Note: I am interrupting the series on Key People due to the urgency of what follows On March 3rd…. Coming to theater near you.

This past weekend I had to privilege to speak at a colleague’s church in Junction City Oregon. I titled the message “The Hack.” I preached about the whole issue of what the late Francis Schaeffer called ‘True Truth.” Millions of people have read The Shack, a novel by William Paul Young.

I had the privilege of meeting with Dr. James DeYoung, a Seminary professor who wrote the book Burning Down the Shack. Dr. De Young was a close colleague and neighbor to the author of The Shack, and his (De Young’s) book chronicles the intentionality behind the runaway best seller. William Paul Young, years before publishing The Shack, wrote and defended a paper to do with the doctrine of Universal Reconciliation. The Shack represents his effort to get us all to reconsider the very nature of God

Universal Reconciliation basically asserts that if there is a Hell, it is not for punishment but rather a place of adjustment and purging from which all, even the Devil and the Fallen Angels, will one day make it to heaven. I challenge anyone reading this to try and square that notion with the Bible…particularly Jesus’ own remarks.


In my message, I next talked about how these progressive notions have infiltrated the church. I told the sad story about the late Francis Schaeffer, whose book The Great Evangelical Disaster (1984) was eerily prescient and predicted the very struggle in which we now find ourselves embroiled.

Another author named Schaeffer wrote a book that has subtitle in which be bids ‘farewell to God’ and announces he has abandoned his faith. Yes that’s right… Francis Schaeffer’s son basically refutes his father’s important work and says the following.

“I’m glad for my dad’s blessed hypocrisy”

Burning Down THE SHACK

Frankie Schaeffer in an interview offers this telling glimpse into his attitude. The Huffington Post described him this way,

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books. Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as “pretty terrible.” He is also an acclaimed author of fiction and nonfiction and an artist with a loyal following of international collectors who own many of his paintings. Frank has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets.

Frank Schaeffer in an interview is blunt as he describes his motivation for writing his book, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God.

One of my aims is to unhook them from the Bible as something to follow instead of their conscience…I want to introduce the younger evangelicals to the idea that they have to re-calibrate their loyalty. They can live by the Bible or live by Jesus. They can’t do both.”

Frankie Schaeffer also appeared with Emergent Church guru Brian McClaren.
McClaren in his book Everything Must Change called for a moratorium on anyone even discussing gender issues. He neglected however to mention (the New York Times did…) that he had already ‘presided over‘ the union of his son with another man.
Emergent Church guru Rob Bell, whose book Love Wins made the case that there is no Hell (at least not the one talked about in the Bible.) is yet another writer who sold lots of books. (By the way… Bell left the pastorate after hitting the mother lode and now has a program on Oprah Winfrey’s network) Bell is on record as saying,

“We shape our God… and then our God shapes us”

So, why did I title my message The Hack? Listen to this definition of Hacking.

Computer hacking refers to the practice of modifying or altering computer software and hardware to accomplish a goal that is considered to be outside of the creator’s original objective. Those individuals who engage in computer hacking activities are typically referred to as “hackers.”

Let me close with this. Do you think that The Shack and the writings of Frankie Schaeffer and Brian McClaren, and Rob Bell accurately reflect the Bible? The next question is reasonable to ask. So why then are Christians raving about the upcoming movie?

Please visit the website of King’s Grace Fellowship (Junction City Oregon) Later this week they will post a podcast of the message I preached last Sunday. I go into much greater detail. For now, it is my purpose to alert you that this movie will make a big splash and believers are already confused as to what to make of it. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. The Spirit of Truth) will guide you in your response.


Dr. J.