William P Young, The Shack


Caution – Spiritual Danger Ahead! The New Age Shack – Coming to a Theater Near You

In 2007 and 2008, I wrote articles on two previous blogs that no longer exist. The first was sabatoged and erased, contend4thefaithjustanotherservantofjesuschrist.com; and, another contend4thefaith just vanished. Lessons were learned and EZC was born. Apologetics have always been my passion, perhaps because since relocating to another region of the nation I have experienced so many different churches that have fallen into grave error.Searching EZC archives again realized articles date back only to 2010. In March, The Shack will hit movie theaters, and this article is my attempt to warn you as to why it should be avoided.

Numerous articles exist by Christians who labored to detail the theological confusion and spiritual deception, hazardous to the unsuspecting, within the pages of The Shack by William P Young. First, the holy Trinity as represented in this vile book presents as “Papa” God as a black (hate the word) lady, and “Jesus” is presented as merely a carpenter, and an Asian female Sarayu is conveyed as the “Holy Ghost.” In seeking to be relevant, which is being generous because I posit this individual as well as all the others that write books they claim represent Christianity are agents of darkness. In media interviews, Young states that this book was originally written in response to a close friend losing a young daughter.

Satan operates in the realm of the mind, often manipulating emotions and what a powerful avenue is mourning the loss of a child. Young wrote his book originally in response to a family losing their young daughter. The enemy always seeks to deconstruct biblical Christianity, while introducing a new way of approaching or discovering God often introducing New Age philosophy, recycled occult ideas shielded to not appear benign; but, in the end crucial aspects of the gospel are removed. Attacking the Trinity is common, and the reason is obvious, once a person is redeemed God the Father and God the Son gift the indwelling presence and power of God the Holy Spirit. This is key to the life of a Christian as we come to realize that the very Creator directs, teaches the convert his Word, and offers protection from evil that was unavailable previously. If Christians would embrace the truth that God reigns through us and, as the good Father he is, empowers us to live fearless and victorious over the wiles and power of the devil our impact upon the lost would be exponentially increased. God would get so much glory as the lost watched us completely different than themselves and want the quiet peace we possess.

Since one can not anticipating wholesome water from a toxic well, the source material ulitized for the film is glaringly not representative of Christianity so the movie will be as bad or considerably worse. The impact of film is far greater on the subconscious as people tend to believe ideas conveyed visually or at least retain them for future recall. A concern of mine is that those weak in the faith due to being fairly new Christians will be spiritually harmed; also, those already deceived will just be further hardened in deception. Furthermore, there is always a risk of a true convert that has walked with God for years being led astray as church groups go view this for discussion later and the subtle, unconscious acquiescence occurs as people rationalize, It couldn’t possibly be bad because my church would never lead me astray. This book is a blasphemous, a collection of new age (i.e. fractal), and heretical ideas (God is a woman; Jesus is merely a nice guy and a carpenter) that may slip under the radar of anyone who has not filled their mind with scripture to mature in the faith.

William P. Young in an interview with Pastor Kendall Adams of KAYP Radio denied the substitionary atonement of the blood of Jesus Christ. Satan always wants to draw men away from the Lord Jesus Christ, and uses his ministers to lead the masses into delusion as at Golgotha holy blood ran down that tree accomplishing the blood atonement which will cover, redeem and cleanse of sin all repentant believing sinners. Maligning this doctrine reveals Young as one who can not possibly, at this point, possess true salvation for he denies the only means by which God has provided salvation of sinners. Making the cross of none effect is prevalent among those who have a form of godliness but deny the Power thereof such have fashioned a god that no longer resembles YHVH. Rather, much like choosing items from a salad bar these wandering, double-minded lost souls create a hodgepodge religion masquerading as Christianity; yet, embraced by those who remain willfully ignorant of scripture.

It has become clear the most prolific, or promoted, authors are of this tribe have chosen ignore the wise counsel of David, Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Psalm 119:11). Once again, I will reiterate what was a common theme on this blog, If false teachers wish to choose hell that is their perrogative, however, it falls to us to warn the deceived of blasphemous, fairy tale books that appeal and appease the flesh. Fallen men seek methods to avoid repentance, exclusivity of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, and walking in surrendered obedience just the idea of being accountable to God. As the King of Glory stated of himself, “I am that way, that truth, and that life” (John 14:6).

It bears repeating, words have meaning.  Satan always sprinkles a modicum of truth among the lie, e.g. “God is love.” While true, God is holy: And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Romans 1:4) Sadly, far too many are casting their lot with the double-minded, which destroys discernment and the urgency to walk in righteousness.

These articles are written by Christians who see the errors I do; but, in addition to these search contemplative, emergent, new age, if interested in futher study.

