonizing personal journey on this Earth. My reactions to the book were much different.

Am I to tell my friend that she is wrong? That, in spite of her life experiences, she cannot SEE the truth, 'as I see it' ?

Nate, we must disagree, my friend.

I live in the real world and in that world, sometimes faith and reality collide, and, from what remains, comes a terrible wisdom.

I would judge no one's reaction to this book. as I have not suffered as they have suffered.

And Nate, as for the robin on the gravestone of my parents: it was just that: a little bird, perching on a stone, perhaps searching for food after the soft rain that had fallen. Just a bird. Truth.

But Nate, all I know is that I felt God's peace in that moment and was comforted enough so that, as I drove away from the gravesite of my parents, no tears flowed.

I could never question the blessings given to anyone on this Earth, nor the multitude of ways in which the Father cares for His children.
And if He chooses to use a strange and compelling little book, or a small robin, to bless and comfort, who are WE to judge His Ways? Who are we indeed ? L's

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon

I'll give you a break with all this "hyper-outrage" when you or anyone else demonstrates how this book is NOT heresy. It doesn't matter whether the book is fictional. It does matter that the claims he makes in the book are flatly condradicted by the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Joe,

I just dont understand the passion i have heard about this book and the read with discernment nonsense. So if the argument plays out that everyone who taught before the reformation were heretics and no one benefited spiritually from any other their teaching? Where do you allow for the Triune God to reveal himself and draw people to himself.

I dont get fiction being so threating to the bible or any truth. The Trinue God is who he is regardless of you or me or Young's book.

Has God not used imperfect men and imperfect sermons with imperfect illustrations to draw people to himself?

Anonymous said...

to continue the thought, we should never then as pastors make illustrations. They break down.

So preaching should be just reciting the Bible?

I grew up in a church that i do not now agree with theologically. Does that alter my salvation or the love of God that was shown through those people?

Jon said...

Has God not used imperfect men and imperfect sermons with imperfect illustrations to draw people to himself?

There are no imperfect men, sermons or illustrations within the BI crowd. They have cornered the market on what is truth and what is not. You either are in or are out. The criteria is not scripture but their perfect interpretation of scripture. Why is this so difficult for the non BI, elect to be wrong, again, people?

Chris Ryan said...

Nate,

Her comment is NOT exactly what postmodernity says. Having read Derrida, Lyotard, Foucault, and Rorty extensively, I can affirm that she is not talking in postmodern terms.

She is talking in undogmatic terms. She is creating room for a diversity of dialogue at the table where truth can be discerned from the observations and perspectives. It does not say that all are right or all are wrong: it says that all are different.

That is a huge distinction. One that Mohler and other conservative Baptists talking about postmodernity are loathe to make. It then makes their positions all the harder to hold so dogmatically.

It is not disregard authorial intent or context: it is not assuming that you and the author think exactly alike and you can therefore read to get exactly what the author meant on your own terms. And you and I can hold firmly to our doctrines and beliefs, but we would be foolish to hold so unswervingly that we would never be open to correction. It is that unswerving loyalty to doctrine that brought about inquisitions, witch hunts, and the Protestant wars of the Reformation. Hold firmly, teach, and preach, and be open to correction because you don't know it all and you never will. There are right and wrong interpretations: you and I both have some right ones and some wrong ones. We just don't know that we are wrong yet, otherwise we would have the humility to admit it (I hope).

Nate said...

L's,

1st I would say that of course the Lord can work in the most marvelous ways. Your comment on this reminded me of Paul's comment in Phillipians 1.

"The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

Of course many can be touched by God even through something evil (like a child's death). God works ALL things together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. In fact I believe that many of us could testify that our own salvation prayer was probably not 100% theologically correct. But that does not mean that we shouldn't strive to be correct.

As far as an authoritarian view of Black and White. Of course there is a right and wrong or black and white. There are absolutes. This is where the post-modern view is very dangerous. Just because we have an "experience" does not mean that it is true. It may very well be. But it also may not be.

As far as how a book speaks to you. I agree we all aproach it with different views, and come away impressed by different parts. That is definitely okay. But if one begins to take a view from the Shack and develop their view toward the Scripture and it is wrong then yes you must tell her that is not correct.

There are definitely some true things in Shack. God is personable. He can be communicated with. He desires to communicate with his people (even in different ways). But his primary source of communication is His Word (note I'm not saying his only way of communication). If some one believes God is communicating to him something contrary to the Word, then yes we must tell them they're wrong (Examples: Joseph Smith, Mohammed, etc.).

Conclusion: I am not saying that we void out all experiences. I am saying we test them based on the Word of God. Example the robin at the grave. God communicated to you through his creation. Does the Scripture teach that God doesn't communicate through nature. Absolutely not. In fact it says that the heavens declare his majesty!

Jeff said...

Christiane, God will never work in a way that contradicts himself.

Nate said...

Chris Ryan,

Maybe I didn't articulate my words clearly. I was trying to say that the danger is not in reading a book (say the Shack) with such a mindset, but instead when we begin to take that mindset to the Scripture. Which is exactly what the emergent church is doing. (note not the only thing they are doing, but one that I have a major problem with). Of course my interpretation of Scripture could be wrong, but that doesn't mean it is. We must look at more than just our mere experience, there are facts that back up the interpretation.

But I would contend that if in the Shack the author had in mind to intentionally portray key doctrines in a false light, then that is a major problem with the book.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Fariss said...

"Postmodernity" eh? I'll give you a postmodern phrase: "I'm not going to say you're wrong. Even though I think you are, I don't know it absolutely for sure." Only some post-modernist did not say it. It's what I heard my father say many times when he refused to get drawn into arguments, especially those over religion. And Daddy was born in 1911, in rural east Alabama, ten miles of crooked, dusty country roads from the nearest town, not exactly a hotbed of post-modernist thought, then or now.

