Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Do you remember??? It was'nt too many years ago. Everyone was warning us about the EVIL Harry Potter.. Remember Harry Potter wanted to take over our minds and make us worship MAGIC and The Devil... Man, They( you know , "They" do'nt you?) said that NOONE should read it.. TOO DANGEROUS- all those witches, and warlocks, and magic talk. I remember being at a friends house one evening. We were all just hanging out with our kids, watching TV.. it was a great family night with friends. We watched " The Wizard of Oz" on TV.. some of the Little ones enjoyed listening to " Sleeping Beauty" before Bed.. and some of the older kids were telling us how far they had gotten in " The Chronicles Of Narnia".. it was a great night.. and then , some one mentioned the dreaded " P" word- POTTER... well, before you could say "ding dong the Witch is dead", one of the adults launched into a diatribe against HP.. Man, I was so scared , I did'nt even read it... I heard SO many scary theories about how my mind was going to be exposed to all sorts of terrible influences... I had no Idea that I would hear similar warnings about a book called "the Shack": " Heresy" is the word I heard most often! Now I am an ultra-conservative Presbyterian Elder- Jesus ONLY-Virgin Birth- ok... just think of ALL the "check List words " that scream EXCLUSIONARY to the liberal evangelicals and insert them next to Clay Callaway.. You get the idea??? So one evening , I was thinking about re-reading " The Lion , the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and FORGET about " The Shack".. but I could'nt.. I had to see what the Buzz was all about.SO I read it... I was afraid.. and my fears were confirmed... in a good way. NOW, I want YOU to read it.. so I am not going to go into great detail with this review- do'nt wanna spoil it... so here goes- " The Shack" is a NOVEL.. ok it's not a book of Systematic Theology.. The main character , Mack visits GOD in " The Shack" so that he can be reminded of something.. and that something is that no matter what you have gone through, GOD LOVES YOU and HAS NEVER FORSAKEN YOU! NOW I know you are saying.. " WOW , Clay.. sounds so deep.. well.. it IS and we all need to be reminded of this profound truth.. The Reformer Martin Luther said that "Christians should preach the Gospel to themselves every day" Simple and yet so profound.. we need to remind ourselves of the wonder of it all.. Thats the message of " The Shack". Now , the author uses some creative ways to help us to "get it" . lots of people were frightened by this "creativity"and starting throwing the "heresy" word around.. especially when the author was heard in an interview, supposedly denying the Penal Substitutionary Atonement( google it)..The author, William P. Young, had several tragedies in his life.. This book is a product of his "working Through" the "where was God?" question. Remember that as you read it. I enjoyed the story..My faith in the Sufficiency of Scripture has not wavered because I read " The Shack", If anything- it has been strengthened.I KNOW what the Bible teaches about God's omniscience, His Immutability, His Sovereignty, - I can read a novel that at times seems to question my views about these attributes- without apostasizing.. really I DID! If you decide to read this book, watch out. Lots of people are screaming.. telling us that we should'nt read this author because some of his views on God are suspect.. let me tell you something.. the APOSTLE PAUL read NON- CHRISTIAN authors.. and QUOTED them. Epimenides was a 6th century religious reformer( not a Christian) and Poet that Paul mentioned in Titus 1:12.- Man, I hope "Epi" did'nt have any witches in his poetry..Paul was'nt afraid of Epimenides.. Paul knew the truth... All of the C.S. Lewis fanatics who proudly recommend his works need to go back and read some of his musings that at times sounded like "open Theism"( google it")- He talked about Budhists who were "living so in harmony with the Spirit of Christ" that they might be in Paradise with us who are Christians."He would not pass your litmus tests".Many of the Early Church Fathers that we quote had some wacky( yep, I typed wacky) views.. but we appeal to them as an "apologia" for our doctrinal distinctives- Origen was certainly a neo-platonist. Tertullian believed that the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled by the FIRST advent- sorry , Pre-trib rapture" friends.. Tertullian would not enjoy your church movie night screening of "left Behind" .. although , I am sure that he would have loved Kirk Cameron...Ya get my point? NOT EVERY WRITER is going to agree with our view of "orthodoxy".. but you know what?? we can still read them.. we can look for kernels of truth in their works.. God can use so many things to teach us... even stories written by authors who are "un-orthodox", neoorthodox, or just plain unbelieving!!! I can se that my "review" will require at least two more installments,so stay tuned to this channel- NEXT, I will address some of the inconsistencies of the story... but let me say this: DO'nt Be Afraid to go to the Shack.. Harry Potter's not there...There's no Lions, Witches, Wardrobes, Wizards, ( oh I forgot.. they're ok.."- sometimes) but I tell you what you will find there.. a good story that reminds you of some Good News; Your Heavenly Father Loves you ; No matter what is going on in your life- He has never and WILL never forsake you; He became a Man and kept the Law for His people and suffered the punishment due to your Sins... that's not a "scary" story.. that's the most calming, healing story that has ever been written, and it was written in RED

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