Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I love Craigslist, BUT...

Man, I really dig Craigslist. I've sold things so easily, and even just recently my wife and I bought a great above ground pool for half the price that we would have spent at Academy. It's local dealing, it's free, and it's so easy.

However, several months ago I read a disturbing article in the New York Times about Craigslist being an easy venue for prostitution. I checked it out, and even here in little old Bryan/College Station, TX, there were plenty of offers. This bothered me, and I couldn't understand why Craigslist wouldn't just ban such smut. Of course, they have their justifications. And honestly over time I just forgot... maybe conveniently.

But now, I'm really disturbed today as I just read something even worse. Something that I just cant' ignore:

Modern Day Slavery

Last night I was talking to some buddies about their recent trip to Nepal. As we talked the reality of sexual slavery came up. It reminded me of a book I read about a year ago called "Not For Sale" by David Batstone. This is not an over exaggeration. The statistics are incomprehensible, and the reality is so well documented by so many agencies and organizations.

Here's a video interview with Batstone:

You can check out the website to learn more: http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

Another site that features testimonies from around the globe: humantrafficking.com

If you need more credibility check out the U.S. Dept. of State web site

Recently in the News: Sex Ring Busted in Houston
Prostitution Ring Busted in Austin

Friday, July 4, 2008

An Interview with William P. Young, author of "The Shack"

William Young sounds like a genuine believer in this interview, and I'm sure he is. However, this doesn't mean that his book is sound. His book still needs to be scrutinized because it teaches theology. And although he wants to communicate an emotion, he ends up communicating dangerously weak ideas.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

God's Not Asking us to BELIEVE ANYTHING?!

On page 119 of "The Shack", God (Papa) makes a stunning response to Mack.
Mack says, But you're asking me to believe that you're God.
God responds: I'm not asking you to believe anything...

Would the God of the Bible ever tell anyone that He is not asking them to believe anything?

- Romans 1:5 "Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

-Romans 16:25, 26 "Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him"

-Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God... "

-Romans 14:23 "Everything that does not come from faith is sin."

  1. God holds the whole world accountable to believe in Him.
  2. God offers us a relationship with Him through faith in his Son as opposed to doing a bunch of stuff to earn our way. Romans 4:5 tells us that God justifies the wicked through faith!

Is Jesus Really "the Best Way" to the Father?

On page 110 of "The Shack" Jesus says to Mack:
I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.
(Papa = God the Father, and Sarayu = the Holy Spirit).

John 14:6 says:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • - to say that Jesus is "the best" way presupposes that there are other ways to have relationship with God. In other words, to say Jesus is the best way to the Father is to say that he is only one of other options; it's to say he is not the only way.
  • - However, when Jesus says "I am the way", he means the only way. He does not mean "a way", otherwise, Jesus would have said so.
  • - "No one comes to Father except through me" means not one person. This would mean that the only way to Father is through Jesus.

The Matrix v. The Shack: The Oracle or The Father?

Please understand that this post is a personal perspective. It's simply my perception.

The discussion on p. 94 about fate vs. freedom strikes me too much like the Matrix. The Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase before he ever knocks it over. He then says, "what vase?" as he turns and then accidentally knocks it over. So the question arises whether Neo would have knocked the vase over if she had not predicted he would. This leads to another question as to the nature of freedom vs. fate.

Of course, the only difference in this scene from "The Shack" is that the Oracle is a black lady, and Papa (God the Father) in "the Shack" is a... oh yeah, he's a black lady, too.

I can't help but hear the Oracle's voice when Papa speaks. Not just because I know what the Oracle's voice sounds like, but because there is this thing in literature called voice. Good authors have a voice, and they know how to give their characters a voice. Unfortunately, Papa's voice sounds like the Oracle maybe because that's where Young got his idea. Just a thought.

God the Father according to "The Shack" Part II

Read Part I for background.

Derek Prince has some of the best Biblical teaching on Fatherhood. You can view one of his teachings at derekprince.org
You can also download the teaching in pdf format.

Contrast Derek's teaching with Young's teaching. Which one lines up with biblical teaching?