I asked him once where he got that point of view. He said it came from his father, my grandfather, who died a year before I was born. Granddaddy was born in early1865. His parents were refugees, having been driven from their home about halfway between Atlanta and Chattanooga by Union General W.T. Sherman, on his March to the Sea. They were dirt-poor farmers with an abundance of nothing but children. Not exactly a hotbed of post-modernisty thought there either.

Imagine my surprize when a cousin gave me a copy of a letter my great-great grandfather (Grandaddy's granddaddy) wrote on his deathbed in 1862. THE SAME PHRASE! Though he lived in northwest Georgia (Walker County, where there is this little creek called the Chickamauga) and was born in northeast Georgia (Rabun County, where "Deliverance" was filmed), he died near Savannah, where he caught disease as an overage soldier in the Georgia State Forces. Not exactly a hotbed of post-moderrnity there either.

My point is all of should be careful of how we throw buzzwords and hot-button phrases around. Some of them have been around longer than we may think. While there may be some affinity/popularity in a given era to them, they are probably more related to personality-type than anything else.

At least that's why I have a problem with those who see things in absolute black and white, with no shades of gray in between. It does not equate to paralysis of either thought or action, but rather means that you make decisions and take actions based on a preponderance of evidence, some of which will be ambiguous. It also, it seems to me, erects walls between people when Jesus came to tear walls down.

Mark 9:24, "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief'!"

Mark 9: 38-40, "'Teacher,' said John, 'we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.' 'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
for whoever is not against us is for us'."

Ephesians 2:14, "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility."

John Fariss

Christiane said...

Christiane said...
Hi JEFF,

It's me, Christiane/ a.k.a. L's

Perhaps it is the interpretations of MEN, as to how God communicates with us, that are in conflict.

I taught children for many, many years. I taught in the schools where most teachers did not want to work. The children were not able to learn in the 'usual ways' so casually effective in most school settings. So, I had to find 'another way' to help them.
And I did. Many other ways. And, yes, some that I believe were inspired. Point being, if I, a weak human being, can reach a ghetto child and enable that child to bring forth the most beautiful work that would stand up in ANY school setting proudly, and I could do it by digging deeper into unusual, more meaningful ways to communicate understanding; then how many more wonderful and varied ways can the Almighty Master of the Universe use to reach us?

You use the word "contadicting".
Maybe when God speaks to someone in way that contradicts your OWN understanding, or way of learning, and you have difficulty with that?
This is possible, if you don't see that we cannot all learn from Him in the same way.
Jeff, we cannot know His Ways.
We are told we will not understand everything in this lifetime.
If 'The Shack' has brought some closer to Him, then perhaps God has used something in it to make that connection.
It's not about the doctrine wars, they will last until the end of time, it's about what it is that helps someone to understand that God loves him.

If some 'Shack' readers can accept that God loves them and they are led to seek His Presence, then that little book will have been 'a blessing in disguise'.

It's amazing what God can use to confound the wise.

Love, L's

Mon Mar 16, 05:08:00 PM 2009

Robert said...

Louis,
I am still waiting on the list of "experts" who decided that the Shack had no theological error.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Nate said...

John Fariss,

I would agree and the Bible even teaches that there is nothing new under the sun. Of course this aspect of post-modernity was most defniitely around prior to today. In fact you can't lump post-modern, modern, pre-modern into distinguished lines. They are blurred. While some today believe that Absolute Truth is unknowable, some hold to the Scripture, in fact even others hold to science. There were and always will be some who hold to previous ideas, and then some who are ahead of their times. So that doesn't surprise me one bit that similar ideas were around in non-postmodern hotbeds.

As far as the "grey". There are definitely areas of grey. But the fact that there are grey areas does not mean there are no black and white areas as well.

Paul Burleson said...

Chris Ryan and John Fariss,

You've both spoken words that are refreshing and tastefully enjoyable to this old guy who is still excitedly studying and listening to hear the Spirit speak afresh. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My biggest beef with the "read with discernment" stickers is that they imply that there are certain books that aren't supposed to be read with discernment.

Mon Mar 16, 01:12:00 AM 2009

Best comment. And we all know there are plenty of books at Lifeway that need discernment.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Robert:

I don't have the list of experts. Maybe LifeWay has one.

You are right, I did not address child molestation on the mission field. I am against it.

Louis

Lin said...

"But Greenspan is regarded as a continuing adherent to Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Are you sure that isn't a theological work? I think most of Rand's work is designed to excuse the worst excesses of capitalism by calling them "virtues" instead."

Good catch, Greg. Greenspan was a disciple of Rand. Literally sat at her feet to learn Objectivism

John Fariss said...

A question for Robert Masters and others who agree with his perspective: do you read anything that you don't know beforehand has no theological errors? Do you listen to any music that doesn't have any? (And by the way: there are some hymns in Southern Baptist hymnals that come from writers with questionable theology.) Do you watch any movies or TV shows that may have questionable theology? How about your local daily newspaper? Who do you trust for their input on the subject? Why? Can they be in error? And where does it end? Can the said book/movie/song have to simply be absent any questionable theology? Or does it have to actively affirm your theology? When it gets to that, it will extend to the sports pages/sportscast/ESPN, the Weather Channel, and even the menu at your favorite fast-food joint. Of course that is hyperbole--but again, where does it end?

I believe Wade is right. Those who refuse to read a work of fiction like The Shack on theological grounds either (1) don't trust their own discernment, (2) don't trust the Holy Spirit to teach and bring all things into remembrance (John 14:26 & 16:14), (3) are getting dangerously close to a cultic way of thinking, (4) have been polarized to such a degree that they are wearing blinders which can hardly be removed, or (5) all of the above.

John Fariss

Joe Blackmon said...

Yeah, Lin, but he was a good Fed chairman.

Oh, and notice I haven't used homosexuality in the same sentance with women preachers. Ooops, I just did it. I'll delete it before I post.

Man, I forgot to delete it.

Robert said...

