Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

A really interesting article from EN in response to Dawkins’ chiding of Pope Francis for comparing Down Syndrome abortions to Nazi Germany. As it turns out, it seems Nazi Germany was actually more tolerant than much of what is going on in some European countries today. Furthermore, it’s always quite humorous to hear an avowed atheist frame his view as a morality lesson. You can read the article right here.



Twilight Zone Obsolete with words

In case there is any doubt being “tolerant” can actually mean being highly in – tolerant, take a look at someone getting berned by Mr. Sanders merely for espousing the exact same beliefs Christianity has held since its inception.  Be reminded, also, the accused was merely defending the statement of beliefs of his Alma Mater – Wheaton College – which is similar to most orthodox, evangelical Christian churches worldwide. The article he wrote defending Wheaton may be found at this link. You can watch the video of B. Sanders’ interrogation on Youtube right here. If there is any doubt about the historic, exclusivity of Christianity, read Jesus’ own words in John 3:16-18 and 14:6, which include a reference readily made known via the end zones of American football games. Besides being Biblically illiterate, I suppose Sanders isn’t much of a sports fan either.

John-3-16- end zone  John 3 16 baseball

I guess in Bernie’s world, people who hold to basic Christian beliefs are unqualified to hold public office in this country. This scenario is eerily reminiscent of the dystopian Twilight Zone episode where a man is declared “obsolete” by the totalitarian state – partly for still owning and reading a Bible.

Twilight Zone Obsolete

It’s a bummer someone like John Hancock (1737 – 1793), president of congress and one of the most famous signers of the Declaration of Independence – would likely not get a passing grade in Bernie’s inquisition (see below excerpt from  By the way, if you’d like for the Bern to apologize, you can put your own John Hancock right here. -E

John Hancock - signing image

John Hancock

REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTSSensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.37

He called on the entire state to pray “that universal happiness may be established in the world [and] that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole earth be filled with His glory.”38

He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray . . .

  • that all nations may bow to the scepter of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that the whole earth may be filled with his glory.39
  • that the spiritual kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be continually increasing until the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.40
  • to confess their sins and to implore forgiveness of God through the merits of the Savior of the World.41
  • to cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth.42
  • to confess their sins before God and implore His forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.43
  • that He would finally overrule all events to the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom and the establishment of universal peace and good will among men.44
  • that the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be established in peace and righteousness among all the nations of the earth.45
  • that with true contrition of heart we may confess our sins, resolve to forsake them, and implore the Divine forgiveness, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Savior. . . . And finally to overrule all the commotions in the world to the spreading the true religion of our Lord Jesus Christ in its purity and power among all the people of the earth.4637. Independent Chronicle (Boston), November 2, 1780, last page; see also Abram English Brown, John Hancock, His Book (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1898), p. 269.38. John Hancock, A Proclamation For a Day of Public Thanksgiving 1791, given as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from an original broadside in our possession.39. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving, October 28, 1784, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #18593.40. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving, October 29, 1788, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #21237.41. John Hancock, Proclamation For a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 16, 1789, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #21946.

    42. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise, September 16, 1790, from an original broadside in our possession.

    43. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, February 11, 1791, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #23549.

    44. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation, February 24, 1792, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #24519.

    45. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving, October 25, 1792, from an original broadside in our possession.

    46. John Hancock, Proclamation for Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, March 4, 1793, from a broadside in our possession.

This is part 3 of a review of Wm. Paul Young’s (author of THE SHACK) recently released book Lies We believe About God. Part 1 “No Need to Get Saved…” can be found by clicking right here, and part 2 “Hell is Not Separation from God…” can be found here. Know, again, this is based on his most recently released book (March 7, 2017), and these excerpts are taken from my personal copy:


We now explore chapter 27, where the author introduces as “lie” #27: “Sin separates us from God.”


The straightforward message the author heralds here is that sin does NOT separate, anyone, from God, ever – and to believe this is to swallow a “lie.” Young interjects that this thinking comprises a “theology of separation,” and he further elaborates: “A lot of ‘my people’ will believe that the following statement is in the Bible, but it isn’t: ‘You have sinned and you are separated from God'” (Lies, p. 231, see below).

One obvious flaw with what Young is saying can be found right here:

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God…” (Isaiah 59:2b).

