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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 09:49:49 -0700
NOTE:  I know many on this List have read the book "The Shack".
Opinions are often sharply divided over this book. Some enjoy it,
while others feel it basically preaches "Universalism". We would
be interested in your comments. Below is an article from WND
about a new development in this controversy-

-by WorldNetDaily.

As a seminary professor and a former colleague and neighbor of
the author of "The Shack," James De Young has a unique
perspective on the mega-best-selling work of fiction that has
captured the hearts of many wounded Christians and skeptics
and become the topic of sermons and Bible classes in churches

While well aware of the testimonies of many who claim they have
experienced emotional and spiritual healing from the book's portrayal
of God, De Young warns in a newly released book of his own that
"The Shack" author William Paul Young's primary intent was not
to tell a good story that happened to contain theology but to teach
an unorthodox view of God he claims changed his life.

Undergirding "The Shack," De Young told WND in an interview, is
an age-old heresy – universal reconciliation – that diminishes the
work of Jesus on the cross and the holiness and justice of God
by asserting that everyone eventually will be saved from eternal

Paul Young has vigorously and repeatedly denied he is a
universalist, but De Young says he was personally acquainted with
Young's spiritual journey over more than a dozen years. De Young
points to a 103-page paper Young wrote that presented his embrace
of universal reconciliation and rejection of the "evangelical paradigm."

DeYoung's new book, by WND Books, is his attempt to warn of
"The Shack"'s seductive theology and present what he believes
are the biblical answers to the questions it raises.

"I think it is very clear 'The Shack' is written to teach theology,"
said De Young, a New Testament language and literature professor
at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore. "It's not just written to tell
a mystery story."

De Young told WND his hope is "that as the truth is known about
the universalist background of the author – and how it can be found
throughout 'The Shack' – that people will realize a good story needs
to be good teaching as well."

In 1997, De Young and Young, whose families socialized through
a Christian school and youth sports, co-founded a Christian think
tank called M3 Forum. For the next seven years they discussed
and probed topics, doctrine and problems facing the church as it
approached the new millennium. Young submitted his surprising
paper embracing universal reconciliation in 2004.

Less than two years later, Young asked friends to read the early
draft of a novel he was writing as a Christmas gift for his children.
Though highly impressed by the manuscript's potential, the friends
were opposed to the universal reconciliation they found in it and
acknowledged publicly that they spent over a year trying to remove
that message. Mainstream Christian publishers declined interest
in publishing what became "The Shack," so Young and his friends
formed their own publishing company.


Now, with 10 million copies in print, "The Shack" has been on
numerous best-seller lists for more than two years and become an
iconic work among enthusiastic evangelicals, with many buying
multiple copies to hand out to their friends.

But De Young believes the acceptance of "The Shack" by
evangelicals and their institutions is evidence of a church in need of renewal.

"I'm really dismayed to see that Christian publishers and radio
programs, TV programs have basically imbibed the feel-good spirit
of 'The Shack' and have not critically examined the theology," he
told WND. "If you point that out to them they feel offended. They
feel that you're being overly critical. They feel something like,
'Well, can't you look beyond the doctrine and appreciate the story.'"

De Young laments "a great lack of discernment" in Christian media
and publishing that is willing to "look askance at the doctrine" if a
book enjoys widespread popularity and makes a lot of money.

Many evangelicals and churches have been seduced by "The
Shack," he said, because the story resonates with many who
have difficult backgrounds in which they've been deeply wounded
emotionally and spiritually.

"There is a growing segment of our population who have a bad
background, perhaps in the sense they come from a divided home,
a home where divorce took place or even an abusive home on the
part of one or both parents," he said. "When they can read a story
like 'The Shack' and find solace and encouragement from the
experiences of this fictitious person and his experience and realize
that God does love them, then I think that it will resonate with a
lot of people."

People who have been deeply hurt, he said, "are reaching out for
a sympathetic God who they can clearly understand and who loves them."

De Young said the book's "Christian bearings and overtones"
encourage many Christians to accept the book and its message,
particularly those unaware of the teaching of universalism...

-Please comment on this topic at the website below-