Lydia,
Iam curious why you speak so strongly against abuse of women yet not a wimper out of you regarding the abuse vs the Shack authors family.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

greg.w.h said...

So I'd add to the application of modernist and post-modernist thought. The first Southern Baptist example of modernist thought is almost certainly the didactic legacy of E.Y. Mullins which concludes with the original Baptist Faith and Message in 1925.

And the first occurrence of post-modernist thought was the historical revision by J.R. Graves which attempts to show that Baptists pre-dated the Reformation and are connected all the way back to John the Baptist. That tie was an attempt to take credit for the biblical claim that "God always has a remnant", but it's such a loose, incoherent history as to be completely meaningless in only a way that a post-modern thought can be.

It is awfully odd that the BI crowd would leverage both modernist and a post-modernist "events" at the same time to promulgate control of the Convention. And complain of both modernism and post-modernism at the same time!!

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

I have a genuine question to the many people on this blog that have raised an issue with LifeWay's "Read with Discernment" program.

On the one hand, I believe there are people who believe that LifeWay's parameters for retail should be such that there would not have to be such a program. I understand that position.

On the other hand, I see that there are people who believe that LifeWay's retail parameters should be broad, but that since all books are supposed to be read with discernment, either all of the books should have stickers on them that say that (or maybe a big sign in each store), or LifeWay should not have these kinds of stickers on any books. They say all books should just be treated equally.

With all due respect, I think that this group is being silly and overly concerned about consistency, rules etc.

It makes sense to me that if LifeWay's retail parameters are broader than what many in our convention would like LifeWay to have a program to help identify those books which LifeWay believes they can sell due to the broader Christian interest (even though there may be theological objections to the books), but about which they recognize there may be some objection to the content.

I applaud LifeWay's Read with Discernment program. I think it provides a helpful consumer service.

I actually am grateful for a retailer that tries to be sensitive to and anticipates customer concerns.

Moreover, I do not see the program or the title for the program (Read with Discernment) as being an abidcation of the general commandment that we are to do all things with discernment. Of course we are to do that.

This should be seen in its context.

It is sort of a childish demand that all of the books in LifeWay be treated equally. I really don't mean that as a put down. That's just the way I react to that demand.


Louis

Nate said...

John Fariss,

Who said we won't read it? I actually have. In fact my church is even doing a Wednesday night study through the book.

None of your points hit the nail on the head when it comes to what I believe the objection to the book is. And that is that with all the endorsements by prominent Christian leaders without the opportunity to share how it is incorrect in some of its assertions when compared with Scripture, makes it a dangerous book that could lead some into error.

Side Note. Your comparison to a sports article/fast food menu/news paper article is absurd.

These types of literature (if they can be called literature) don't intend to give theological thoughts/ideas/even truths. If so please find one that does and send it to me!

Thanks.

Joe Blackmon said...

Lydia

Yeah, you're right. Here is one book, though, that sure doesn't need that tag.

Anonymous said...

"As you probably know, this has snuck into the church. The emergent movement is precisely that type of post-modern thinking. Let's all come together and share our experiences (even our spiritual ones). No one persons opinion is greater than another. There is no teacher or preacher. Only a facilitator. He has no authority. "

Nate, no offense but you sound just like the young seminarians I see so much of these days. Of course, reading through all the comments and seeing you explain yourself, contradicting some of what you wrote above. that happens when you get our of the seminary bubble sometimes.

But I am curious. Who has 'authority' over others in the Body of Christ? Is it the Word or a human?

Believe me, I think emergent is a joke and fad that will pass away. I mean how long can you have a 'conversation' and come to no conclusions about absolute truth?

But to lump everything into 'postmodernism' is getting old. It is a favorite tactics of the seminary professors. Everything they disagree with is either liberal, feminist or post modern.

Just a note about the Shack. I would not recommend it. I have huge problems with it for reasons that I have not seen mentioned here. Like ESS, I am concerned with anything that humanizes the Trinity. Unlike Challies and others who do not like the Shack because it does NOT subordinate Jesus Christ to the Father.


Another problem I have is that I do not believe salvation is easy. I believe it is a free gift. It is grace. But NOT easy. It is a 'narrow gate' not many roads.

My other concern is that we read too many books except the Word. And we have the best teacher: The Holy Spirit for free.

But I would go here him speak if we could gracefully ask questions.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

JOe, why are you picking a fight?

Kostenburger has been refuted on authenteo. Funny how he avoids that by only writing on the gender blog where there are no comments allowed. He does not like to see certain questions asked. It ruins book sales.

Don't waste your money. YOu are not getting good info.

Lydia

Nate said...

Lydia,

1. Answer to your Question. Of course the Word holds the utlimate Authority.

2. You stated that I contradict myself. Where?

3. What made you think I was a seminary student? I'm not.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Lin, but he was a good Fed chairman.

Oh, and notice I haven't used homosexuality in the same sentance with women preachers. Ooops, I just did it. I'll delete it before I post.

Man, I forgot to delete it.

Mon Mar 16, 05:54:00 PM 2009

Joe, I WAS so very proud of you for a minute and then you blew it. But at least you are in the sanctification process. That is a big step for you. Well done!


" Robert said...
Lydia,
Iam curious why you speak so strongly against abuse of women yet not a wimper out of you regarding the abuse vs the Shack authors family.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Mon Mar 16, 05:55:00 PM 2009

Robert, He beat his wife? kids? Are you bearing false witness here or do you have proof? Or are you speaking of his adultery of which he says he repented of?

You probably have not seen my comment that I am not a big fan of the Shack.

But Robert, you have a very hard heart. Like the Pharisees who had 'correct doctrine' but did not practice it.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"1. Answer to your Question. Of course the Word holds the utlimate Authority."

We humans, whether elder or not are simply messengers.

"2. You stated that I contradict myself. Where?"

Oy vey. Just go back and read your comments again. If it does not jump out at you as you explain yourself then never mind.

