Thumbs Up: The Theology Isn’t Perfect, But ‘The Shack’ Is an Amazing Story of Forgiveness You Must See

by | Mar 7, 2017 | Blogs, The Strang Report

The Shack was a mega-bestselling book by a first-time author, and now it’s a major motion picture. The film scored third-highest at the box office when it opened last weekend, earning $16.2 million.

I don’t go to many movies, unless it’s a major one like this. But several months ago, I attended a pre-screening. I understand that the theology of The Shack had been questioned—there were even books written attacking it. The main character is grappling with the murder of his little girl by a pedophile and meets God in the shack where she was apparently murdered. God is portrayed as a middle-aged black woman named Papa, while Jesus is played by a Middle Eastern man with a beard and the Holy Spirit by an Asian woman in almost a new age way. 

I knew all of this about the book before I read it, and I was determined not to like it. The author, however, tells the story in a way that makes you focus more on the characteristics of God and the questions the character was forced to answer about forgiveness, as well as why bad things happen to good people. While I was not able to justify the theology, I gave the author some latitude on the storytelling techniques. In comparison, while everyone seems to love The Chronicles of Narnia series, some of its theology is a bit dicey as well. Jesus may be the Lion of Judah, but He is not literally Aslan as portrayed in those books.

The day The Shack debuted, I interviewed Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®, which has almost single-handedly persuaded Hollywood to produce at least some more wholesome movies and to weave Christian themes or characters into its productions. MOVIEGUIDE® has enjoyed remarkable success, which you can read about here. To sign up for MOVIEGUIDE®’s newsletter, please click here.

Ted is a longtime friend. We’ve written about him and MOVIEGUIDE® many times, including a cover story years ago. I have the privilege of serving on his advisory board of reference.

I invite you to listen to my podcast with him. From a professional viewpoint, Ted has some concerns with the movie. He believes there are points where the characters should have emoted but didn’t. He believes Christians will find it a story of love and forgiveness (as I did) but that unbelievers may misunderstand some things it shows about Christianity, which he calls theodicy. Indeed, the secular Rotten Tomatoes site gave The Shack a horrible rating yet also showed that 87 percent of the audience liked it.

In the podcast, I talk about my reaction to the movie. I missed some of the subtleties Ted mentioned. Yet, I was touched by the way the movie encouraged the viewer to deal with issues of forgiveness and also the character of God.

A few days ago, we published a review by Pastor Jonathan Wiggins of Rez.Church in Loveland, Colorado, titled “Get Your Theology From the Bible and Enjoy the Shack.” His review is worth reading.

I agree with him. I enjoyed the movie and was deeply moved. I urge you to support The Shack by seeing it. I believe it will be 135 minutes well-spent. {eoa}

 

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]