The Message ‘bible’, Eugene Peterson

Jimmy DeYoung, The Shack, Eugene Peterson

The Shack’s Wayne Jacobsen Resonates with Contemplative and Emerging Writers

Lighthouse Trails Editors July 1, 2009

William Paul Young is the official author of The Shack, but Wayne Jacobsen is one of its editors. According to a New York Times article, Jacobsen spent 16 months helping to rewrite the first draft. This would leave the logical conclusion that Jacobsen had some significant influence on the final outcome of the book. And with that in mind, readers need to be aware that Jacobsen is a proponent of emerging and contemplative books and authors. It’s an important thing to know because Christian figures are heralding the book, helping it to remain on the New York Times Best Seller list. Those that understand this book–its obvious and its not so obvious messages–know that it’s important to issue a warning. And the fact that popular Christian authors like Eugene Peterson (The Message) and Gayle Erwin (Calvary Chapel speaker and author of The Jesus Style) endorse the book means that unsuspecting, well-intentioned Christians will buy the book, and if they follow the advice at the end of the book, will buy other copies of the book and give them away to friends.

On Wayne Jacobsen’s website, LifeStream, he carries a list of books he calls “Must Reads,” which he says have “most shaped” his spiritual “journey.”1 Of the books listed, there is a hodge podge of contemplative and emerging church authors. These include Brennan Manning, Philip Yancey, Larry Crabb, Dallas Willard, Mike Yaconelli, and Jim Palmer. On a second reading list, he includes Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) and Anne Lamott.

Many of our readers may not be familiar with Jim Palmer and Anne Lamott. Palmer is the author of Divine Nobodies and is listed with Peterson and Erwin on The Shack website as an endorser. Publisher’s Weekly says Palmer is an “emerging church leader” … that “touched a nerve with readers who gravitate toward cutting-edge evangelical writers like Brian McLaren and Donald Miller.”2 On Palmer’s blog, under his links section, he has a link to contemplative activist Richard Rohr. Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ) who believes in pantheism and panentheism. Rohr wrote the foreword to a 2007 book called How Big is Your God? by Jesuit priest (from India) Paul Coutinho. In Coutinho’s book, he describes an interspiritual community where people of all religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity) worship the same God. For Wayne Jacobsen to say that Jim Palmer is one of the authors who “most shaped” his spiritual “journey” is very telling.

Anne Lamott is best known for her book, Traveling Mercies, and she resonates with Oprah’s New Age meditation author, Elizabeth Gilbert (3 Lamott’s endorsement of the book sits on the back cover of Eat, Pray, Love.

Jacobsen’s open affinity with these contemplative and emerging authors may well have influenced the final draft of The Shack. The book refers to God as “the ground of all being” that “dwells in, around, and through all things–ultimately emerging as the real” (p. 112)–this is the ripe fruit of contemplative spirituality. One can find this language and definition of God in the writings of John Shelby Spong and Marcus Borg, and the concept overflows within the contemplative/emerging camp. This description of God does not mean that God upholds everything; it means that God is the essence of all that exists (in other words, He dwells in all humans and all creation). New Age sympathizer, Sue Monk Kidd, would agree with The Shack’s definition of God–in her book, First Light, she says God is the graffiti on the building (p. 98), and so would John of the Cross who said God is the mountain, forest, rivers, etc. 4

The Shack‘s William Young also resonates with Anne Lamott. In the back of the book in the Acknowledgements, Young says he is “grateful” for Lamott.

Lighthouse Trails’ concern is that the theology of The Shack is the Christianity of the future, a Christianity that has been defined and proclaimed by those such as Brian McLaren, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and many many writers who would share these spiritual propensities. For instance, Nouwen stated that:

Prayer is “soul work” because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one, … It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is. (ATOD, chapter 3, endnote #41)

This is just another way of saying what Young says in The Shack that God is “the ground of all being” that “dwells in, around, and through all things.”1

The Shack: Father-goddess Rising

Miscellaneous News Source, April 23, 2008

by John Lanagan
Free-lance writer

Many are crediting The Shack, the novel by William P. Young, with revolutionizing their faith. With themes of overcoming loss, working through anger, and restored relationship between man and God, Young’s novel has excited many within the Body of Christ.

Young has appeared on CBN, and has garnered fans across the country. The Shack, continues to sell briskly. Yet, in the midst of such enthusiasm, does The Shack, glorify Jesus Christ–or contradict the Bible with a false image of the Lord our God?

The novel’s main character, Mack Philips, has lost his daughter. She has been murdered, her bloodied dress found in an isolated shack. Four years later Mack receives an invitation from God to spend time with the Trinity in the very shack where the dress was found.

Nowhere in the Bible do Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously assume physical forms on earth. The Shack, however, portrays Jesus as a carpenter, the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman, and God the Father as a large black woman named … Papa.

Much like AA’s “higher power,” The Shack’s, deity comes to Mack in a form he is willing to accept. While the novel’s feminization of the Lord is as trendy as it is Babylonian, the reader rapidly becomes used to descriptions of God as “she” and “her.” At one point the book’s version of Jesus praises the fictional Father-goddess, exclaiming, “Isn’t she great?”