"3. What made you think I was a seminary student? I'm not."

Then perhaps your youth pastor is a seminary student. :o)

Nate said...

Lydia,

I was serious in my question of where I contradicted myself. And again you were wrong in your assumptions. First of all you assume that I don't read for myself to discern my own understanding of the Scripture and the times instead you propose I must get it from 1. My seminary professors (which I'm not a seminary student) 2. My youth pastor who must be a seminary student (No he wasn't). I guess next you'll say my pastor, well he didn't go to seminary either.

There goes your argument :). As far as contradicting myself. I honestly wanted to know where you thought I did that (because I don't put it past myself to make mistakes :)!

John Fariss said...

Dear Nate,

Of course my comparison to a sports article/fast food menu/newspaper article is absurd. That is why I clearly said the comment was hyperbole. But it goes to my main questions: where does it (refusal to consider other points of view) end? And who is the authority on which you base that decision? Therein is the danger with a dogmatic attitude or point of view.

I am glad to hear that you have read it, and are discussing it in the context of a Bible study. From what approach do you take it? Is this a class in which the teacher (you, I assume) tell why it is wrong in a propositional sense? Or is it a give-and-take discussion, where those in the class are free to give honest input (we pastors have to be careful on that one)? The reason I ask is simply because different approaches seem to work and/or are effective and/or are expected with different congregations. BTW, frankly, I have not read any endorsements from any Christian leaders about it, so I am ignorant of what "they" have said about it. Going to some other comments though on this stream, I am not sure why anything that "humanizes" the Trinity is automatically a bad thing. While God is is certainly utterly Holy, transcendent, and "other," He is also imminent; and a humanizing face would seem to emphasize that and make Him (and a relationship with Him?) more palatable to some, whether that face is Morgan Freeman or the character in The Shack. At least is my speculation; I may modify it once I read the book.

John Fariss

Nate said...

John Fariss,

I agree with much of what you just said. There are definitely differing opinions on the book. Based on my experience and what I've heard there are even many lost people who have read or are reading the shack. That is part of why the class was developed. It gives opportnity for the Gospel to be shared especially with those who are hurting. As believers we are to understand the times and be ready to share the truth about the Scripture. The class discusses the good things about the book (I mentioned some of them in a previous post), but it also discusses how some of the things taught are false. In one of the early chapters Mack proclaims (I am paraphrasing)that Christians say they don't put God in a box but that what they taught him inseminary was basically putting God in a book.

We didn't put God in a Book. He revealed Himself through His written Word. People who are hurting need to know that the one trustworthy place they can find comfort is not in the things the world offers, but in Christ (the Living Word) who is proclaimed in the Written Word.

Do you see how some of the things said in the Shack could present problems for those (especially the lost) who do not know what the Scripture teaches?

Anonymous said...

"Of course this aspect of post-modernity was most defniitely around prior to today. In fact you can't lump post-modern, modern, pre-modern into distinguished lines. They are blurred. "

Nate, above is one example. Yet, you called explicitely called L's comment post modern.

Here is another one:

"s far as the "grey". There are definitely areas of grey. But the fact that there are grey areas does not mean there are no black and white areas as well."

You chided L's for speaking of an experience then later agreed that we can experience God through creation like she spoke of the bird.

I agree there are black and white areas of doctrine. I just think you ripped into L's without thinking it through first.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

I want to apologize, Nate. for jumping to conclusions about you. You sounded so much like one of the dogmatic young seminariarians when you chided L's.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Do you see how some of the things said in the Shack could present problems for those (especially the lost) who do not know what the Scripture teaches?

Uh, I believe everything in life gives problems to the lost who do not know what Scripture teaches. B

Jeff said...

Lydia, To be honest you sounded like a liberal fundie.

Anonymous said...

Florence here,

L, I appreciate your writing about the robin. I am a bird lover. Once during my husband's 5-year battle with Parkinson's, I was very depressed and wondered what was going to become of us. I was at the kitchen sink and looked out the window. There was a beautiful blue grosbeak on the clothes line. It was the only one I saw during our 30 years of living in our mountaintop home. I took it as a message from God that He was still around and would take care of us. My fear of his having to go to the nursing home was all for nothing. I was able to take care of him at home, with help, and he went to his heavenly home from there. That was 10 years ago tomorrow (St. Patrick's Day, no less!). God is good and speaks to us in many unconventional ways.

We have THE SHACK in our church library and many have read it, with different reactions. That's OK! I liked it a lot.

Florence in KY

Nate said...

Lydia,

I think I see what your saying. In the quote you posted I was responding to John Fariss about his father and grandfather making postmodern sounding quotes. L's may not be a postmodern. But that doesn't mean that the concept of using personal experience as the driving frame of reference is not a characteristic of postmodern thought. You can't just draw a line in the sand with differing eras. They blend together as one fades out and the other gains acceptance.

I wasn't calling L a postmodern. I was simply stating that that frame of reference when reviewing literature is what has led to postmodernism in the Church.

I never chided.

As far as grey areas. I never said there weren't grey areas. I said there were black and white areas and that the presence of grey areas doesn't eliminate the black and white. (How is that a contradiction?)

B Nettles said...

I'm not going to read "The Shack" because I prefer to remember that George Burns metaphor. Morgan Freeman runs a close second. ;')

For a great emotional (positive) kick, skip the theological pretending and read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. You might even see a little correct practical application (is "practical application redundant?) if you read with discernment.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"liberal fundie"

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Anonymous said...

Florence in KY,

I thought Florence was in Alabama!

Anonymous said...

if nate is not an eager seminary student, he must be a frustrated seminary professor...nate, less is more.

Jeff said...

BBC, not really! I know people who speak against fundies so bad that they have become a fundie against fundies...

Anonymous said...

"I wasn't calling L a postmodern. I was simply stating that that frame of reference when reviewing literature is what has led to postmodernism in the Church. "

But then you actually agreed that creation is an 'experience' of God.

