The Truth Versus Lies: Shack Author Rejects Central Christian Doctrines

A former colleague takes apart The Shack author's new book denying Biblical truths.

By James De Young Published on February 5, 2018

When Paul Young and I founded a Christian think-tank together, little did I suspect that Paul would write a national bestseller (The Shack), let alone one that so radically distorts the gospel. But now Paul has gone a step further. He’s published a theological manifesto that explicitly denies doctrines central to the Christian faith. The cat is finally out of the bag.

Paul Young’s book Lies We Believe about God, which appeared last March, exposed what Paul Young really, truly believes about God and Christianity. No one should any longer be in doubt or confused.

For fourteen years I and others have been saying that Paul Young embraces universal reconciliation, that it is embedded in his novel, The Shack, and in the movie (2017). I was often rebuffed, even by Paul himself.

The History of Young’s Embrace, Then Denial, of Universal Reconciliation

About the time The Shack appeared (2007), Paul came to my home and insisted that he no longer embraced universal reconciliation.

I have known Paul Young for over two decades. In 2004, he presented a 103-page paper to our think-tank embracing universal reconciliation (UR) — the idea that God’s love trumps his justice and he will save every person in the world, past, present or future — and rejecting his “evangelical paradigm.”

Using some of the most pernicious language I’ve ever read, Young rejected evangelical belief in eternal punishment because it makes Jesus “a million times more vicious” than Pharaoh, Nero and Hitler put together. Eternal punishment is “sadistic humbug,” says Young. It makes Calvary “a farce, a burlesque, a travesty, and a sham.” Thus “Jesus died a failure and in vain. . . . Jesus is not the Savior of men. . . . He is not even a good man, but a liar, and therefore a rogue and a deceiving rascal.”

Young claimed that universalism had changed his life, making him a more loving person and affecting all his theology. Young had become a true believer.

Seeking Correction

I was shocked! I thought I knew Paul’s beliefs but I realized then I was unaware of his conversion to UR. The following month I presented a paper opposing Paul’s paper point by point. But Young had quit our forum. During the next few years he wrote The Shack with universalism boldly expressed in it.

But two pastor friends opposed the UR. Together they worked with Young for over a year trying to remove UR from his manuscript and became “co-authors” with Young in the process. In 2007, the three self­­-published this “second” edition and it became the best seller we know today. It also occasioned a lawsuit over how the royalties should be divided. (This making of The Shack is explained in this 2008 post.)

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When I read The Shack, I was surprised by its subtle embrace and propagation of UR. To expose its UR I wrote Burning Down the Shack: How a “Christian” Bestseller Is Deceiving Millions.

Then Paul seemed to take a u-turn in his commitment to UR, or so he claimed. About the time The Shack appeared (2007), Paul came to my home and before several people, including my pastor, insisted that he no longer embraced universal reconciliation. When I asked: “What do you believe now?” Paul answered that he was a person in flux, that he didn’t want to be pinned down. In various interviews since, Young has denied that he is a universalist.

Young Confesses Universalism in His New Book, Lies

But now the truth comes out. In Lies, Young embraces virtually everything that he embraced in his 2004 paper. “Lies” is his word of choice to characterize 28 doctrines that we Christians have historically believed. 

Here are some of the 28 evangelical “lies” that Young accuses Christians of believing in error. Many of these are “straw men” — doctrines he claims Christians believe, though in fact we do not. For him these are untruths: God is in control of everything; God is only male, and not also female; hell and sin separate people from God; after death people cannot repent and be saved; the cross was part of God’s plan; not everyone is a child of God. In his final chapter Young rejects the God of his “modern evangelical Christian fundamentalism” because this God originated evil and perpetrated child abuse on the cross!

But the clincher in Lies is number 13, titled “You need to get saved.” Young boldly confesses “universal salvation,” the belief that all people are saved already whether they believe or not.

Young’s affirmation of UR means that what he said in my home in 2007 was untrue. He had not stopped believing UR.

Young’s repudiation of all of these “lies” flows from his core belief in UR.

Young Has Deceived Millions Again

Young’s affirmation of UR means that what he said in my home in 2007 was untrue. He had not stopped believing UR. He has continually embraced UR since 2004. In response to Young’s new book I’ve written: Lies Paul Young Believes about God: How the author of The Shack Is Deceiving Millions of Christians Again. I give the biblical response to all twenty-eight “lies.” My website further exposes Young’s heresy.

What Has Emboldened Young to Write Lies?

In an interview, Young claims that evangelicalism is changing; its structures are crumbling; and he stands on the cusp of a new “reformation.” Like other universalists, Young opposes the institutions of the church, marriage and government, seeking to replace them with a “pure relationship” with God.  His follower, C. Baxter Kruger, suggests that Young may be a new Martin Luther!

Why is UR so dangerous? Universalists assert that even the devil and fallen angels will repent in hell and enter heaven (if hell is even real!). Yet the Bible says that Jesus died only for human beings, as the God-man, not the God-angel (note Heb. 2:16). Thus UR assumes some other basis for fallen angels to get out of hell.