Malachi 3:6 states, “For I, the Lord, do not change.” God is Spirit. In the entire Bible there is not one single reference to Father, Son, or Holy Spirit–or to any of His angels–as female. It is probably not wise, then, to go beyond what has been presented in Scripture.

Unfortunately, this seems a frequent occurrence in The Shack.The Father-goddess character tells Mack she appears in female form “to help keep you from falling back so easily into your religious conditioning.” The author and his publishing team apparently assume Christians believe the Lord is an old white man with a beard, and have produced the book in part to help straighten us out.

There is an apparent dismissal of the importance of Scripture, which is reflected in slippery theology found throughout the novel. Young writes, “Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” Guilt edges?

The Father-goddess of The Shack, it seems, is never about guilt or punishment. She benignly informs Mack, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring people from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

That sounds wonderful. And, yes, sin enslaves. However, the novel’s deity contradicts the Bible. Jesus will “be dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction…” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

Although most sermons these days skirt the issue, Christians receive punishment during our time on earth. “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:6-7)

But, this is not the message of the Father-goddess, simply because this is not the God of Scripture. An excellent writer, Young plays to emotion and touches on legitimate hurts and concerns. The author excels at imbuing his deity with attributes of love, forgiveness, and mercy, and this is what many people have responded to.

Increasingly in novels and movies the Lord is blithely used as one of the characters, and given words from the mouth of man. In this sense, the author of The Shack, is simply following the culture.

But something else is going on here.

Universal Reconciliation (UR) is the belief that Jesus’ sacrifice allows Christians and non-Christians to spend eternity with God. In other words, in UR theology, everybody goes to heaven, not just followers of Jesus. Some in this camp even believe this includes the devil and his demons.

Publisher Wayne Jacobsen acknowledges that UR was included in earlier versions of The Shack. Jacobsen explains:

While some of that was in earlier versions because of the author’s partiality at the time to some aspects of what people call UR, I made it clear at the outset that I didn’t embrace UR and didn’t want to be part of a project that promoted it.

So why did Jacobsen proceed to join forces with Young? He writes:

To me that was the beauty of the collaboration … the author would say that some of that dialogue significantly affected his views. … Holding him to the conclusions he may have embraced years earlier would be unfair to the ongoing process of God in his life and theology.

Perhaps, but this allegedly former theology even now seems to explain some of the content of the book.

The Bible clearly teaches the only way to God the Father is through Jesus, who loved us enough to die for us. Early in The Shack, Mack’s daughter asks if the Great Spirit, the Native American god, is another name for the Father of Jesus. Mack tells her … yes. He may as well have told her that Allah (or any other false patriarchal god) is also the Father of Jesus.

Of course, if everybody is going to heaven because of UR, what does it matter? God, Great Spirit, Allah, what’s the difference?

His daughter asks the question because Mack tells the story of an Indian princess who willingly died so her people could be delivered of an illness. According to an Indian prophecy, it could be ended only through her sacrifice. The author states, “After praying and giving herself to the Great Spirit, she fulfilled the prophecy by jumping without hesitation to her death on the rocks below.”

When his daughter calls the Great Spirit “mean” for making both Jesus and the princess die, Mack never clarifies that Jesus’ Father is not the Great Spirit, or that God the Father has nothing to do with this pagan legend.

Does the author still have UR leanings? In his article, ‘The Beauty of Ambiguity,’ it is not his character Mack, but Young himself, who speaks to the Father-goddess. He denies being a universalist, and proclaims “faith in Jesus is the only way into your embrace.”

She asks, “I take it that it wouldn’t bother you if I decided to save every human being that ever lived?”

“Nope. I actually hope you’ve figured a way to do just that,” he replies.

Wait a minute. If Young is still hoping God somehow ends up saving everybody, well, that is Universal Reconciliation. And hoping UR might happen directly contradicts Jesus Christ:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Although Young then proceeds to voice acceptance of the reality of hell, he complains to his fictional Father-goddess:

…why couldn’t you have made things clear? People go to the Bible and find all these ways to disagree with each other … Everybody seems to want to acquire their little piece of doctrinal territory … Some find support for Universal Reconciliation; some find proofs for eternal torment in hell…

Young continues with his list. Issues run the gamut from Calvinism to eschatology and, having inserted Universal Reconciliation into the mix, his fictional Father-goddess never corrects him. No surprise there. Is this perhaps an attempt to at least infer valid consideration of UR by including it amongst a hodge-podge of doctrinal concerns?

Incredibly, Young’s Father-goddess clarifies (?) that she made much of the Bible ambiguous on purpose! That the author, or any person, would dare present doctrinal confusion as the intended plan of God–and via a fictional character at that–is chilling. But, that’s the way it is these days.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3)

It’s going to get worse. Goddess worship, false christs, and many other heresies will continue to rise. Movies, novels, and TV will become increasingly blasphemous.

