Thirteen Heresies in The Shack-By Dr. Michael Youssef

6 09 2008

I know I’m kind of becoming a book critic, but because this book is sweeping the Christians of this nation just like the Twilight series and is just as deadly, I thought I should post Michael Youssef’s Thirteen Heresies in The Shack.  He read the book and was completely taken in by the emotions it stirred in him, but he soon figured out how wrong the book was.  He preached a sermon on it and wrote this. 

1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins.

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love.

The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “
We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).

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12 responses

7 09 2008
Erika

ah yes, I read that book and put many question marks by the things I didn’t agree with. =)

7 09 2008
Sharon

I was shocked when I found out that some people accept this as Christian!

8 09 2008
Sarah

My brother read this (he works at a Christian bookstore and the manager wanted all the employees to read it to familiarize themselves with it because it’s so popular…also, they were promised a pizza party if EVERYONE read it and he didn’t want to let the “team” down) and he didn’t like it all. He disagreed with so much of it, and after reading this post, now I know why! I think this is definitely one book I won’t be reading.

Have you read it? If you already said yes or no, forgive me, I must have missed it. If so, do you share many of the same thoughts as Dr. Youssef?

14 09 2008
worth the wait yo

yo keep up the good work kels , you are doing great and i also wanted to mention a christian magazine for girls called brio its is $ 12 a year and you get 12 issues and its not a boring granny magizne they interview many famous people they even enterviewed the jonas brothers i dont know what the website is for subscription but if you google it im sure you can find out keep workin hard for christ ~kate~

16 09 2008
julia

hey
i just read wat you said about the shack and i am totally shocked
i told mymyom wat joe don said about it but wow he needs to get himself a abible and actually read it
a agirl at school was reading it maybe i should ask her wat she thought about it
also brio is a really kool mag i get it and really enjoy it they have an advice colom and quizes and other kool stuff
if you dont get it you should look into it
buy for now!

4 10 2008
Pearls and Diamonds

An Excellent review of a book that is certainly less than excellent! I have been grieved to hear so many Christians eagerly embrace this book–because it appeals to their emotions–and makes them “feel good” about themselves and about God. You did an excellent job of setting forth truth vs. the lies that permeate this book.

Blessings!

Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds

28 10 2008
nobody416

Hey Kelsea. I found this video on The Shack from Pastor Mark Driscoll that I thought you would like. He explains the heresies about the trinity in it. It is a great video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK65Jfny70Y

13 01 2009
Love and Heresy and The Shack

[…] websites we might be discussing that discussed the heresies found in the book (Google “13 heresies of the Shack“).  There are (as of right now) 2313 reviews on Amazon… a few hundred of them are not […]

25 01 2009
Hyde Park Baptist Church, Cincinnati » THE SHACK…What a book!

[…] Have you heard that said lately? I am amazed at the reach and influence of this little book, “The Shack.” I really shouldn’t be surprised, since this book is in the genre of Oprah’s and Joel Osteen’s prosperity gospel. Since so many people I know are reading this book, and claim to have learned new and wonderful things about God and His relationship to us humans, I had to read it. What did I learn from reading this book? I learned how dangerous and deceptive it is. It presents a false and far different gospel than the bible gives us. It is dangerous because most people who read it will believe the false god presented in the book, rather than believe in God of the holy scriptures. I am deeply disturbed and saddened by professing Christians that I know personally, who are captivated and enthralled by ‘The Shack.” They should be angry and disturbed by it, since it presents another gospel, and a distortion of God and His relationship with man. It is simply bad and dangerous theology. As biblical theologian Al Mohler states in his blog, on his radio presentation, “This is undiluted heresey, a deeply troubling book.” I encourage you to listen to his radio presentation on ‘The Shack’, which you can access here.. He goes into more detail about the specific errors and misrepresentations of God and the gospel that are contained in the book. Also you can watch a good refutation of ‘The Shack’ by Mark Driscoll (who I do not endorse on many things, yet he is spot on here) at…’click here” Also a great downloadable review of the book by Tim Challies is available here… Also a blog which contains a brief expose by Michael Youssef is here… […]

11 05 2009
Jason M

It’s one of the many doctrines of devils and false Gods under the guise of christianity out there, promoted by the same ilk as the Lakeland Revival crowd. This is more serious than some people think. Shack (Shach) is actually the name of a Babylonian Goddess.

In Daniel chapter 1 the king of Babylon changes Mishael’s (one of Daniel’s three companions) name to Meshach —”Who can be like the goddess Shach?”

This book’s heretical portrayal of the Godhead is a clear indictment as the Father in the book is portrayed as a large African WOMAN wearing a dress and an apron…

2 06 2009
shaun

While I thought this was an excellent review of The Shack, I was a little torn by the comments that I read. I did read this book, and while I did pick up on the “untruths” in it, I don’t feel it needed such a harsh review.
This is a fictional book, and should never be used as a guide for Christians. Our guidance should come from God’s Word, The Bible.
I actually enjoyed reading it. I didn’t take away any doctrinal uses from it, but it did make me think about my relationship with God. He wants to have an everyday, real, just like He’s in the room having a glass of tea relationship with us. Yes He is MIGHTY & AWESOME & TERRIBLE, but He is also LOVING & CARING & KIND.
If you are like me, you have had many hurts in your life that have skewed your views of God as a Father. I have struggled many years with relating to Him that way, but this book made me see things differently. Now this book isn’t the only thing that changed my thoughts, but it was a big part of it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that maybe too much effort is being put into tearing this book down.

2 06 2009
worththewaitblog

Yes, I understand that it is only a fictional book and as that, I am sure it is just fine. But the problem is that people do take it as a guide. I saw a book just today in the Christian Book Store that was called something about Life Lessons from The Shack. And I want to thank you for not being sarcastic in your comment like so many people are. I understand where you are coming from about the relationship with God and I agree that it should be like a relationship with family or a friend, but The Shack takes it a little too far. It takes God and turns Him into a black woman (not that race has ANYTHING to do with it at all!!!!!). God can’t be made like us because He isn’t. God the Son came down and was made like us, but God the Father wasn’t and was never meant to do so. Besides, it takes away some of the respect and reverence that God so deserves.

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