Yet you told her she was being post modern for mentioning it.

It was like you were trolling for an opportunity to point out something that MIGHT lead to postmodernism. Is that part of your study about the Shack. Tht is is post modern thinking?

Lydia

blu said...

There is quite a bit of debate here about the validity of a simple book and whether the author should be allowed to come and speak at a conservative church. If you would indulge me for a moment or two I’d like to defend this decision.



Years ago I was going through the motions of church as a youth. Yeah I knew the basics but as far as a sound theological basis I didn’t know where to begin.



Really not knowing where to begin but wanting to travel this path on my own as I was discovering what it means to be Christian I purchased many books,and watched The Blasphemy Network religiously (note the sarcasm).



The books were mainly by the flashy Charismatic preachers who beat you about the head and shoulders that God wants you to be healthy and wealthy and it is your fault if you aren’t because you don’t have enough faith.



Around 2000 I started attending Emmanuel and really learning more about the Christian faith. I attended every service I could at Emmanuel including the Men’s Discipleship on Tuesday mornings until my hours at work changed and made that impossible.



As you can imagine reconciling the two teachings (from the books and TBN and the teachings from the Bible and Emmanuel) was causing quite a logical problem. One had to be right as they were as dissimilar as night and day.



Over time I did more research, more reading, more learning about what it meant to be Christian and how heretical and dangerous Copeland, Hinn, Price, Parsely, and the TBN network were.



At the same time those heretical sources lead me to discover what Christianity and being a Southern Baptist is really about. Providence anyone? I learned about kindness, compassion, tolerance, generosity, and true faith.



Not everyone is on the same path right now as you might be but that doesn’t mean that your paths are exclusive. My Christian walk started at a different point but now I feel I’m as sound in my theology as any here. Perhaps God has brought this author to Emmanuel for a reason?

Perhaps this will be the start of his walk down a different path and some minor word or action at Emmanuel might put him on that walk as he was lead there by God for that reason.

Anonymous said...

Any church that allows this man to come preach shows their lack of theologically maturity.

Michael Scott

Thy Word said...

Wow, I sure am tired of all you liberel and femenist crazies! Any body who read the WORD OF GOD in the plain Authorized 1611 KJV knows that God is a Father and not a mother or women! And HE sure isnt Afirican or any other hypen-ated type America! This SHACK busines sounds more like a OUTHOUSE to me! Do not be deceive!!

Anonymous said...

Lydia, To be honest you sounded like a liberal fundie.

Mon Mar 16, 07:02:00 PM 2009

There is good liberal and good fundie.

Liberal in Grace is good. Liberal in Love is good.

Sticking with the fundamentals of the Faith is good.

It is just that some have put the label 'liberal' onto issues of secondary importance in the Body to very ill effect.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

blu,

God does not want churches to welcome in heretics in order to 'hear a certain word.' God wants people to hear his word, not heresy.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

ANON, use your spell check or learn how to type and/or speak! You are making all of the rest of us "anons" look bad...good grief!

Wade Burleson said...

Michael Scott,

Any statement about the theological maturity of the people of Emmanuel from someone who does not know them personally seems to me to be based on one's prejudices instead of reality.

Tom Kelley said...

Michael Scott
Any church that allows this man to come preach shows their lack of theologically maturity.


Could it also be a lack of theological maturity not to trust God's people and His Spirit to guide them to discern truth and error when they hear it?

Anonymous said...

That was not the REAL Michael Scott who posted. Just to clear the air.

Michael Scott

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You are right on to emphasize the need to study the Word and for the Holy Spirit to be our teacher.

Louis

Not Michael Scott said...

Will the REAL Michael Scott please stand up?

blu said...

Kevin,
What is wrong with debating heretics in church?
How many people started their Christian journey unknowingly from the satanic bible by Anton LeVey?

If someone is secure in their knowledge and can discern what is and isn't right why not welcome a heretic into your church and talk to them?

Debate keeps your faith from atrophy. Perhaps more people here need to be challenged in their walk.

Anonymous said...

Nate:

I didn't read your comments carefully, but I jumped to the same conclusion that Lydia did -that you are a seminary student.

I think maybe it's your picture, and I say that because I really wasn't mulling over your comments in detail.

Can you dye your hair gray, put on some glasses, and gain 100 lbs.? Or lose the suit and tie.

That'll do it.

Louis

Tom Kelley said...

I suspect that, on this blog, "Michael Scott" and "Dwight Schrute" are one and the same. And neither is a real man. (That's what she said.)

:)

Nate said...

Never said she was being post-modern.

Never said creation was an 'experience'. I said it declares God's majesty.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You are right on to emphasize the need to study the Word and for the Holy Spirit to be our teacher.

Louis

Mon Mar 16, 07:46:00 PM 2009

Wow, Louis, are you attending Dale Carnagie courses? :0) We have actually found something we totally agree upon. This is exciting!

Nate, don't change a thing about your appearance. You look like a handsome young man.

Just don't jump to conclusions about L's comments and post modernism. Sorry, I jumped on you. I should have let it go and saved my energy for Joe Blackmon. :o)

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Never said she was being post-modern.

Never said creation was an 'experience'. I said it declares God's majesty.

Mon Mar 16, 07:57:00 PM 2009

(sigh) Implication, Nate. Implication.

Lydia

PS: Don't lose the suit and tie. It is much more handsome than the 'holey' jeans and the 'no mullets allowed' T shirts we see on stage out there in Christendom.

Nate said...

That's funny that you say I shouldn't jump to conclusions about L being Post-Modern (in fact my assumption would be that L is an elderly lady - and most postmodernists are young).

And then you turn right around and jump to the assumption that I'm a seminary student :). Kind of hypocritical :)

Christiane said...

Hi FLORENCE in Kentucky,

It's me, L's

I googled in 'blue gosbeak' and found a photograph. What a beautiful bird ! For me, animals, and those among us who cannot speak, can teach of God's love in a way that we cannot learn from words.