There it is, almost word for word in the Bible. But significantly more telling than this is the theology of the entire Bible. Young has a penchant for making blunt declarations about particular words he hasn’t found in the Bible, and then he uses that as a straw man support to negate it as a teaching. The perfect example is found in THE SHACK book itself on p. 205, when Sarayu, the Holy Spirit, says “… you won’t find the word responsibility in the scriptures.”


Whether or not this English word is found in the particular translation the author is using, the theme of responsibility is all throughout the Bible. Just a nominal gleaning of Jesus’ parables (landowners leaving, coming back, holding servants accountable) makes the authors’ word search findings irrelevant. As for whether the theme of sin separating people from God is found in the Bible, just the Old Testament teaching on the Tabernacle is replete enough for anyone to reach an obvious conclusion. In Exodus 25:8 the Lord says to Moses “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” Why is this sanctuary needed for God to dwell with them? Because God is holy, and people are sinful. Sin has separated them from God. That’s one of the basic teaching points of these narratives. Virtually every aspect of the instructions for building the tabernacle – including the gates, laver, altar, veil, priestly duties, sacrifices, has to do with God being holy and separate from people because of their sin (unholiness). This is very simple Sunday School stuff. If you think I’m overstating this, go here, and read how many times the word “separate” is used. As the veteran Christian artist Phil Keaggy once crooned, “you should have believed Sunday School.” Of course, metaphysically speaking, God is omnipresent, and didn’t merely dwell spatially inside the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. But relationally, which is the context Young’s premise, God is distinctly separate (for more discussion on this, see William Lane Craig article here). Be reminded that virtually every article in the Tabernacle also points to Jesus and what He has done for us, and our sin, so that we can approach God and not be separate. The language of Ephesians 2:12-13 alludes to this as it reads “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the common wealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (NKJV -emphasis mine). Like in the Romans 8 passage from the previous article, the context here is clearly exclusive to believers in Jesus Christ. A. Skevington Wood writes:

“In the first place, they were without, or apart (NIV, ‘separate’) from Christ (choris Christou)… as a consequence, they lived in a world devoid of hope (I Thess. 4:13)…. ‘But now’ stands in sharp antithesis to v. 12. They are no longer ‘separate from Christ’ (v. 12) but ‘in Christ Jesus…’ those who trust in Him possess a present salvation as well as a future hope. ‘Jesus is the ‘meeting point’ with God for all mankind’ (A. Skevington Wood Expositor’s Bible Commentary c. 1978 p. 39 – Emphasis mine)

To Young, nevertheless, this theology of sin separating people from God is false. Therefore, let’s examine very carefully from his own words in how this plays out (below Lies p. 232):

20170315_162613 (2)

Be very clear about what the author is saying. In Young’s mind, NO ONE EVER has, nor EVER WILL BE, relationally separated from God because of sin. Aside from his spurious usage of Romans 8 (contextually speaking of believers – which was addressed in this article) the implications here are more than a bit provocative. No one (not Nero, Adolf Hitler, Judas), has EVER BEEN, nor will EVER BE…  separated from the love of God in a relational way. Keep in mind, this is even an affront to the punishment Jesus took for our sins – the penal atonement. Ponder the following passages of scripture and the ensuing comments:

Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (25) whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, (26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (NKJV)

Galatians 3:13 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'” (NKJV)

Mark 15:34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ‘Eloi, Eloi, loama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'” (NKJV)

“The orphaned cry of Jesus reflects something of the depth of meaning of Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:21: ‘God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us.’ Interpretations that suggest that Jesus began to recite Psalm 22 with the intent of reciting the entire psalm, which ends on a note of triumph, but died before getting past v. 2 are desperate attempts to dodge the reality of Jesus’ forsakenness”  (Walter W. Wessel; Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 8 c. 1984 p. 782 – highlights mine)

“At the ninth hour, Jesus expressed the agony of His soul when He cried out from the cross, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ (see Ps. 22:1). The darkness symbolized the judgment Jesus experienced when the Father forsook him (Warren Wiersbe Bible Exposition Commentary c. 1989 p. 165)

