How Should Christians Respond to the Shack Movie?

Shack

I have already seen some Christians getting frustrated with a movie being made of the popular book, The Shack. Most of the Christians I know hated the book and considered it heretical. It was bad enough that a book was written, a movie will just be that much worse.

Or will it?

The Shack definitely had some problems. Portraying God the Father as a black woman or the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman were not the problem. It was really the relationship among the members that was the problem. The book seems to portray tri-theism more than a Trinity.

Having said that, I found it to be a moving book. As a father of five, the abduction and murder of the little girl hit me hard. I had some pretty strong emotional responses.

I understand that many Christians will want to attack this movie for being sub-orthodox. Many will want to warn people against seeing the movie. But think about these things:

  • Plenty of non-Christians will see this movie.
  • The movie asks the right questions.
  • People are struggling with why God allows tragedy.
  • People are not going to watch the movie to understand the theological intricacy of the Trinity.

Instead of putting all our energy into attacking the movie, why not focus on taking advantage of the opportunities that the movie will create? This should open up opportunities to talk about the problem of suffering and the Trinity.

Attacking what we don’t like is the easy way out. Let’s consider walking through the open doors that God gives us.

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5 thoughts on “How Should Christians Respond to the Shack Movie?

  1. ” Portraying God the Father as a black woman or the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman were not the problem.”

    Not “the” problem? Is it even “A” problem? How does this portrayal, not merely the physical characteristics of these two, but their intrinsic characters as manifested by their speech and actions, square with the existence and attributes of “I Am”, the Eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

    Can this opinion of yours stand against “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”? or “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being”?

    Can one hold these Scriptures as infalibly true, and at the same time hold that such “creative” presentations from a Christian point of view are “not a problem”?

    It may be that a work of pagan unbelief such as “The DaVinci Code” can stimulate discussion and enquiry around the Gospel; however for a “Christian” to produce such a work of pagan unbelief and to claim it is a valid representation of the Eternal: Really? And for pastors, teachers and “apologetics” ministers, surely such liberty is denied?

  2. When I read the book, I didn’t put a lot of theological stock in it. Being freed from that restraint, i found the book to be provocative in the right way. I could see that the story could generate good conversation about a number of spiritual topics which would be a good thing for those that are prepared to join. For those unprepared and feel that lack, a perfect doctrinal book will not do it for you no matter what the topic.

  3. “The Shack definitely had some problems. Portraying God the Father as a black woman or the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman were not the problem. It was really the relationship among the members that was the problem. The book seems to portray tri-theism more than a Trinity.”

    In the comments to Stephen Bedard’s 2008 article critiquing Geisler’s view of the Shack, he responds to a reader that there is sound Christian content, including Trinity, in the book. Here, he implies The Shack is sub-Trinitarian. In view of the long history of grappling over the Trinity. imo this is inconsistent at best.

    1. I will say that I have no intention of watching the Shack either. Challies makes some good points.
      My point, however, is that instead of putting all our energy into condemning it, we should be prepared to respond to those who are struggling with why God allows evil. God has used worse things than Shack in the past.

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