God and Fiction – A Look at The Shack, Part 9

I guess the last area I want to talk about regarding The Shack by William P. Young is sin. However, this subject may take more time to develop—more time than I have today, anyway.

Maybe I’ll start by stating a couple things about sin from a Biblical perspective. First, sin came into the world through Adam and his disobedience to God’s righteous decree. Eve was deceived, but Adam knew what he was doing when he chose against God.

From that point on, children born to Adam are in his likeness. Their nature (my nature) is sinful, and sin separates us all from God, despite the fact that He intended us to be in a friendship kind of closeness with Him.

Rather than leaving us in our sin, however, God chose to redeem us because He loves us. Also being a just God, He did not pretend we never sinned. Being truthful, He also needed to keep His word to Adam that disobedience would result in death.

In fact, Satan had tried to trap God into a compromise. When he asked Eve about eating from the forbidden tree, she relayed the punishment God warned against. Satan’s response? “You surely shall not die!” So if Adam ate of the tree, God would either have to break His love relationship or His word. Or so Satan thought~

God, in His perfect wisdom, had other plans. 😉

The question is, how does The Shack portray sin? To answer that question, I have to go one step further back and ask, how does The Shack portray good and evil? Now you see why this post is only scratching the surface on this topic!

I’ll start with the first hint I saw regarding Man’s nature. This came in a discussion about Jesus’s nature. Papa is talking:

“So, when you look at Jesus and it appears that he’s flying, he really is … flying [metaphorically]. But what you are actually seeing is me; my life in him. That’s how he lives and acts as a true human, how every human is designed to live—out of my life.

“A bird’s not defined by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image.” (p. 100, emphasis mine)

I understand Mr. Young to say that Man is not defined by his sin but by how God created him before he sinned.

Scripture, on the other hand, teaches that we are all marred image bearers. We aren’t defined only by our sin or by God’s intention for us. But because both are true, we are defined as creatures made in God’s image AND as fallen beings with sin natures.

Next time, a look at good and evil as The Shack explains things.

Series continued in Part 10.

Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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