Monday, June 16, 2008

Be CAREFUL with the word "Heresy"

So far, in Young's "The Shack" I have found nothing that I would consider heresy (as of p. 95). Questionable yes, heresy no. I would be careful to use the word heresy. Oftentimes Christians throw that word out when there is a difference of opinion regarding theology. We all have bad theology to some extent. And I believe that heresy can only be reserved for transgression of the most basic orthodox tenets of our faith. A great guide for this would be the apostle's creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
I will highlight a few trouble spots and share a few thoughts.

pp.65 last paragraph discussion about the Bible
Mack is thinking back to his experience in seminary and he remembers how he was taught that God no longer communicates with man through any other means than the Bible. This particular passage has taken a lot of criticism.
  • On the one hand, I don't believe that the author was saying what his critics claim. If you read only a clip of this passage on a critic's website it will probably sound bad, which is why you need to read the whole context. It's important to note that Mack is not questioning the value or authority of scriptures so much as he is dealing with the view that God does not speak to us today outside of scripture. Many people believe that visions, dreams, and other supernatural communication with God are not biblical. This is the point in contention here. If you believe that God doesn't communicate outside of the Bible, then you'll be at odds with Young. However, it is possible to believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God and that although his primary communication to man is through the Bible, he also communicates in other ways. As long as these communications line up with scripture, they can be regarded as legitimate interactions with God (though not more authoritative than scripture).
The Father as a Woman

What strikes me the most is that this woman seems to be like the oracle in the Matrix. As a matter of fact her voice seems to sync with the oracle. That bothers me.

Further, I don't believe that the Father would appear as a woman. I really don't think he would take on the form of a human other than in the person of his Son. But I really don't know. I mean I guess God can visit us how he pleases. He visited Abraham, but I don't know if the Father was there; or were the angels representing God.
  • One light note: the only non-critical perspective I could summon from this was that I remembered a joke about how God likes to break out of our boxes: One time there was a black and white preacher who fought all the time over whether God is really black or white. One day they ended up killing each other. So when they were at the gates St. Peter said, "Oh, I don't know if I can let you in since you killed each other. I'm going to have to ask God." So he tells them to sit in the waiting room. While they're waiting they get into another fight, and as they're slinging punches they hear the sound of huge footsteps approaching, "boom, boom, boom, boom...." The door flies open. God sticks his head in and says, "Wuz up hombres?!"
p 94 Mack asks why there is such an emphasis in scripture on God being a Father. The reply from God is nothing short of heartbreaking. I truly feel grieved about this response, which is from the pen of Young and far from the TRUTH. I am now realizing that I will need to do a separate post for this subject.

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