“This was more than the cry of a righteous Sufferer affirming His faith that God would cause Him to triumph (contrast Psalm 22:1 with Ps. 22:18). Nor did Jesus merely feel abandoned … Breaking the curse of sin and God’s judgment on sin (Deut. 21:22-23; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13) He experienced the unfathomable horror of separation from God, who cannot look on sin (Heb. 1:13). This answers Jesus’ question ‘why?’ Dying for sinners He experienced separation from God (John D. Grassmick The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures By Dallas Theological Seminary – New Testament Edition c. 1983 p. 189 – highlights mine)

For someone reading Mr. Young’s books and listening to his interviews, it shouldn’t be a huge shock he would side with an idea that negates the penal, substitutionary atonement of Jesus for our sins. He regularly dodges this theme as the meaning of the cross event, and when he does refer to the doctrine of Christ’s blood atonement, he does so in a derogatory manner:

“Who originated the cross? If God did, then we worship a cosmic child abuser... And how would we religious people interpret this sacrifice? We would declare that it was God who killed Jesus, slaughtering Him as a necessary appeasement for His bloodthirsty need for justice  (from Lies pp. 149, 150, 151 – emphasis mine)

Beyond this, Young had apparently gone so far as to deny the penal substitution of Christ as long ago as 2009 (see link here). Do go back and read Romans 3:23-26 again if you’re having any doubt about the meaning of Christ’s cross event.

If you’re following along the author’s sequence of logic, many of the aforementioned ideas stem from Young’s designer view of sin itself. In Lies, He does concede to the reality of “sin” and that the Grk word hamartia means “missing the mark” – but he then further explains it this way (below, from Lies p. 229):



Based on this, Young explains his version of what Jesus has done for us:

20170315_162613 (3)

In other words, separation is a mere delusion. If you think sin has separated you from God, you’re deluded. Your true being is like God, and you’ve never been relationally separated – even if you’re not a believer in Christ or you never will be. So, try to get this straight: Jesus, instead of dying to take the penalty of our sin because we were actually separated from God as the result of sin, merely helps us to break through our self-delusions, by witnessing someone who has knowledge of his TRUE self, so we can know our “TRUE selves,” which, as it turns out, looks just like God! (Got it? – Wait, did God really say this? What did God really say? See Gen. 3:1-5 for the earliest version of this plot line). For an actual example of what the Bible says our true selves looks like, let’s take a look at Romans 3:10-19:


10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”[a]
13 Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (NKJV)


No wonder our sin separates us from God who “cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13).

No, don’t throw out those old Gospel tracts. No matter what popular “Christian” authors say, sin still separates people from God, and Jesus is still the Savior who paid the wages for sin on the cross, rose again, and offers the free gift of eternal life – to everyone who repents and believes on Him for salvation (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10; 10:13; Acts 16:31).

Gospel Tract

Gospel Tract 2


-E (coming next, as promised: Wm Paul Young and Monism)






This is part 2 of a series of posts about Wm. Paul Young’s (author of The Shack) latest book (released just 10 days ago, March 7, 2017). This reviewer recognizes there have been other statements Young has made which sound contradictory to these as recently as just a few years ago (click here). Know that what’s posted here are his latest, written statements on these subjects from his book Lies We Believe About God (below is a picture of my own personal copy):


Oddly, the author clearly says in Lies (March 7, 2017) that what he intended to portray in various dialogues from 2007’s The Shack  is a depiction of his positions on universal salvation for all, with hell/death as a restorative process – etc… (also, Christian apologist Eric Barger has an excellent summary, mid-point in this article, of his history of inquiring personally with Young about this subject – dating back to 2004). So, the best we might ascertain about Young’s changing positions, even based on his own words, are:

2007 (date of release of THE SHACK): Young held to universal salvation for all.

2014 (date of the above youtube interview): Young did not hold to universal salvation for all, or at least stated he “didn’t know.”

2017 (date of Lies book release): Young goes back to affirming universal salvation for all.

This unpredictable, faucet (on again, off again) approach to theology shouldn’t be a huge surprise coming from someone who places a high premium on “listening to the Holy Spirit” and “intuition” at the expense of scriptural authority.