God was merciful to send such a beautiful bird as a sign to comfort you. I hope that you have some help in caring for your loved one. That's important. L's

Anonymous said...

And then you turn right around and jump to the assumption that I'm a seminary student :). Kind of hypocritical :)

Mon Mar 16, 08:07:00 PM 2009

Nate, Just cannot leave well enough alone, can you? Here is what I said:

"Nate, no offense but you sound just like the young seminarians I see so much of these days."

And I apologized to you for jumping to conclusions, even though I said you 'sounded' like a seminary student, but that was not even enough.

And what on earth is "elderl" to you? 50? :o)

John Fariss said...

Dear Nate,

I would certainly agree that non-Christians could get incorrect ideas about God from the book. In fact I would go farther than that: people (whether Christian or not) can get incorrect ideas about God from all kinds of sources, including sermons, even from Bible-believing Christian pastors, and yes, from the Bible itself. (Many cults, such as Jehovah's witnesses, do just that). Would you not agree with that? Furthermore, I would ask which (to you) Christianity primarily is: a set of propositional truths, or a relationship? (Note, I said primarily, not exclusively.) And then where does the "minority" fit in? If it is about a saving relationship with God, how can propositional truth be "important" without assuming primary importance? And if it is about propositional truth, how can a relationship matter without that overshaddowing the propositional elements?

One of the theologians we studied in Systematic Theology 23-25 years ago in seminary was Donald Bloesch, who is (or was, I think he is now deceased) what he called a "neo-evangelical," and readily affirmed the fundamentals of the orthodox faith, the inerrancy of Scripture, and most other things that most conservative Southern Baptists would affirm. Of Scripture, he said that it was the written revelation of God which itself participates in on-going revelation. (My copies of his books are at the church, and I am writing from home, as my internet there is down at the moment; consequently, I am going from memory.) There were other things he wrote, which came uncomfortably close to elevating Scripture to a forth person of the trinity, and suggested to me Bibliotry--worship of the Bible. I can see the character you quote drawing from such sources the conclusion that "what they taught him in seminary was basically putting God in a book." May I suggest that you read (if you have not already) some of Vance Havener's writings? He was as conservative a Southern Baptist preacher and expositor (and one of my heroes) as you will find, and had a lot to say about this subject. And no one would dare call him a "post-modernist." He was one of Billy Graham's mentors, and Billy preached his funeral.

BTW: I hope you are not one of those folks who takes pride in not being seminary-trained, or otherwise tainted by seminary. I mention this only because you (I think it was you--if not, my appologies) mention that neither you, your youth minister, nor your pastor have gone to seminary. I certainly don't think seminary (or college or grad school) makes one smart--indeed, some who graduate are nothing more then well-educated fools. But at its best, seminary can open new worlds and vistas to one. I am rather traditional in respect to education. Originally, a bachelor's degree meant only that one had learned how to learn; a master's, that once could teach--with supervision; and a doctorate, that one was qualified to teach. Then again, I once heard a fellow in line to receive his doctorate said he was sure that piece of paper said somewhere on it he would never have to think again. He hoped so, thinking made his head hurt. Maybe so. . . . (LOL)

I am enjoying our exchanges, and hope you are.

In Christian love,

John Fariss

John Daly said...

Wade said:

"Until then, accept the fact that we are more conservative than probably you theologically..."

Okay, you're not a fan of blanket statements and neither am I.

We all read, see, and our surrounded by worldy influences that is not my issue. Mine is simply protecting the Gospel. Whether at Emmanuel or at my home fellowship, Valley View Baptist in St. Louis; the moment Mr. Young was finished I would quietly get up, slip out...and that would be my last day.

I need the Biblical Gospel every week because I've had a week of fighting the old nature and too many times losing. I need to hear what Christ has done for sinners and His love for the Saints. It's not like the Gospel is only to get you in and then it's time for other stuff.

If you want to read the Shack then enjoy the book. But to allow anything other than sacred writ to proceed from the pulpit...well that is too much for me.

As Joe says (and I can't remember which Joe says it)

I'm just sayin'

Thy Peace said...

Interview with the Apostle Paul by Cheryl Schatz
This post will be a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day. We are interested in asking Paul his reasons for what he wrote about women and what he thinks about the present day church regarding women’s ministries. However the interviewer that gets first “crack” at Paul will be a complementarian Christian who strongly believes that women are restricted from teaching men in the church.

Byroniac said...

I sympathize to an extent with the view that books like "The Shack" should not be sold at Lifeway. I am disturbed by having any book with faulty and even heretical theology marketed as "Christian" fiction. Readers lacking discernment may find themselves spiritually influenced by this book in unhealthy ways, especially when these books are sold at Christian book stores rather than secular ones.

However, I still would rather put up with it than censor it. Why? Because Lifeway also sells music and non-fiction books by people who have outright heretical views about the Trinity, such as T.D. Jakes and Philips, Craig, and Dean (I bought a music album from this very talented group before I realized their heretical views, and I may still have it, but I do not classify it as part of my Christian collection, but secular). I do not see any uproar about this, and seems to me that at the very least this is case of misplaced priorities, if one is going to criticize the sale of a fiction book when more problematic goods remain on the shelf over a longer period of time. I think it is better to simply realize that Lifeway is a store with a goal of making money, something I have no problem with, and that you should just exercise discernment in all your purchases.

Tom Kelley said...

Byroniac,
Well stated and well reasoned comments.

Robert said...

Lydia,
My evidence for the statements I made are from family and friends. I grew in Irian Jaya aka Dutch New Guineau. Interesting that you would challenge me not the perpetrator.
You might ask the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Colorado Springs.
They know the truth.
As do many missionaries from Irian Jaya.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Joe Blackmon said...

"If you want to read the Shack then enjoy the book. But to allow anything other than sacred writ to proceed from the pulpit...well that is too much for me.