Readers of this novel would do well to examine Biblical teaching about the Trinity, sin, repentance, communication with the dead, and much else.

Many in the Body of Christ have run to get a copy of The Shack. Far better, brothers and sisters, to just run.2

Endnotes:
William P. Young, The Shack pg.88
Ibid. pg.93
Ibid. pg.66
Ibid. pg.120
Wayne Jacobsen, “Is The Shack Heresy?”
Ibid.
The Shack pg. 31
Ibid. pg. 28
Ibid. pg. 31
William P. Young, “The Beauty of Ambiguity”
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.

The Shack Author Rejects Biblical Substitutionary Atonement

John Lanagan, Freelance Writer, March 18, 2009

LTRP Note: The following article is written by free-lance writer, John Lanagan, who attended a church meeting this past weekend in which The Shack author spoke. The church, East Hill of Gresham, Oregon, is presenting a series on The Shack and began the series by having Young address the congregation. In view of a recent radio interview with Paul Young where Young said he did not believe in the biblical view of substitutionary atonement (see links below), Lighthouse Trails is presenting this article. It is not the intention of this report to single out East Hill Church but rather to warn believers of The Shack’s interspiritual and universalistic theology and the book’s major impact on many many churches. Because it is being packaged and presented as a Christian book, we are compelled to issue this warning.

“For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

This “different spirit” was welcomed during a recent church service in Gresham, Oregon. Paul Young, author of The Shack, spoke to the East Hill congregation during the opening night of a five weekend series called, appropriately enough, The Shack. Sometimes on the verge of tears, and possessing great rapport with the crowd, Young was given a standing ovation.

Before the author spoke, a father stood before the congregation with his young child. His prayer was his child would love what the Lord loves, and hate the things the Lord hates. On that same altar stood a constructed replica of “the shack,” a stage prop for the evening’s festivities. The question must be asked, does the Lord love what is happening through The Shack?

In an interview with Pastor Kendall Adams of KAYP Radio, Paul Young denied the substitutionary Atonement of Christ.[1] (for transcript, click here) In other words, the author of this bestselling book does not believe Christ was punished on the Cross by the Father for our sins. This is a central doctrine of our faith–that Jesus willingly took our place of punishment and that through His sacrifice we can have eternal life.

Increasingly, The Shack is being accepted by “Bible-believing” churches. Although East Hill Church is not the first to do so, its promotion and use of the novel as a teaching tool guarantees more open doors for the author.

Does the book’s theology concern East Hill leadership? The Shack has “theological gaps,” agreed Senior Pastor Jason Albelo, but the five part series will proceed as planned. Albelo, who had not heard the author’s denial of substitutionary Atonement, emphasized he was not “arguing the theology of The Shack,” but, rather, “I’m using its theology of healing.”

Yes, but why? The Bible is replete with those who have been saved, sanctified, delivered, defended, and cherished. This “theology of healing,” on the other hand, is not based on Christ or His Word. For many in the audience that night, this may not have been understood–or may not have mattered.

With all due respect to Pastor Albelo, who courteously fielded my post-service questions, East Hill leadership cannot choose to disassociate from anti-biblical aspects of the book if they are promoting a five weekend series based on it. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

According to East Hill’s Small Group study guide for The Shack, “Practice reading/thinking in light of God’s Word. As you read, or re-read, The Shack, highlight any truths about God and relationships. Take time to do some Bible exploring, and make notes of scriptures on which those truths are based.”[2]

Perhaps the “reading/thinking in light of God’s Word” could also be applied to those “theological gaps” Pastor Albelo mentioned. For example (and there are many), the god of The Shack, unlike the God of the Bible, does not mete out eternal punishment. The novel’s “god” says, “I don’t need to punish sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it, it’s my joy to cure it.”[3] Everyone who has read The Shack has been exposed to this teaching–and make no mistake, it is a teaching.

Does the Bible teach that the Lord does not punish? Well, no. According to the Word of God, “[W]hen the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

This is the good news of the gospel–that we who repent of our sin and make Jesus our Lord do not have to suffer everlasting destruction. But to pretend that eternal hell does not await those who reject Christ is to deny the authority of the Bible. And maybe that is the point.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18)

A hard Truth? Yes. But a gentle Savior. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

When The Shack was originally written and submitted to publishers, it proclaimed ultimate reconciliation–“Christian” universalism–which is the belief that through Jesus all people go to heaven–Satanists, Mormons, Hindus, and every Christ–rejecting person that has ever lived. While the editors of The Shack have stated they removed UR from the book[4], the novel nevertheless seems to subtly and frequently promote universalism.