20170317_154514 (1)


(Left: Wm. Paul Young, from an interview in Simple Grace Magazine; April 2017; taken from my own copy)





What the author seems to mean by teaching “stuff” we can’t find in books, includes stuff we can’t find in those 66 Books we call the Bible. Instead, he promises concepts that will be “new” and “transformative” – and we need to “relax” and let the Holy Spirit be our “true” teacher (see below):




(Right: Wm. Paul Young from Lies We Believe p. 20)



Young doesn’t seem to understand that Christians have a Biblical imperative to “not believe every spirit” but to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). True, the Holy Spirit is our teacher, but the “sword of the Spirit” is “the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17a). The author’s lack of scriptural support in the recent Lies book echoes the cynicism of The Shack’s narrator when the following remark is made about the character Mackensie: “In seminary he had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects… Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book”  (Young, The Shack p. 66). From my experience, when someone is this belittling about the importance of scripture and its diligent study, you can be almost certain his wheels are about to run off the road of truth. Know that if you’re on The Shack bus,  I sincerely pray God’s presence and grace will strengthen you – because it’s hard telling where your trip is going to end. Know, also, I don’t address the themes mentioned here lightly. These subjects (Hell, it’s condition / duration) are quite foreboding – which is all the more reason they need to be addressed truthfully according to God’s Word and not the whims of popular authors.

Today’s post is based on what’s deemed in the book to be “Lie # 15”“Hell is Separation from God” (photo of chapter 15 from my copy below)


The author’s clear point is that Hell is NOT separation from God, even though to his dismay many believe this “lie.” One of his defenses of this, is that if hell is created, then Romans 8 proves hell isn’t separation from God:

“(one) alternative is that hell is a created place or thing. Consider this passage: ‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 – with emphasis by Young on created thing)

(below, from Lies p. 134)



The most obvious problem with this line of reasoning should be evident from anyone nominally familiar with the New Testament. The context of these Romans 8 promises is saved people – who are “in Christ Jesus” (The entire chapter begins “There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… 8:1a NKJV …  and the chapter continues in vs. 9 “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” 8:9b NKJV). Of course, Mr. Young sees everyone as being in Christ, because he holds to universal salvation for all, with nobody needing to be saved (which was the subject of my previous articlesee here). Along with a basic contextual understanding of Romans 8, Young’s universalism is a blatant denial of countless sections of scripture (see just a few here – Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11-15). In fact, let’s revisit this subject of Universalism (or Universal Restorationism) some moreConsider Jesus own words in Matthew 25:46:

“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (NKJV)

Note that the original Greek terms for everlasting/eternal are the exact same word (Grk aionion, a form of aionios “eternal, everlasting … without end”  – F. Wilbur Gingrich Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament 1st ed. 1957 c. 1983 p. 6)


(above – Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 25th edition c. 1983 p. 100 – taken from my personal copy)

In other words, from both the thrust of the context and the word usage – in the same way heaven and its conditions are eternal, hell and its conditions are eternal (note Mark 9:45-46,48 “fire shall never be quenched… worm does not die… “)


Furthermore, note these verses from the book of Revelation:

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10); And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).

It’s no wonder one of the earliest North American Bible Scholars, Moses Stuart, who saturated himself on this subject when studying the scriptures came to this conclusion:

“The result seems to be plain, and philologically and exegetically certain. It is this; either the declarations of the Scriptures do not establish the facts, that God and his glory and praise and happiness are endless; nor that the happiness of the righteous in a future world is endless; or else they establish the fact, that the punishment in a future world, is endless. The whole stand or fall together. There can, in the very nature of antithesis, be no room for rational doubt here, in what manner we should interpret the declarations of the scriptures. We must either admit the endless misery of hell, or give up the endless happiness of Heaven (Moses Stuart, Exegetical Essays on Several Words Relating to Future Punishment c. 1867; as cited by Robert W. Yarborough in Hell Under Fire c. 2004 pp. 75-76)          

Returning back to the theme of Hell, Young’s preferred train of thought is that hell is what it is, because of the presence of God. At one juncture he goes so far as to suggest maybe hell isn’t created, and hell is God himself, and (a person’s destiny) is “not apart from God but directly into God, who is Love, light, Goodness” (Lies p. 134). At any rate , again, his concluding proposal is that hell is what it is, not because of the absence of God, but because of God’s presence, “the continuous and confrontational presence of fiery Love and Goodness … a fire of Love that now and forever is for us, not against us…” He concludes: I propose the possibility that hell is not separation from Jesus but that it is the pain of resisting our salvation in Jesus while not being able to escape Him who is True Love”  (see below from p. 137)


This fits in nicely with Young’s avowed universalism, but does it line up with scripture?

