Why It Matters That The Shack Isn’t Biblical

Legacy Ladies Note: Gale is the Founder and Executive Director of Daughters of Our Living Lord and Savior (DOLLS), a ministry designed to be a tool used by students to invite their peers to hear the saving message of Jesus Christ. I worked with DOLLS as a Big Sister last year, and I came to love Gale’s knowledge of and passion for truth, Scripture, and theology. We are so thankful for her wisdom and guidance regarding this relevant issue! – Nikki


Linda McMillan Photography
Linda McMillan Photography

By Gale Carter

On March 3, Hollywood will be releasing its next major “Christian” motion picture: The Shack. (You can read a quick summary of the story line here.) Like many Christian movies, there is a long list of tertiary concerns that surface within The Shack. But it’s not those issues that have me and many other leaders in the faith ready to endure the backlashing we will inevitably get for opposing something with a “Christian” label on it.

Between its blatant violation of the second commandment, it’s advancement of a damnable heresy known as “universal reconciliation,” and it’s belittlement of the Word of God as the only true, reliable source of revelation about God, The Shack leaves us no choice but to condemn it entirely.

Knowledgeable Christian leaders have drawn out the details of the incriminating factors that lie within The Shack. Take some time to explore the resources below for a specific and in-depth understanding of why this text is not Biblical. My aim for this article is to discuss WHY we should care if a “Christian” film is not in line with Scripture and to caution you from reactively praising anything in pop culture that calls itself Christian.

Commanded To Discern Truth

The Bible calls us to recognize the spirit of truth from the spirit of error (1 John 4:6) and to test all spiritual teachings through the scrutinizing lenses of the Holy Scriptures. The starting point for Biblical discernment must always be the Bible.

Next, you can look to the writings of these faithful brothers who have already done the thorough work of dissecting The Shack for our edification:

  • For a thorough but accessible overview of some of the major issues, I’d recommend Tim Challies’ PDF guide A Reader’s Review of The Shack.
  • If you really want to become an expert, read Burning Down ‘The Shack’ by James B. DeYoung.
  • Short on time? The team at GotQuestions.org has a short but thoughtful analysis for us, and WWUTT produced a quick YouTube video that effectively rattles out the concerns.

Is it a Battle Worth Fighting?

Our ultimate aim in life as Christians is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If God has encapsulated some truth about Himself in His Scriptures that we negligently ignore or modify, we are sinning. This film is dangerous because the example set forth within it will justify and encourage man’s idolatrous habit of creating a god in MAN’s image.

Many people will accuse us saying, “Lighten up! It’s just a fictional story for the sake of entertainment. It’s not meant to be theological!” But by all counts, the undeniable focus of the interactions portrayed in the story revolve around the Godhead teaching Mack something “theological” about Himself.

The liability of a story like The Shack is that a person could be persuaded to put their confidence for salvation in a god who is not the God of the Bible at all, and therefore incapable of offering justification. This possibility should haunt us, dear Christian!

Our entire aim as evangelists of the Gospel is to lead people to the right truth about who God is and His ability to save through the work of His Son on the cross. Anything that puts hindrance in the path of that goal should be recognized as the enemy of the Gospel that it truly is.

Let us not sit idly by as friends undiscerningly set themselves under the teaching of The Shack’s heinous doctrinal distortions. I believe we have a duty to get this right, sisters, for the sake of our loved ones and—even greater—for the glorification of our God and King!

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