For the author, the hope for UR apparently has never changed. He told Pastor Kendall Adams, “Even if there was ultimate reconciliation, which I don’t know, but even if there were, that doesn’t diminish the damage of sin at all.”[5] It doesn’t? UR totally contradicts the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The Bible, the Lord’s love letter, is our road map through life and into eternity.

Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:11-12)

At East Hill, the author spoke of his tortured past, and of the love of God. At one point, speaking of the years spent trying to overcome his pain, he said praying didn’t work, fasting didn’t work, and reading Scripture didn’t help.

Those words drifted out there like poison balloons. When I mentioned this to Pastor Albelo, he said, “Come on, you know that is out of context.” My own Pastor, in attendance that night, said later, “Think of all the unbelievers and new believers who heard Paul Young say that.”

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

East Hill is not the first mega-church to promote The Shack, and will certainly not be the last. The apostate church is rising, and The Shack has successfully introduced the beginnings of goddess worship, a false Christ, and a denial of the purpose of the cross.

Please understand I am not calling East Hill apostate. All churches need to be careful that books and movies don’t supersede God’s Word as our means of teaching Truth. Many people cheering for The Shack are looking for God. Some don’t understand He primarily reveals Himself through Scripture. Some do not understand repentance. Others, however, simply don’t want the God of the Bible. The Shack has given them a glossy substitute. The apostate church will consist of those who truly believe they are worshiping Christ.

I very much appreciate Pastor Albelo’s patience while listening to my concerns. As we spoke, with that makeshift “shack” on the altar behind us, he noted he couldn’t “police every book.”

“No,” I said, “but you don’t have to promote them, either.”

John’s blog

Endnotes:
1. http://rock-life.com/files/shakcomp.mp3
2. Understanding The Shack (Part 1) Jason Albelo 3/14-15/09
3. William P. Young, The Shack, pg. 120
4. Wayne Jacobsen, “Is The Shack Heresy?”
5. http://rock-lifecom.files/shakcomp.mp3

Quotes from Paul Young’s interview with Pastor Kendall Adams on KAYP Radio:

Kendall Adams: “I, I take it that you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t agree that the cross was a place of punishment for our sin.”

Paul Young: “No. I don’t, I am not a penal substitution … reformation … point of view.”

Adams: “But isn’t that the heart of the gospel? Is that the heart of the gospel?”

Young: “No! Ha, no!”… I’m not saying that I don’t agree with some sense of substitutionary atonement.”

Adams: “But you disagree…”

Young: “But it’s way broader (muffled) than that.”

Adams: “But if you reject a penal substitution that Christ died as a penalty for our sins, it seems like that is the, that is the Christian faith.”

Young: “I don’t know if you’re aware, but that’s a huge debate that’s going on in theology right now within the evangelical community.” LTRP Note: For more information on this “huge debate” regarding the atonement, please see our research: Slaughterhouse Religion: When they reject the blood atonement … Also see Faith Undone, chapter 11, which addresses this issue.

For more of the transcript, click here. To listen to interview,click here. For a shorter audio segment, click here.3

Fractal Theory In The Shack

A Ministry In His Service, February 4, 2011

LTRP Note: The author of the article below, Jennifer Pekich, is the same “Jennifer” talked about in A “Wonderful” Deception on fractal theory in the best selling book, The Shack.

Fractal Theory in The Shack
by Jennifer Pekich (Ponderings from Patmos)
Used with permission.

I finished reading my copy of William P. Young’s, The Shack, and had something happen that I want to share for those who are interested. While reading The Shack, I rented a movie that came out last year that also, like The Shack, involved some controversy. The movie was called, The Seeker, and it’s based on a book titled, The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. The Seeker was said to have New Age undertones and was also, like The Shack, being marketed to Christians. Because of my interest in cults and also in the New Age movement, I decided to watch the movie to see if indeed the claims were accurate. This is where it began to get interesting.

In the movie, The Seeker, a young boy is a chosen one who is to find signs hidden throughout time, which will help fight against the encroaching darkness. I won’t go into the plot too much but what I will say is, in the movie, each sign that the boy is to find is known as a “fractal.” When I heard the term “fractal,” right away I realized that I had heard that same term somewhere else recently.  Later on that day I remembered where I had heard it … The Shack.

Beginning in Ch. 9 in, The Shack, which is titled, “A Long Time Ago in a Garden Far, Far Away,” we read about how the character Sarayu (who represents the Holy Spirit) has created a garden, and we learn on page 129, that the garden is a “fractal.” We learn about fractals from Sarayu when she says, “A fractal is something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified. A fractal is almost infinitely complex. I love fractals, so I put them everywhere.” [1] Then we continue reading through the rest of Ch. 9, which is filled with ideas that are not only relativistic, but are also panentheistic, which means that God is in all.

