In Challies’ review of The Shack he takes issue with how Young presents God’s revelation to mankind. Challies actually commits the Hasty Generalization fallacy when he says, “Christians hold to the belief that the Bible is the only infallible source of God’s revelation to us.”  Although it is true that some Christians hold to this belief, it is not a universal belief, nor is it one taught in Scripture. In this section Challies’ is borderline bibliolitrous, writing things like, “God has given his full and perfect and sufficient revelation in the Bible. It is in the Bible that God gives us the rule as to how we may know Him and how we may live in a way that honors Him.”  Challies believes this regardless of the fact that the Bible does not claim to be full, perfect, or sufficient. One must wonder how he came to this conclusion without extra-Biblical revelation. Not to mention, by holding to this view, Challies is ignoring Scriptures that claims that God reveals himself apart from Scripture (1Corinthians 14:4; Exodus 3:2; Romans 1:20; Acts 2:17). When Challies writes, “the majority of The Shack’s references to Scripture … focus on its abuse at the hands of those who profess Christ or on supposed old-fashioned notions about it.”  Perhaps Young is focusing on the same abuses that Challies seems to be taking in his own review of the book. Regardless of what Challies claims, Young does not “indicate that [the Bible] is God’s voice ‘reduced’ to paper.” His quote from pages 65-66 of The Shack, when taken in context, shows that Young is talking about how we treat the Bible – not what Scripture actually is. Challies ends this section by saying, “We must not downplay the beauty, the power or the sufficiency of the Bible.” To which I have to ask, “what power?” and, “sufficient for what?” The Bible does not have the power or sufficiency to accomplish anything except to give an accurate description of past events. Salvation does not come from reading Scripture, it comes from God alone. The Bible cannot heal the sick, that power comes from God alone. I get the impression that Challies’ issues with Youngs view do not stem from what is written in The Shack but stems from fundamentally different views of how God works. Unfortunately, it seems like Challies’ views lacks Scriptural support.
The impression that I get from Young and The Shack is not one that we should ignore Scripture or treat it as secondary. But that with the guidance and empowering of Jesus and the Holy Spirit we can truly understand Scripture. If that is a bad thing, than I do not know what is good.
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