Specifically on the theme of hell and being separated from God, let’s start with Matthew 25:41: “Then He (The Son of Man) will also say to those (people) on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels'”  (NKJV). Below are Greek study notes on the words depart and from:

depart (Grk poreuesthe / poreuo “go, proceed, travel“)  From (Grk ap / apo “away from, out of, separation, departure”) (Gingrich SLOTGNT pp. 165, 21)  

This “depart from Me” saying, in the context of the Eschaton (end times / judgement), is also found elsewhere in the words of Jesus:

Matthew 7:23 “And then I (Jesus) will declare to them, depart from Me…”  (NASB)

Luke 13:24-27 (24) “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will   seek to enter and will not be able” (25) “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord open up to us!‘ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ (26) ‘Then you will begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets (27) “and He will say, I tell you, I do not know where you are from. Depart from Me, all you evildoers” (NASB)

This Hell is separation from God motif in the Gospels has been succinctly summarized by the words of respected Bible scholar scholar William Hendriksen:

First of all, then, hell means separation. The wicked will hear the terrible words, ‘Depart from me, you accursed,’ which is the opposite of ‘Come, you blessed.’ Besides Matt. 25:41 see also 7:23; Luke 13:27. They will ‘go away’ into everylasting punishment (25:46). Their dwelling place will be outside the banquet hall, the wedding feast, the shut door (8:11-12; 22:13; 25:11-13)” (William Hendriksen New Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Matthew c. 1973 p. 890)                                    

If Mr. Young, or anyone else still needs more Biblical support that hell is a place separated from God, here is 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9: “Dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (9) “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (NASB)

away from (Grk apo prosopou “From the presence… or face. Apo/from has simply the sense of separation. Not “from the time of the Lord’s appearing” nor “by reason of the glory of his presence” (M. R. Vincent Word Studies in the New Testament c. 1972 p. 949)

“Destruction does not mean here annihilation, but, as Paul proceeds to show, separation from the face of the Lord (apo prosopou tou kuriou) and from the glory of his might (Kai apo tes doxes tes ischous autou)” (A.T. Robertson Word Pictures in the New Testament Vol. IV c. 1931 p. 44)

One hang-up Young seems to have is assuming God’s omnipresence is the same as His relational presence. Because God is omnipresent (everyone at once), that doesn’t mean God’s relational presence and “restorative love” is always near and available – which is clearly what the author is stating (see this William Lane Craig article and the question answer section). Hopefully it’s obvious to people when the scriptures say “separate” or “together” with God, it’s speaking relationally, because metaphysically speaking God is not spatial.

As a corollary statement to his belief of universal salvation for all, and Hell not being a relational separation from God, Young “proposes” the following: “I propose that the event of death introduces a crisis (krsis – the Greek word, as in ‘Day of… judgment’), a restorative process intended to free us to run into the arms of Love” (Young, Lies, p. 187) (Below, from Lies p. 187)


As you might have guessed, this particular chapter doesn’t have so much as one single Bible verse, out of context or otherwise, to support the premise that death introduces a restorative process. Instead, as is the pattern through much of the book, the idea stems from what Mr. Young merely “thinks” (see below from Lies p. 182)


As a personal side-note: It’s quite audacious to claim to be a Christ-follower in any way while candidly tossing out what the Bible clearly teaches based merely on what one “thinks.”  I’m certain Jefferson and Tolstoy would be proud!

Aside from the countless “time’s up” parables of Jesus (see the Bridgroom’s response to the unprepared virgins in Matthew 25:10-12), and besides Hebrews 9:27 which says “it’s been appointed for man once to die, and then the judgement” NKJV), let’s refresh ourselves on Luke 16:19-31 (25) “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and you are tormented” (26) “And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us (NKJV)

Of course, if someone’s basis of support for a proposition is “listening to the Holy Spirit” and standing on “intuition” and what one “thinks” apart from scripture – there isn’t much more that can be said. Be mindful that one of Young’s recurring bents that is heavily influencing these views is his leanings toward monism a fallacious view that  God is “one” with all creation (think “one” – ism). This erroneous teaching is foundational to pantheism, panentheism, the New Age Movement, Gnosticism, and Hinduism. This will be addressed further in a future post.