After noticing that “fractals” were mentioned in, The Seeker, and in, The Shack, and remembering that the movie and the book were touted as having New Age undertones, I decided the common term found in both was a coincidence that needed to be further explored. I began to read many critiques about, The Shack, to see if any of them mentioned the significance of the word “fractal,” only to find that none of them approached the subject. So I decided to do a search on the Internet using the words “fractal” and “New Age”… bingo!!!

What I discovered was a widely held belief in New Age philosophy known as “Fractal Theory” also known as “Chaos Theory.” There is a phrase spoken amongst New Agers in which they say to one another, “As above, so below.” In the New Age movement, “Fractal Theory” or “As above, so below,” means that macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom … and so on. [2] New Agers claim that “Fractal Theory,” or the phrase “As above, so below,” comes from something known as the Emerald Tablet, and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic. According to New Age philosophy, the phrase “As above, so below” was inscribed on the tablet in cryptic wording by someone known as Hermes Trismegistus. The Emerald Tablet is one of the most revered magical documents in Western Occultism. [3]

So, how do “fractals” or “Fractal Theory” play into the phrase “As above, so below?” In New Age thought, “Fractal Theory” and “As above, so below” are synonymous. They attempt to explain the origin and meaning of the universe. “Fractal Theory” says that in looking at the big picture of nature, we see an evolution of consciousness from small systems of consciousness, to progressively larger and more complex systems of consciousness. Basically, conscious beings are like fractals evolving to ever greater scales of magnitude. Along the way, we follow the same basic patterns, but at each stage of consciousness we find unique variations in this evolving process.  These variations can easily lead to confusing chaos if you don’t know the underlying patterns, or “fractals,” which are the basic laws. New Agers say if you know what to look for, which are the key fractal structures, it’s analogous to looking beyond millions of individual trees and realizing that what you really see is a forest … the unity behind the great diversity of nature. [4] To sum it up, “God” is both our origin and our aim, thus the core belief of the New Age movement which says we need to have a self-realization that we are all gods.

After doing more Internet searches to get a handle on the term “fractal” (I also ran searches with the term fractal combined with popular New Agers such as Eckhart Tolle, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Alice Bailey), I came to realize that “fractals” and “Fractal Theory” are not only a core belief in New Age thought, but are the very foundation of what defines the New Age which states that we are evolving from the Age of Pisces, represented by a mess or a chaos, and are moving into the Age of Aquarius, represented by the “fractal” or the self-realization that we are all gods.  The term “fractal” was coined by Polish mathematician, Benoit Mandelbrot. [5] But, as is typical of the New Age movement, they latched onto Mandelbrot’s theory, spiritualized it, and then made it their own. [6]

Now for those of you who have a copy of The Shack, turn to page 138 and read where the character, Sarayu, tells the main character, Mack, that the garden which Mack described as “the mess,” is his very soul. Sarayu proclaims to Mack, “This mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process (evolving). To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing alive – a living fractal.” [7]

Another interesting fact about the New Age phrase, “As above, so below,” which is synonymous with the term, “fractal,” in New Age thought, is that it’s also used in the popular paraphrase of the bible known as, The Message, written by Eugene Peterson. In, The Message, Matthew 6:9-10 where we find the Lord’s prayer, it reads, “Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right, do what’s best – As above, so below.” [8] Eugene Peterson’s recommendation of The Shack, is found not only on its front cover, but also on it’s first page beneath where it says, “What others are saying about The Shack.” Peterson’s comment states, “When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack.” [9]  I disagree and would suggest that what’s being “cross-fertilized” is a biblical world view with a New Age world view.

After studying New Age philosophy by breaking out my old copy of Kingdom of the Cults, by Dr. Walter Martin [10], going to the library to check out a New Age book titled, As Above So Below, by Ronald S. Miller,  and continuing to scour New Age sites on the Internet, it became obvious to me that The Shack is filled with New Age thought and Eastern mysticism. I did not come to this conclusion by reading critiques, but found it by doing my own homework. It is my opinion that somewhere along the way, William P. Young has been deeply influenced by New Age thought. This naturally leads to my next question … is William P. Young a New Ager, or is he himself a Christian who’s been deceived? I have no way of knowing the answer to that question, but what I do know is, after all of my studies, and listening online to William P. Young speak at Mariner’s Church [11], along with reading The Shack for myself, what Mr. Young teaches when he speaks, and the message his book conveys, is not orthodox biblical teaching, but in fact is New Age thought and Eastern mysticism interspersed with some Christian terms.