As Joe says (and I can't remember which Joe says it)

I'm just sayin'"

Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?

Oh, and it's me that says it. This is so cool. I've NEVER had someone quote me back to me before. So, does that mean I have a catch phrase? Will they put it on t-shirts? If so, how much is my cut of the royalties? Are they going to give me a 1099?

Anonymous said...

"They know the truth.
As do many missionaries from Irian Jaya."

The truth about what, specifically? You keep skirting around this. Come out with it. Or stop.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Is your book being printed on Dunder Mifflin paper?

Michael Scott

Anonymous said...

" think it is better to simply realize that Lifeway is a store with a goal of making money, something I have no problem with, and that you should just exercise discernment in all your purchases."

Byroniac,

I am old enough to remember the Baptist Book Store. There was ONE downtown and we went there at least weekly so my mom and aunt could pick out sheet music for the choir. They even had piano's and organs so they could play the music and try it out. They sold lots of bibles and literature for Sunday School and Training Union. Anyone remember that?

It was a serious place for serious people. Now it is what I would call 'kitchsy' with all the Jesus trinkets, home decor items and bizarre books including 'Christian' bodice ripper novels. You can even buy "Christian" weight reduction programs in a box. They just slap a fish on it, and viola! It is Christian!

Guess it was the profit motive that changed things? Nothing wrong with a profit but are we sending the wrong message by selling plastic fish to put on our cars?

Just wondering

Lydia

Robert said...

Lydia,
That Paul Youngs father sexual molested a number of missionary kids...thus the reason for suddenly leaving the mission.
But women who are not SBC dont matter do they Lydia.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

BTW ...I have written this a half dozen times today Wade just tells me I better have a good attorney.

Anonymous said...

Robert, Are you into generational curses or something? What does that have to do with Young, himself? Can he help what his father did?

Should I hold it against you because your mom spoke (and was paid?) at a seeker church that preaches baptismal regeneration?

Lydia

Robert said...

Lydia,
The original comment directed to you just was before this from Wade.

Your last comment was completely inappropriate. Please refrain from making such allegations about others by name on this blog. If you are a man of passion and principle on this particular subject, then write a post on your own blog with facts to verify your allegation and your own legal team to protect you.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert said...

Lydia,
The point was two-fold
1) Realizing this fact will help you understand why much of the Shack is a metaphor to his real life.
2) As far as I know justice has never been dealt with for these women
3)why the difference in attitude to Christa Brown and these women. Seems like hypocrisy to me


On the Baptismal Regenration: I was told by a pastor and his wife who invited my mother; that they did not believe in BR.....they are Moody Bible Institute grads.
Frankly even if they did I find sexual sins in a different category then BR because of the harm done to the innocent.

Byroniac said...

Lydia, I have no disagreement with your comment.

Truth be told, I don't go to Lifeway much (though I like Lifeway), and when I do, I go to the "serious" section and look at theology books and other reference materials. I prefer secular book stores for their independence and freedom from censorship, and I prefer looking at non-theological and even non-religious books (such as technical subjects on computing, for example, and science fiction for its bizarre philosophies and original concepts). I do not like having to wear the "religious" label all the time, and as long as I am not sinning, I see nothing wrong with occasionally acting like a real person who interacts with the world such as it is.

I think there is a deeper problem than just a "profit motive" so to speak at Lifeway. The real problem I think is exposed by asking, "Why is selling X, Y, and Z profitable?" Why are there not more profits in selling theological reference books than plastic Jesus fish? I honestly think that if we had the spiritual maturity and doctrinal discernment we ought to have, then selling books like The Shack would not even be an issue. It either would not be sold at all, or everyone would not have a problem with it because they understand the distinction between "fiction" and "non-fiction" and the practical benefits of refined discernment.

That's just my $0.02, though.

Robert said...

Lydia,
Dont you find it a untruthful that Paul Young goes around telling people that his family had the leave the missionfield suddenly for an unknown reason. What!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

On the Baptismal Regenration: I was told by a pastor and his wife who invited my mother; that they did not believe in BR.....they are Moody Bible Institute grads.


Mon Mar 16, 11:28:00 PM 2009

The current pastor at SECC where your mom spoke and you gave a link to from another thread, graduated from Cincinnati Bible College and has no seminary degree. And the Assoc Pastor also did not graduate from Moody. Most of the elders believe in BR.

It was a bit of a scandal at SBTS a few years back when Al Mohler invited the former pastor, Bob Russell (now retired) to preach at chapel because of their 'seeker'/felt-needs methods and belief in BR.

But since very little real gospel/doctrine is preached there (mainly "how to" stuff on living the good Christian life) I can see why your mom may not have known.

They do pay speakers well, though.

Thy Peace said...

Wiki: William P. Young

Early life

Young was born to Canadian missionaries who were assigned to a tribe of cannibals in an area now part of Papua New Guinea when he was very young [1]. Young stated in an interview that he began to be sexually abused by the men of the tribe at approximately age 4, and by 6 he had become a predator himself[1]. When he reached schooling age, his parents sent him to a boarding school for children of missionaries, where the abuse continued[1].

Entering the Ministry

As a young adult, Young returned to Canada with his parents and entered seminary to prepare for a career in the ministry, where he spent a number of years as an adult, eventually relocating to the United States and marrying his wife, Kim[1]. Frustrated by the demands of legalism and suffering from the pain of the abuse he experienced as a child, Young came to the conclusion that the institutional church was doing much unnecessary harm to people and abandoned the ministry[1].


[1] - Interview: William “Paul” Young, Author of The Shack
(For some reason, this link does not seem to work on first try, so please refresh it, if it does not work.)

Regardless of whether or not you’ve read the runaway bestseller, The Shack, you’ll want to hear what author Paul Young has to say as he tells the story behind the writing of the book. I will warn you that some material may not be appropriate for younger children, as Paul shares his own personal story in a brutally honest and open way.

Robert said...