Here are some some final statements on these matters from Bible scholar and apologist Norm Geisler (former president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and prolific author – including being the general editor of The Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics):

“Jesus taught that not only is there a hell that was created for Satan and his angels, but, tragically, there will also be persons in it” (Norman Geisler Systematic Theology Vol. 4 c. 2005 p. 401)

“Heaven is ‘everlasting,’ and the same word (Gk: aionion), used in the same context, also affirms that hell is ‘everlasting.’ If heaven is forever, then so is hell; there is absolutely no biblical ground for supposing that one is eternal and one is temporal. Likewise, there is no possibility of a person escaping hell after arriving (Luke 16:26). Judgment begins after death (Heb. 9:27; John 8:21)” (Norman Geisler Systematic Theology Vol. 4 c. 2005 p. 339)


(This is part 2 of this series on the beliefs of Wm. Paul Young (the author of The Shack) from his recently released book  Lies We Believe About God released March 7, 2017. Part 3 will be forthcoming).


For this reviewer, there was plenty rotten in Pen-mark with Wm. Paul Young’s 2007 book The ShackNot in the least of this was when God (the Trinity) says to the human character (Mack) that the persons of the Trinity are submitted to humans the same way they are submitted to each other (see p. 145):


Another fallacious zinger is found where, concerning the person Jesus Christ, it is explained by God that Jesus’ miracles, healings, and even raising people from the dead didn’t prove Jesus was Godmore than human, (but rather) it proves that Jesus is truly human (see p. 99):


Still, the story must have contained enough slight of hand logic and emotional appeal distraction to keep the wool sufficiently pulled over the eyes of the unsuspecting. However, with the recent (March 7, 2017) release of Wm. Paul Young’s latest book Lies We Believe About God, there should remain no doubt about the erroneous beliefs of The Shack author. Here is a photo of my copy (which was already sold out at the local Barnes and Noble, so I had to special order it. The clerk specifically told me “these are selling like crazy”). 


The book consists of what the author describes as 28 “lies” which many Christians have been duped into believing about God. I’m hoping to have a series of several posts on these – partly so you won’t feel the need to buy the book yourself. For now, here’s “Lie #13” – “You need to get saved.” 


Young clearly states this is one of the 28 “lies” we Christians have been led to believe is true, but is not. He then goes on to succinctly explain (p. 117): “So what is the Good News? What is the Gospel? The Good news is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into his life, into His relationship…”

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If there is still any hint of wiggle room left in what’s being said, he entertains the rhetorical questions (on p. 118): “Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? ” To which he replies “That is exactly what I am saying!” 

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I suppose based on Young’s premise, when the jail-keeper in Acts 16 asked Paul and Silas “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” they should have responded “the need to be saved is a lie, you’re already saved.” Strangely, that wasn’t their response. They said:Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30b – 31)

One of the proof-texts Young uses to support his universalism is John 3:17 which he places in conjunction with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” (3:17) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemns the world, but to save the world through Him” (with the emphasis on world by Young, himself). In his mind, usages of “world” such as this imply automatic, universal salvation for everyone. It’s curious Young didn’t go on to the very next verse in John 3 which says “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18 NKJV).

Rest assured the Bible doesn’t teach universal salvation for all – and rest assured the author of the Shack, does.

(More to come on this subject – and special thanks to our church youth pastor Jeremy Doyle for tipping me off about the release of this recent book)






Once again, on Dec. 22, 2016 a sea of families (literally thousands) received Christmas gifts via the California Highway Patrol – which is an event hosted on the campus of Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield.

This is a bit of challenge to a position that virtually all of society’s ills are caused,  jointly, by these two entities (law enforcement and the *gasp* organized church). Might want to rethink this : )



Yes, the wave continues. Info about this can be found by going right here – and how you can make your voice known can be discovered at this link (who knows, this very post might get removed at some juncture… ). A simple question: How long has your money been pouring into state schools as they’ve taught ideologies you diametrically oppose? (even pseudo-spiritual ideologies?) 

Last one out, make sure you grab a Bible  -E