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The Shack Author Joins the Ranks of Those Who Deny Substitutionary Atonement

Category: * The Shack
Source:  Editors at Lighthouse Trails

In a recent radio interview, The Shack author, Paul Young, told the interviewer he did not hold to the traditional view of the atonement in that he does not believe Jesus Christ bore the punishment (i.e., penalty) for man’s sins when He died on the Cross (transcript).

He also stated, with regard to this topic: “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.” That debate, to which Young refers, is the new theology (or as we call it the new spirituality) that is entering Christianity through contemplative and emerging figures such as Brennan Manning, Brian McLaren, and Marcus Borg.

This “huge debate” states that a loving Father would never send His Son to a violent death on behalf of the sins of others. And while they do not deny that Jesus did physically die on a Cross, they insist that His death was not to be a substitutionary act wherein He was punished for our sins. Rather, they say, He was killed by man, not for man. And he was a perfect model of sacrificial servanthood. As Episcopal new spirituality author, Alan Jones, states, “Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution was the name of this vile doctrine” (Reimagining Christianity, p. 168).

Contemplative proponent Brennan Manning, quoting Catholic mystic William Shannon, says: “[T]he god who exacts the last drop of blood from his Son so that his just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased . . . does not exist” (Above All, pp. 58-59). Mystic Marcus Borg has this exact same view. He is opposes the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement and sees the Cross as merely a metaphor for transformation in the mystical sense. 1 Brian McLaren shares this view (and indeed resonates with Borg) when he says that hell and the Cross are “false advertising for God.” 2

The Shack, still at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, is being heralded as one of the best Christian books ever. But as Lighthouse Trails and other concerned ministries have reported in a number of documented articles, The Shack is not a Christian book, and it should not be packaged, presented, and promoted as such.

While many who have read The Shack, tout that it has changed their lives, what these people do not understand is that the book appeals to people’s senses; thus, the book is sensual. And because it makes people feel good, they assume (wrongly) that it must be from God. But The Shack is appealing to the carnal man and not the spiritual, and as the Bible warns, there is a “wisdom [that] descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3: 15).

For more information on the denial of substitutionary atonement by Christian mystics, click here.

This article or excerpt was posted on March 19, 2009@ 4:33 am .


3 replies on “The Shack Author Joins the Ranks of Those Who Deny Substitutionary Atonement”

He is a Holy God. Too marvellous for comprehension and too wonderful for words. We stand in awe of Him. Our rightful place is hell. How can we deny this wonderful grace.

Oh what wonderful grace that hung on that tree,
His place instead of me.

I do not think what manner of person I should be.
I am what I am, weak and lowly.
Why He chose me I do not know.
But He is my soon and coming King.
And for this my heart does sing.

Only the base and the lowly can see.
Oh how He humbled me on Calvary’s tree.
Let it be me Lord. I’d rather take my place in hell.
Than to see my brethren in this captivity.

We will never understand that lonely road
Or the weight our sweet Jesus bore in such a load.

Your name and my name are written on that cross.
With every bloody stripe we are embossed.

There was not one ache he did not bear
This is just too marvellous for me to hear.

It brings me humbly to my knees
As I see there is nothing I can try to be.
It was all accomplished at Calvary.

It is enough for me to know I am saved,
And have a place in the Lamb’s book of life.

But dear Jesus strike my name out.
If I cannot bring my brethren out

Every day I am in travail
Every day I hear Him wail

“Won’t you come, won’t you come for the banquet is ready”

But so few hear His call because they are just aren’t ready.

So who will come my lord?

And this He says to me

“The holt, the lame, the blind and the broken.
The hated, the hopeless and the downtrodden
For these are them for which I have chosen”

Take off your filthy robe and cast your lot with them.
Join in the procession where there is no leaven.

Please, please, can’t you see our groom’s smile grow wide
As in the distance he sees this,
His holy and spotless bride.

His face will light up the whole of heaven on that day
As we are bound to him in His Holy array.

For they laid no claim to greatness.
These are them which He has made spotless.

So won’t you, won’t you please come,.
to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The invitation is to everyone.
He bids you all welcome.

You only need make yourself ready
With the garment He does impart
This is His garment,
A humble, a broken and a contrite heart.

Behold the one in whom we love, the one whom makes our heart sing comes soon!! His name is Jesus, His wonderful name is Jesus!!

Look up for your redemption draws nigh!!

I thank God for the brothers and sisters He has placed in my life. All of the people I sent this news to responded very positively that Christ IS our substitute; in suffering for us so that we could be redeemed and to impute His own righteousness to us. It is encouraging to see that some will not buy into this outright denial of what scripture plainly teaches.

Jesus died and suffered for US! Thank you Lord Jesus!

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