We have been apprised.

Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has posted a page of his thoughts about The Shack Bible Project.  Go check it out and tell me what you think.  Ken’s response to my work is less than positive, but I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion.  I’m aware that what I’m doing here is pretty far off the pattern most people are used to.  Ken also has some critical thoughts to share about Paul Young and The Shack itself, and others such as Rob Bell, Richard Foster, Brian McLaren, and Dallas Willard.

ONE THING:  Ken indicates in his review that my identity is hidden.  And he’s a little right, really; I really don’t use my name a lot, so in the interest of transparency:

My name is John Stonecypher.  There’s lots of info about me on Facebook; I’d love to friend anybody who stops by.  I often just go by “ShackBibleGuy” because 1). This project is important to me, important enough that I don’t want it to be ABOUT me, if you know what I mean, and 2). I’m not terribly famous, so the name ‘John Stonecypher’ is really not much of a draw at the box office.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! He doesn’t make much attempt to give his difference of opinion in love ,does he? Instead a lot of name calling and threats . I do understand that as he genuinely believes that the work of the Shack, Rob Bell etc is the work of Satan and intent on spreading lies to Gods children and corrupt their faith. Therefore he needs to speak of it in strong and abhorrent terms . However ,I found it quite hard to follow his arguments and felt that nowhere did he explain WHY exactly these people where so wrong. The one point being universalism but apart from that nothing. I’m pretty sure Rob Bell and Paul Young would both say they are not universalists. Also why does he take umbridge with the ancient christian worship you have studied [very present in the celtic christianity I love ] and its emphasis on the trinity.? This was also unclear to me
    Having read this guy was against all the people I particularly admire it could be I read his article with a preformed bias 🙂 and it could be I’m being particularly thick today and his arguments were wonderfully clear , but if you could help me please do.
    one last questian? Given that Universalism is the main sinful doctrine in his mind , what on earth has he got against Richard Foster? The man is a saint and one of my heros. I can’t see what any evangelical , no matter how narrow , could have against his writings [and I know I shouldn’t put men on a pedestal but boast only in Jesus , but RF has by his books and work drawn me beyond himself and to Jesus ]

    1. shackbible says:

      Hey Elaine, I’d love to hear more about your life in Celtic Christianity. One of my fav flavors of the faith!

      I think “discernment” is a totally valid ministry, but it does sometimes seem to attract people with an unhealthy fixation on being right. I sense a very deep shame behind it. They are terrified of being wrong, bc wrong people deserve unloving treatment (which is why they are so skilled at doling it out). Ken is actually one of the kinder ones, to my ‘face’ at least.

      To me, his arguments didn’t make a ton of sense, either. I do wish we could have gotten out of the minutia.

      The main thing that bugs some people about Richard Foster is that he thinks meditation is a good spiritual discipline, and the word “meditation” to some people means “Eastern spirituality,” which seems 100% evil to them.

  2. Nan Kuhlman says:

    After reading Mr. Silva’s post, I was disappointed to see that he felt the need to resort to name-calling in order to make his disagreement clear. Whenever a disagreement resorts to name-calling, it is plain that the person has no real, reasonable, or logical material with which to disagree.

    I also was surprised that Hitler wasn’t mentioned in his list of people with whom he disagrees, since his argument doesn’t seem to have one main point but rather takes the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” approach. It may have been easier just to say “I don’t like the Shack Bible project” than to require readers to wade through such a convoluted argument.

    Even more telling is that the Apprising Ministries blog doesn’t permit comments. It is clear that diversity of opinion is not valued nor encouraged. And that may be the saddest thing of all.

    1. shackbible says:

      I am well-schooled in the “6 degrees” approach to discerning evil, having grown up as an Armstrong disciple. 😉 I am guilty of having used it myself more than once. Name calling too, sadly. So really I’m just getting my own bad karma. [NOTE: I do not believe in karma, PLEASE nobody yell at me for slippery-sloping into Hinduism].

      And for the record, I disagree with Hitler on many points.

      1. Nan Kuhlman says:

        At least Mr. Silva used a nice picture of you. Most celebrities in the tabloids aren’t so fortunate.

  3. apprising says:

    “Whenever a disagreement resorts to name-calling, it is plain that the person has no real, reasonable, or logical material with which to disagree.”

    Poor Jesus, He biffed it I guess e.g. in Matthew 23.

    “They are terrified of being wrong, bc wrong people deserve unloving treatment (which is why they are so skilled at doling it out).”

    For the record, that’s a straw man. Westboro Baptist types aren’t in “discernment,” and certainly do not represent Biblical Christianity.

    And Jesus Himself called out false religious leaders, which is the pattern I follow.

    I’ve said nothing behind your back John; in Christ I have a pastor’s heart and I’m also following the loving standard of 1 Timothy 1:3-7 http://tiny.cc/ai02f

    1. Nan Kuhlman says:

      Mr. Apprising,

      So you’re placing yourself on par with the Son of God, as far as discerning men’s hearts and determining if a good “name-calling” will cause them to change their minds or make your point stick in their minds for future reference? Yikes! You’ve got more guts than I do. For the record, I was referring to regular human beings, not God Incarnate.

  4. KenSilva says:

    Nan,

    “So you’re placing yourself on par with the Son of God”

    This is a non sequitur. It does not logically follow that for me to follow His example, not to mention that of Elijah at Mt. Carmel, is to place myself on par with them.

    I’m not responsible for the response of the hearers; my job as a messenger is to proclaim it as faithfully as I can.

