The Shack "may raise some good questions, but avoid its heresies and answers"

"[W]hile The Shack may raise good questions, its answers (and its heresies) will make it just another downhill push for those on the slippery slopes of creating a free-form God out of loose-gripped truths and personal experiences." WORLD

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Jim's picture

What I DID see is the film give a beautiful, beautiful REPRESENTATION of the absolute LOVE and ADORATION that Jesus has for us. How the Holy Spirit is so tender and comforts us in a way only He can. And how God is His infinite wisdom and mercy knows just what we need and when and how to give it to us. And that’s right, I saw a REPRESENTATION. Just like going to see a Christmas play where actors are representing Jesus, angels, and Biblical characters. We all know those characters aren’t God and aren’t pretending to actually BE God in their hearts. Likewise, the author of The Shack was not intending for you to think these characters are actually God, but was rather showing the love and characteristics of God through human terms which is in a way we can understand the most. I could go on and on, but would like to refrain from too many spoilers for those who will be seeing it so instead will give you this to ponder.

dmyers's picture

"As near as I can figure from the somewhat murky thinking on display, God is responsible for all the things that are good, pure and beautiful in the world but always seems to have an excuse when it comes to the uglier aspects of life. If one has the temerity to press this particular issue, as Mack understandably does, all he gets in return is a bunch of straw man arguments that pretend to answer his questions without actually doing so."

A deadly critique of the movie and of American Christians' lack of discernment.


Bert Perry's picture is the Babylon  Bee's take.  And on the book

Would love to hear pastors noting connections to the Trinity and such as it comes up in the Scriptures more often.  Such a rich subject, and so neglected.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture


My church isn't opposed to "advertising" (for lack of a better word) in our local neighborhoods.

We've run "ads" at a local theater in the past which have resulted in new people attending.  For the past week we're been running church "ads" before showings of The Shack at the big local multi-screen.

The way we see it, people attending The Shack may be searching for something  in their lives, or may leave the theater with faith-related questions.  (And since we happen to believe that we can help them find the answers in the form of a personal relationship with Someone, we figure it's a good time & place to invite them to visit us.)

As it turns out, it works!  We had several first-timers yesterday who told us they decided to visit us a result of seeing The Shack.

TylerR's picture


Jim wrote:

there's a lot of very bad philosophy / theology in the Star Wars films & many Christians have viewed and survived

Heresy, Jim. Despite the fact that I watched a movie over the weekend where Denzel Washington killed about 20 people, and dispatched the "evil henchman" with a shot to the throat from a pneumatic nailgun, I shall not watch "the Shack." I like to stay away from the unfruitful works of darkness.

Gotta run - the next Jason Bourne movie is starting. I shall pray for your sanctification.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Jim's picture

I did see The Matrix years ago: It had its share of very bad theology.

Neo, "the One," is clearly the savior. ...  In the first film, Neo dies, rises from the dead, and rockets skyward making threats that sound more Terminator than Life-Giver. Neo is attended by Morpheus, who fills a John the Baptist role, and a brave young woman named Trinity. The underground camp of free humans is called Zion.

This makes it sound like a Sunday School class:

This “blind slavery” imagery is a fitting metaphor for humankind’s bondage to sin as described in the Bible. Jesus said that “every one who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34) and needs to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).6 Being born again is not unlike Neo’s experience of waking up in his “pod” of slavery and being freed. The apostle Paul wrote that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel” (2 Cor. 4:4).

The Christ symbolism woven into the story also is obvious. Morpheus, like John the Baptist, heralds the prophesied coming of “the One” (Neo), who will free people from their bondage to the Matrix. Neo is sought by the satanic gatekeeper (Agent Smith), is betrayed by a Judas (Cypher), is killed, is resurrected by the breath (a kiss) of Trinity, and ascends into the clouds as he heralds his and his followers’ intention to preach their “gospel” to all creation. In the first sequence of the first film, Neo delivers an illegal computer disk to a fellow hacker, who jokingly says of Neo, “Hallelujah. You’re my savior. My own personal Jesus Christ.” When people are freed from the Matrix, they go to a city called Zion — the same name as the biblical city of the Promised Land, which is symbolic of the redeemed people of God. A plaque on the ship Nebuchadnezzar has the inscription, “Mark III no. 11,” which seems to be a cryptic reference to Mark 3:11: “And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, ‘You are the Son of God!’”

TylerR's picture


Now I finally understand why my life was ruined so long ago. I, too, watched the Matrix. That was the beginning of my descent into heresy and theological anarchy. For years, I thought Jesus looked like Keanu Reeves. I've been so confused since then. By God's grace, I have been redeemed from this terrible error.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Bert Perry's picture

reading Tyler & Jim's interaction, of the time I heard a mother at my church (thankfully not the mother of my children!) tell her sons they would NOT be reading The Chronicles of Narnia because (shudder) one of the characters was a witch.  I did not even bother to inform her that in the books, the witch was a picture of the Devil.  It was pretty sad.  

Really, if we have to keep ourselves pure from every bit of error, good luck as we try to watch almost any decent movie, read most literature worth reading, listen to the canon of classical music, and the like.  But that said, when i was leading a church service at a retirement home a week ago, a woman asked me what I thought of The Shack.   It was nice--thanks Jim and the Babylon Bee--to be able to simply note that if one was looking for an encouragement in real faith, one ought not look there.

Finally, I've got Tyler beat.  The movie I watched with my kids, featuring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, featured the deaths of thousands and hideous theology--but hideous theology that was understandable because few understood either Catholicism or Islam at the time, even those who claimed those religions.  So the confusion was historical!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

It seems obvious from his latest book that the author is a heretic. Is evangelicalism so desperate that they need whatever theological crumbs that have been swept from the floor of this guy's dining room?


"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

TylerR's picture


I was browsing through the pathetic remnants oof a local Family Christian last week, and all the staff and patrons were talking about The Shack. Nobody has any discernment, because nobody knows their Bible in a holistic, systematic way.

All kidding aside, nobody mistakes The Matrix as theology. People are mistaking The Shack as theology. That's why it's dangerous. Back to Denzel and his pneumatic nailgun . . .

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.