Lydia,
Yes Iam into generational curses and blessings. The Puritans had a lot to say about both. I Love that Sara groves song concerning that Biblical thought. Generations.

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

its one of those Covenant things!

Anonymous said...

"1) Realizing this fact will help you understand why much of the Shack is a metaphor to his real life."

I do not disagree with this. I also saw portions of the film about the abuse with the Missionary Alliance (whatever their name is) but did not know it was connected.

"2) As far as I know justice has never been dealt with for these women"

It was also kids, right? And yes, justice should be served. Just like it should be served now. I agree with that totally. What I fail to understand is why you are laying this at the son's feet?

And why you are so hot to trot on him but ignore the CURRENT problems in the SBC on this topic?


"3)why the difference in attitude to Christa Brown and these women. Seems like hypocrisy to me"

I do not have a different attitude. This is the first I have heard about this connection.

If you read the comments earlier, you would know that I am not a big fan of the Shack. But I am certainly not willing to lay his father's alledged sins at his feet, either.

Robert, get a grip. The way you have spoken of Dr. Klouda here makes me question all your accusations/information on anyone. YOu have been quite unreasonable in many of your comments about many things.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"Yes Iam into generational curses and blessings. The Puritans had a lot to say about both. I Love that Sara groves song concerning that Biblical thought. Generations."

Robert, I have a very conservative friend who did his doctoral diss on the Puritans and told me there are several good reason they died out. You just mentioned one of them above. :o)

I am thankful to be in the New Covenant!

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Byroniac, I agree with your comment.I buy online because it is cheaper and I can get used books, too.

Byroniac said...

I just want to add real quickly that some (OK, the majority) of the science fiction stuff I read would make The Shack look tame. I have not even read The Shack yet, and still feel entirely confident saying that, given the long list of strange fiction I have already read through the years.

Granted, most of what I have read does not bear the "Christian" label, but even so, ideas are powerful no matter what labels are given to them. Open-mindedness can be carried to an extreme, especially when there is no recognition or regard for the truth (Acts 17:21 comes to mind). God's truth is more wonderful than any fiction, and with discernment we can keep entertainment in its proper category.

Robert said...

Lydia,
I assume what you speak of is the event down in Quito. James Dobson spoke on that but this is different. As far as I know no one has spoken out publically ...probably due to threats like Wade against me earlier on today.

So much for convictions huh!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert said...

Lydia,

http://www.cmalliance.org/mkApology.jsp

Anonymous said...

Its a book. If you can't tell the difference between a book and the Bible then you shouldn't read anything but the Bible. for everyone else read, enjoy, and relax God gave you the oppertunity and ability to read unlike many people in the world.

Chris D

Anonymous said...

LENTEN REFLECTIONS

Prayer from the Orthodox Great Lent

"Holy God,
Holy Mighty
Holy Immortal have mercy on us

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
both now and ever
and unto the ages of ages, amen."

David Samples said...

Thy Peace: Thanks for sharing the link for the audio interview. I just finished listening to the entire 45 minutes and love the book even more.

greg.w.h said...

Robert,

I'm not disagreeing that there were C&MA missionary kids that were molested in Irian Jaya. I had heard that already and even know of a potential molester of C&MA kids in Bandung (a SB missionary who definitely molested, but we're not sure about C&MA kids, but he was known to molest SB MKs at the C&MA school in Bandung.)

I have related that story before and no one took issues with what I said. I am not sure how bringing this up with respect to The Shack is relevant either to the author--who does mention BEING abused though not by his parents or family--or to Wade.

Care to draw the bright clear line between the two since you've launched it as an accusation against Wade and against Paul Young? I'm VERY familiar with a similar situation and blaming either victims or those that help them doesn't do anything to help with the problem or its impact on them.

I guess a more important issue--which could explain the irrationality of your comments so far--has to do with whether you in any way were impacted directly by what happened. It's not exactly appropriate to share that here (not there is any shame in it, but I know from experience with some of my friends that it is VERY personal and often VERY painful.)

I think you need to very carefully draw the line between what you are trying to say and how it relates to either Young or Wade. Right now, you're using shadow accusations and innuendo to try and color folks opinions. That looks very wrong to me, but there is room for you to be clear.

Greg Harvey

Alan Paul said...

Which of you against this book is responsible for making sure I don't read The Shack?

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

That is an awesome Lenten prayer.

Chris Ryan said...

Nate,

Seeing as how this post is probably soon to die (as Wade has a new post for us to discuss), I am hesitant to ask, knowing that you may not read this. I'm going to ask anyways.

You began discussing postmodernity and I can't tell whether you truly know the topic or only know it well enough to use it as a buzzword, but I would be interested in your feedback. Postmodernity and Christian faith is a topic I have reflected on a great deal and would value your input. I was wondering if there was anything about postmodernity that you thought Christians could agree with.

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

Lydia wrote "including 'Christian' bodice ripper novels"

Um??? I review Christian books - mostly fiction, but some non-fiction. I'm also involved with a Christian writing organization and to say "Christian bodice ripper" is the best use of an oxymoron that I've ever heard.

I can very much say that there is no such thing as a bodice ripper found in Lifeway. A bodice ripper is what the title implies - it glorifies sex and all the world offers.

Are you, by chance, referring to the Christian romance genre? If so, then I'm pretty sure that you've never read one by your statement. If you like to read, then let me direct you to a few good books to check out.

1) The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

2)Promises, Promises by Amber Miller

3)Long Journey Home by Sharlene MacLaren.

Yes, all three are romance novels with a Hero and Heroine and a Happy Ever After... the difference here between Christian romance and bodice rippers is that all three novels point to God. In fact The Convenient Groom is an allegory of Christ and His love for us.

Because I am a member of ACFW - a 1,700 member organization - I am privileged to have met many authors who pen the novels that you have just dismissed. Sadly you have mocked their God-given talent, and the ministry He has given them.

Please check them out or at the very least don't call them bodice rippers. :)

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