    1. Nan Kuhlman says:

      Mr. Silva,

      You are correct – it was a non sequitur argument, specifically the fallacy of the undistributed middle (i.e., “The Son of God is a name-caller. Mr. Silva is a name-caller. Therefore, Mr. Silva is a Son of God.”). While my argument failed miserably in a logical sense, I respectfully submit that name-calling rarely results in a change of heart. Perhaps your experience with name-calling has produced more positive results.

  5. KenSilva says:

    Nan,

    As I just told you, the Christian isn’t responsible for the way the hearers may react. My job as a messenger is to proclaim what I’m led to say at a given time as faithfully as I can.

    What you erroneously refer to as “name-calling” is merely my using proper descriptors for false religious teachers in the same vein as e.g. Jesus uses them in Matt 23.

  6. KenSilva says:

    erk,

    I’m sorry you have come under so much false teaching and don’t seem to recognize the time you live in.

    May God open your eyes to the genuine historic orthodox Christian faith. The mythology you outline above isn’t it.

  7. KenSilva says:

    Ken,

    I didn’t really stop to consider anything you said or how what I’ve said might actually be impacting you. I’m sorry that you have spent a lot of your life studying the Bible and praying to get to the conclusions that you have only to find out that they’re all worthless and you don’t really love God… like me.

    May God open your eyes to the genuine historic orthodox Christian faith as I’ve personally defined it over on my blog. The mythology you outlined threatened a lot of what I believe, and therefore can’t be true. But even if there is any truth in it, I wouldn’t stop long enough to try and actually consider it because God clearly is only guiding people who have the perfect truth all figured out, like me.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to sugar coating my arrogance and bullying of people in nice Christianese and Scripture so that they don’t figure me out.

    Have fun roasting in Hell heretic. By the way, God loves you.

    In my own service,

    erkkinator

  8. KenSilva says:

    “A little confused by that one… but okay.”

    Applies just as easily to you. What you don’t seem to realize is you’re no more open to changing your view than I am mine.

    “we clearly see things differently and it’s probably best if we just don’t continue talking.”

    Whoa, it may be a sign of the Apocalypse, but here we agree. 😉

  9. laughterforsleep says:

    I will attempt to break down all the problems i see with the apprisement of the shack bible project.
    First of all, John is NOT saying that the doctrine of salvation has changed. John, in fact, DOES believe it is a gift through faith in Christ alone. I have absolutely no idea where Mr. Silva gets this idea that John believes otherwise.
    2nd- John has a high respect for “God’s Word,” which I assume is meant as the Christian scriptures. If he didn’t respect the scriptures, he wouldn’t try to understand them better, or to help others understand them. By changing the language, John is not committing a sin. How many different versions of the Christian scriptures are there? It takes much more than switching similar nouns and pronouns to make the text say what you want it to say, including taking scripture out of context.
    3rd, saying, “not it’s definitely not,” as an answer to John saying that Trinitarian theology is rooted in ancient Christian teaching, is NOT an argument. It is a statement, with nothing to back it up. John has studied these ancient Christian teachings, I have heard/read the information, and yes, it does appear that trinitarian theology shares much with ancient Christian teachings.
    4th, John does not believe in universalism, at least not last time i spoke with him. He believes in the inclusive love of the trinity. Mr. Silva does not understand this theology, nor does he attempt to understand it. It seems to me that he is marginalizing something he does not understand or want to understand. Furthermore, I have read The Shack, and I did not get universalism from Mr. Young, either.
    I have no desire to get wrapped up in an argument. I have nothing personally against Mr. Silva, as I do not know him. I disagree with his thoughts and don’t appreciate his approach, but that is where my thoughts end.

    1. thankyou laughterfor sleep , you’ve answered all my questians and said what I thought much more clearly . I really appreciate that 🙂 I was getting more confused each time I read Kens arguments . Bless you
      Elaine

    2. shackbible says:

      Ken and Erk, thx for attempting a difficult conversation. I think such attempts are useful, even when they don’t appear so at the time. Erk, I appreciate your willingness to apologize for what you see as your rudeness earlier.

      laughterforsleep and Elaine, thank you for making the effort to understand what I’m trying to do. I know you care about me. If you ever need to tell me my train is flying off the gospel track, I will listen to you.

  10. Simon says:

    Her is a thought, now you’ve done “the shack version” pf the Bible how about a Harry Potter version of the Bible? anything goes right? Please forsake this heresy

  11. shackbible says:

    Erk, when you wrote that comment apologizing to Ken, I thought: “What a freaking cool guy!” I know how hard it is to apologize to people I’m pissed off at. You have my respect. But you were never “the chosen defender of the faith.” I WAS. But then my self-congratulatory rightness was tragically killed in the trainwreck that is my life. The impact tenderized the meat of my soul, and I like to think I’ve grown up a bit since. For what it’s worth, I learned that my sarcasm was a kind of passive-aggression that came from suppressed anger that REALLY needed to get un-buried. At least that’s what it was for me. Thank God for therapy and antidepressants!

    1. KenSilva says:

      John,

      I appreciate the chance to try and talk with erik; I’m sure he’s genuine, though he is severely disillusioned…

  12. shackbible says:

    [Some comment posts have been deleted above at the request of the user]

    1. Bob Thompson says:

      I have been hearing about Ken Silva for a few years now.

      The man doesn’t seem to be mentally stable and seems to be pretending he is a pastor of a church that doesn’t exist. Be very cautious of this guy.

      check out this review of Ken Silva from 2007.

      http://www.verumserum.com/?p=574

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