My encouragement to everyone is to listen to the warnings of the late Dr. Walter Martin. His call to Christians was to know the word of God so we would be able to spot counterfeits. [12] Walter Martin’s heart was so heavy because of the lack of discernment within the Christian church. His call to Christians took place back in the 1980s. His fear was since the New Age had already infiltrated our society through books, seminars, and business philosophy, that it was only a matter of time before it would infiltrate the church.  Dr. Martin hit the nail on the head and was right to sound the alarm. Now 25 years later, the New Age has indeed infiltrated the church, so much so that what is orthodox Christianity, and what is New Age philosophy, is becoming blurred. It is so important that we heed Hebrews 4:12-13:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Only by studying and knowing God’s word, which is truth, can we as Christians gain biblical discernment to spot the counterfeits. (from Ponderings from Patmos)

Footnotes:
[1] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, pg. 129

[2]  http://www.pagannews.com/cgi-bin/spirit.pl?40
[3] As Above So Below-Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life, Ronald S. Miller & The Editors of New Age Journal, Penguin Putnam, intro. pp. xi-xv
[4] http://www.fractalwisdom.com/
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benoit_Mandelbrot
[6] http://www.naturalworldhealing.com/fractalinformation.htm
[7] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, pg. 138
[8] The Message, Eugene Peterson, paraphrase of Matt. 6:9-10
[9] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, inside cover
[10] Kingdom of the Cults, Dr. Walter Martin, Bethany House 1997, Ch. 11
[11] http://www.marinerschurch.org/theshack/av/index.html
[12] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68LyjLu2SGw 3

Fractal Theory in The Shack (“I love fractals, so I put them everywhere.”)

A Ministry in His Service, February 13, 2017

LTRP Note: The Shack movie is soon to be released, and Christians and non-Christians alike will fill movie theaters to watch it. Before you open your minds and hearts up to this movie, please study the facts behind the book, The Shack, which will no doubt be carried over to some extent to the movie.

By J. Pekich (as mentioned in Warren B. Smith’s book, A “Wonderful” Deception in his chapter on The Shack)
Used with permission.

I finished reading my copy of William P. Young’s, The Shack, and had something happen that I want to share for those who are interested. While reading The Shack, I rented a movie that came out that also, like The Shack, involved some controversy. The movie was called, The Seeker, and it’s based on a book titled, The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. The Seeker was said to have New Age undertones and was also, like The Shack, being marketed to Christians. Because of my interest in cults and also in the New Age movement, I decided to watch the movie to see if indeed the claims were accurate. This is where it began to get interesting.

In the movie, The Seeker, a young boy is a chosen one who is to find signs hidden throughout time, which will help fight against the encroaching darkness. I won’t go into the plot too much but what I will say is, in the movie, each sign that the boy is to find is known as a “fractal.” When I heard the term “fractal,” right away I realized that I had heard that same term somewhere else recently.  Later on that day I remembered where I had heard it … The Shack.

Beginning in Ch. 9 in, The Shack, which is titled, “A Long Time Ago in a Garden Far, Far Away,” we read about how the character Sarayu (who represents the Holy Spirit) has created a garden, and we learn on page 129, that the garden is a “fractal.” We learn about fractals from Sarayu when she says, “A fractal is something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified. A fractal is almost infinitely complex. I love fractals, so I put them everywhere.” [1] Then we continue reading through the rest of Ch. 9, which is filled with ideas that are not only relativistic, but are also panentheistic, which means that God is in all.

After noticing that “fractals” were mentioned in, The Seeker, and in, The Shack, and remembering that the movie and the book were touted as having New Age undertones, I decided the common term found in both was a coincidence that needed to be further explored. I began to read many critiques about, The Shack, to see if any of them mentioned the significance of the word “fractal,” only to find that none of them approached the subject. So I decided to do a search on the Internet using the words “fractal” and “New Age”… bingo!!!

What I discovered was a widely held belief in New Age philosophy known as “Fractal Theory” also known as “Chaos Theory.” There is a phrase spoken amongst New Agers in which they say to one another, “As above, so below.” In the New Age movement, “Fractal Theory” or “As above, so below,” means that macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom … and so on. [2] New Agers claim that “Fractal Theory,” or the phrase “As above, so below,” comes from something known as the Emerald Tablet, and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic. According to New Age philosophy, the phrase “As above, so below” was inscribed on the tablet in cryptic wording by someone known as Hermes Trismegistus. The Emerald Tablet is one of the most revered magical documents in Western Occultism. [3]

So, how do “fractals” or “Fractal Theory” play into the phrase “As above, so below?” In New Age thought, “Fractal Theory” and “As above, so below” are synonymous. They attempt to explain the origin and meaning of the universe. “Fractal Theory” says that in looking at the big picture of nature, we see an evolution of consciousness from small systems of consciousness, to progressively larger and more complex systems of consciousness. Basically, conscious beings are like fractals evolving to ever greater scales of magnitude. Along the way, we follow the same basic patterns, but at each stage of consciousness we find unique variations in this evolving process.  These variations can easily lead to confusing chaos if you don’t know the underlying patterns, or “fractals,” which are the basic laws. New Agers say if you know what to look for, which are the key fractal structures, it’s analogous to looking beyond millions of individual trees and realizing that what you really see is a forest … the unity behind the great diversity of nature. [4] To sum it up, “God” is both our origin and our aim, thus the core belief of the New Age movement which says we need to have a self-realization that we are all gods.

