“The Christology of the book is likewise confused. “Papa” tells Mack that, though Jesus is fully God, “he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything. He has only lived out of his relationship with me, living in the very same manner that I desire to be in relationship with every human being.” When Jesus healed the blind, “He did so only as a dependent, limited human being trusting in my life and power to be at work within him and through him. Jesus, as a human being, had no power within himself to heal anyone.””
“The Christology of the book … [may be] confused” – I havn’t any background to judge – but the concept here is, for me, a wonderfully life affirming one. If we accept the premise that Jesus truly engaged only his power as a human being, as simply a person, we learn that those powers he invoked are our own as human beings, and available to us all!
Later in the article, beyond what’s available in your post, the author says:
“The most controversial aspects of The Shack‘s message have revolved around questions of universalism, universal redemption, and ultimate reconciliation. Jesus tells Mack: “Those who love me come from every system 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.” Jesus adds, “I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved.””
Again, I am not prepared to evaluate “controversial aspects,” but I am in the universal realm. The Jesus who looks to include everyone in salvation, who wouldn’t ever quote scripture to exclude people and call it “controversial” to include all good people, or perhaps potentially all people, is the Jesus I want to believe in, and do believe in!
This remark towards the end of the article is to me terrifying!
“All this reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment. It is hard not to conclude that theological discernment is now a lost art among American evangelicals — and this loss can only lead to theological catastrophe.”
I am confused!
The publishing world sees very few books reach blockbuster status, but William Paul Young’s The Shack has now exceeded even that. The book, originally self-published by Young and two friends, has now sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. It is now one of the best-selling paperback books of all time, and its readers are enthusiastic.
According to Young, the book was originally written for his own children. In essence, it can be described as a narrative theodicy — an attempt to answer the question of evil and the character of God by means of a story. In this story, the main character is grieving the brutal kidnapping and murder of his…
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