Burning Down "The Shack"; How the "Christian" Bestseller Is Deceiving Millions

Bibliographic Information: 

De Young, James B. Burning Down "The Shack": How the "Christian" Bestseller Is Deceiving Millions. Washington,DC: WND Books, 2010.


Since its publication, "The Shack" has had remarkable sales. But is this work of fiction more than fiction? In "Burning Down the Shack," James De Young shows that "The Shack" is the most blatant attempt in the last 200 years to blindside the church with universalism in the form of universal reconciliation. This universalism propounds that in the end all people and all angels, including the wicked, the Devil, and all the fallen angels, will repent and escape hell and go to heaven. In the introduction to "Burning Down the Shack," De Young relates his long personal acquaintance with Paul Young and how the latter, in 2004, in a 300 page document, embraced universal reconciliation and repudiated the "evangelical paradigm." De Young documents how "The Shack" was first written for children with universalism in it, then went through a long process of rewriting involving 3 people in an attempt to hide or restate the universalism, and then was self-published. In separate chapters De Young takes up each chapter of "The Shack" and traces both the few positive features of it and then raises the serious doctrinal issues and exposes them to the corrections of Scripture. These issues include the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity, the nature of sin, evil, and judgment, of reconciliation and forgiveness; and how the love of God relates to God's wrath. De Young also takes up the definition of a Christian. Finally, De Young exposes the anti-institutional bias of "The Shack." De Young suggests that such opposition to the church, government, and marriage (what "The Shack" describes as a "trinity of terrors") is unbiblical and anarchical and will lead to the destruction of these institutions and relationships. In six appendices, De Young addresses questions to the main character of "The Shack," seeks to answer questions his readers may have, cites the creeds of universalism, argues for the necessity of hell, and expresses his shame for pastors and others who have endorsed "The Shack." The book concludes with a study guide. An index listing all the biblical texts cited concludes the book. De Young's book, "Burning Down the Shack," lists endorsements by pastors, educators, reviewers, and authors.

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