After doing more Internet searches to get a handle on the term “fractal” (I also ran searches with the term fractal combined with popular New Agers such as Eckhart Tolle, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Alice Bailey), I came to realize that “fractals” and “Fractal Theory” are not only a core belief in New Age thought, but are the very foundation of what defines the New Age which states that we are evolving from the Age of Pisces, represented by a mess or a chaos, and are moving into the Age of Aquarius, represented by the “fractal” or the self-realization that we are all gods.  The term “fractal” was coined by Polish mathematician, Benoit Mandelbrot. [5] But, as is typical of the New Age movement, they latched onto Mandelbrot’s theory, spiritualized it, and then made it their own. [6]

Now for those of you who have a copy of The Shack, turn to page 138 and read where the character, Sarayu, tells the main character, Mack, that the garden which Mack described as “the mess,” is his very soul. Sarayu proclaims to Mack, “This mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process (evolving). To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing alive – a living fractal.” [7]

Another interesting fact about the New Age phrase, “As above, so below,” which is synonymous with the term, “fractal,” in New Age thought, is that it’s also used in the popular paraphrase of the bible known as, The Message, written by Eugene Peterson. In, The Message, Matthew 6:9-10 where we find the Lord’s prayer, it reads, “Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right, do what’s best – As above, so below.” [8] Eugene Peterson’s recommendation of The Shack, is found not only on its front cover, but also on it’s first page beneath where it says, “What others are saying about The Shack.” Peterson’s comment states, “When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack.” [9]  I disagree and would suggest that what’s being “cross-fertilized” is a biblical world view with a New Age world view.

After studying New Age philosophy by breaking out my old copy of Kingdom of the Cults, by Dr. Walter Martin [10], going to the library to check out a New Age book titled, As Above So Below, by Ronald S. Miller,  and continuing to scour New Age sites on the Internet, it became obvious to me that The Shack is filled with New Age thought and Eastern mysticism. I did not come to this conclusion by reading critiques, but found it by doing my own homework. It is my opinion that somewhere along the way, William P. Young has been deeply influenced by New Age thought. This naturally leads to my next question … is William P. Young a New Ager, or is he himself a Christian who’s been deceived? I have no way of knowing the answer to that question, but what I do know is, after all of my studies, and listening online to William P. Young speak at Mariner’s Church [11], along with reading The Shack for myself, what Mr. Young teaches when he speaks, and the message his book conveys, is not orthodox biblical teaching, but in fact is New Age thought and Eastern mysticism interspersed with some Christian terms.

My encouragement to everyone is to listen to the warnings of the late Dr. Walter Martin. His call to Christians was to know the word of God so we would be able to spot counterfeits. [12] Walter Martin’s heart was so heavy because of the lack of discernment within the Christian church. His call to Christians took place back in the 1980s. His fear was since the New Age had already infiltrated our society through books, seminars, and business philosophy, that it was only a matter of time before it would infiltrate the church.  Dr. Martin hit the nail on the head and was right to sound the alarm. Now 25 years later, the New Age has indeed infiltrated the church, so much so that what is orthodox Christianity, and what is New Age philosophy, is becoming blurred. It is so important that we heed Hebrews 4:12-13:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Only by studying and knowing God’s word, which is truth, can we as Christians gain biblical discernment to spot the counterfeits.

(Be sure and read Warren B. Smith’s booklet, The Shack and Its New Age Leaven)4

Endnotes:
[1] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, pg. 129

[2]  http://www.pagannews.com/cgi-bin/spirit.pl?40
[3] As Above So Below-Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life, Ronald S. Miller & The Editors of New Age Journal, Penguin Putnam, intro. pp. xi-xv
[4] http://www.fractalwisdom.com/
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benoit_Mandelbrot
[6] http://www.naturalworldhealing.com/fractalinformation.htm
[7] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, pg. 138
[8] The Message, Eugene Peterson, paraphrase of Matt. 6:9-10
[9] The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media 2007, inside cover
[10] Kingdom of the Cults, Dr. Walter Martin, Bethany House 1997, Ch. 11
[11] http://web.archive.org/web/20120116175445/http://www.marinerschurch.org/theshack/av/index.html
[12] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68LyjLu2SGw

…     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …

It is my sincere hope these articles were beneficial and that if considering a visit to the theater you will see something else. Sometimes it is just better not to do the popular thing, even in the church. We are living in a time of great deception in which we need to don the Armor of God daily, but also seek the Lord to grant spiritual discernment so that we suffer no spiritual harm. We are in a spiritual battle ceaselessly waged until our death or glorification, but we are to be overcomers which requires our active participation in eduating ourselves as to what harmful things are being served up as ‘christian.’ 

Notes 

  1. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=961
  2. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1805
  3. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=5701
  4. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=22225
  5. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=703

 

 

 

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