Some feedback from some concerned brothers in Christ. The following got posted as comments to old posts; I figured they probably wouldn’t get seen there, so I’m posting them here so they can be heard:
This is all just very wrong. Your “paraphrase” reminds me of Eugene Peterson’s work in the “Message:” not a paraphrase but a complete re-writing of Scripture, based on a lack of respect of what God has said. The Bible is not “outdated” and so unclear that it needs your radical revision.
It is so good to hear folks who are not deceived by The Shack heresy in here! It undermines the Bible and the Gospel that untold millions have died for down through the ages. It reduces sin to little more than a mistake, and casts God in the mould of a super-woman and super-man. The Shack’s image of God is the “brazen image”, the idolatry of a man’s mind, a warm, fuzzy god who says, “I have no expectations”. Is it any wonder that those unwilling to bow before the holy God of the Bible who commanded, “be ye Holy as I am Holy” should be taken with this warm, fuzzy god who says, basically, “Its ok, you’re not really that bad. You just made a mistake in trying to live independently and I excuse you”?
These people will never understand the depth of the deep, deep love of God (which they so dwell on at the expense of God’s total character and nature) until they begin to understand His deep hatred for sin, demonstrated when He poured out His wrath on the Lord Jesus Christ that day on the Cross. Sin isn’t the triviality that The Shack makes of it. See, we really ARE that bad and it cost Jesus infinitely; not in human pain, for many Christians have suffered longer and deeper physically in their executions, but in deep, spiritual anguish as the Father withdrew from Jesus and totally crushed His only Son so that you and I could be reconciled to God.
Shack reader, the Jesus Christ of the Bible is your “Pearl of Great Price”. Please – do not cast Him aside for the “comfortable” image of another man’s mind, for this image will never, ever duplicate the depth of love that God, through His Son Jesus Christ has already demonstrated for you, no matter how much it talks of “love” and the “circle of relationship”.
KEITH also responded to my response to being told to “Repent!”:
This is a valid and very necessary warning, and yet it makes me sad. Why? Because I have seen, elsewhere in this site the mocking references to the web-sites that purportedly contain “REPENT” in big red letters. The owner(s) of this site has(ve) seen the command and yet still has(ve) mocked it. As Manfred said, “God is not mocked”.
“Repent” is a large part of the Gospel. It immediately follows realising God’s pure, holy standards and how deeply we have fallen from them. It implies a determination towards a 180 degree turnaround as we accept the sacrifice that Christ Himself paid.
The fruit of real repentance is obedience. It is what sent Hudson Taylor to China to found the China Inland Mission at a totally sacrificial cost in his own life. It is what sent the 5 missionaries to Equador back in the 1950s, to their own deaths as they were speared by the tribe they were working with. It is what led their widows back to that tribe, in love and forgiveness to see God work the miracle of salvation through the whole tribe. And it is what has maintained many Christians in their faith, Christians like Pastor Richard Wurmbrand who was tortured for his faith over 14 years in solitary confinement in a communist gaol for refusing to compromise “the Gospel once delivered to the saints”. I could go on.
I don’t know who is at the head of this “Shack Bible Project” web-site (I am unable so far to find a name). But they have been given the message to repent and have ignored it. That is so dangerous. I hope that God will break in to their senses in time and turn their lives around for His glory rather than the glory of a god who is the warm, fuzzy mental idol of a man’s mind.
KEITH also had some specific thoughts on my rendition of John 16.8-11:
This fantasy, masquerading as a Bible is so corrupt!
Compare, for example John 16: 8-10 from the Bible:
(8) Fantasy: When I inject Sarayu into the world, she will contradict the core beliefs that make the System run.
Bible And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
(9) Fantasy: The System functions on the assumption that problems are caused by rule-breaking. Sarayu will prove that problems come from beliefs that do not fit with Reality.
Bible: Of sin, because they believe not on me;
(10) Fantasy: The System functions on the assumption that righteousness is something achieved by a few heroic individuals who can climb the religious ladder all the way up to heaven, and to hell with all the losers who can’t quite manage it. Sarayu will show that I, the Son of Man, have ascended to Papa’s right hand, and that I’ve brought the entire world with me. On behalf of all, in my own body I have forged human righteousness — right relations between Papa, humanity, and the rest of creation.
Bible:Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
(11) Fantasy: The System functions on the assumption that the world will be saved by killing all the ‘bad people.’ Sarayu will show that the world will be saved only by destroying the dark power that works evil in the lives of all people.
Bible:Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
To the author: Have you ever read what Revelations says about adding to, or taking away from the Word?