Further, since love trumps God’s justice (in UR thinking), no real judgment occurred on the cross. Jesus did not take on himself the sin or sins of the whole world. UR rejects penal substitution — Jesus’ taking our place and paying the price for our sins. Thus UR stabs a dagger into the heart of the gospel, because it makes the cross of Jesus Christ unnecessary.

It is urgent that the church embrace anew its first love for Christ and the gospel (Rev. 2) and steadfastly proclaim it to a lost, needy world. 

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  • Trilemma

    The doctrine of eternal conscious torment in a fiery hell makes God a narcissistic sadistic monster. Justice demands the punishment fit the crime. Eternal conscious torment in a fiery hell is infinitely unjust punishment for finite human crimes.

    If Jesus death on the cross paid the sin price for everyone, then everyone is saved. Otherwise, God is in the business of collecting twice on the same debt. If I pay off a friends mortgage and they keep making payments because the don’t believe me, the bank will not accept their payments.

    For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. – Colossians 1:16-20 NIV

    Everything that was created through Christ will be reconciled through Christ.

    • Redboyds

      Your opinion, nothing else.

      The Gospels show Jesus talking as much about God’s wrath as about God’s love. Not either/or, but both/and.

      A wrathless god might exist inside your head, but he is not the God in the Bible. Christians regard Jesus as having a higher credibility than you.

      • Trilemma

        Colossians teaches all will be reconciled. Reconciliation can involve punishment but it’s not eternal.

        • Patmos

          God help you. You are absolutely clueless.

          • Trilemma

            Colossians clearly says that God was pleased through Chist to reconcile to Himself all things on earth and in Heaven.

          • AndRebecca

            This is why we need to read the whole Bible. A couple of verses out of context will not get you into heaven.

          • Trilemma

            How have I taken verses out of context? There have been Christians who believe in Universal Reconciliation for 2000 years.

          • AndRebecca

            There are heretics who have believed in all sorts of things for many years. And, today with the internet, you can get on their websites and see exactly what they believe and see that it is not Christianity. Uni of any type is not trinity.

          • Trilemma

            How do you know Universal Reconciliation is heresy? Do you trust Roman emperors to determine what Christian doctrine should be?

          • Kevin Quillen

            Sadly Trilemma, most follow the herd, sit in a church and just accept whatever is taught. They prefer traveling the broad way, it is easy and there is so many traveling companions. At this point on the thread I think we are wasting our time. God Bless you and keep you friend. Until we meet again, Peace be unto you.

          • AndRebecca

            What a creepy thing to say.

          • Kelly B

            Uni is from the depths of hell – and I will be praying that those here who have been deceived by it will turn from their error and accept Christ as their Savior.

          • Kevin Quillen

            of the first 6 theological schools 4 were Universalist. Fact and not hard to find, if one is genuine.

          • AndRebecca

            What are you talking about now?

          • AndRebecca

            Your are right.

          • Kevin Quillen

            read the whole thread and you will see many verses.

          • AndRebecca

            Please, there aren’t many verses in this thread.

          • Kevin Quillen

            1 Cor 15:22, Ps 145:21, Philippians 2:10, 1 Tim 4:10, Col 1:20, Ps 145:9 and 10, John 12:32, in this verse “draw” means “DRAG” in the original language!. Is this enough? There is much more. But I doubt you will study, I fear that Tri and I are wasting our time. I will pray for you to get understanding.

          • AndRebecca

            That’s not many verses and at least one of them doesn’t mean what Tri said it did. I’ll look the others up. As far as wasting your time, you’re hurting yourself in more ways than that and attempting to hurt others.

          • AndRebecca

            I looked all the verses up and they don’t mean what you say. If you knew the Bible better, you would not put meanings into it that aren’t there. It would help you if you had a study Bible and looked into what the saints were going through during each particular time. In NT days there were Jews and gentiles converting to Christianity and not everyone was happy about that to say the least. So, when a word like “all” is used they meant Jews and gentiles alike. In the case of Timothy, a man who’s mother was Jewish and father a gentile, Paul was reassuring him that gentiles and Jews who believe will be saved.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Trilemma is 100% spot on. Please tell me how Jesus death on the cross could produce “JOY” if He was only going to “save” a very few people? No His joy came from knowing ALL would be reconciled to the Father. Heb 12:2
            Philippians 2:10 and Ps 145:21 and 1 Tim 4:10

          • Kelly B

            Not just clueless, he is savagely deceived by the enemy. Who else but satan would be behind the heretical twisting of scripture in which trilemma has bought hook line and sinker. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven while He was here – to gloss over that and deny the existence of hell is his modus operandi throughout the ages.

      • Kevin Quillen

        Neither Tri or myself has said God is “wrathless”. Tri and I know that we will avoid the wrath by accepting the sacrifice of Christ. Those who do not……will receive the wrath, for the purpose of correction, and once correction has done its job, repentance will come, and then reconciliation with the Father. Phillipians 2:10, Ps 145:21

    • Grayson Zaragoza

      If Christ’s death paid the sin price for everyone, then everyone CAN be saved. God created us with a free will so that we would choose to love or reject him in the Garden, as opposed to God creating a robot without a choice. That’s how deep God’s love is for us, that he would give us the choice to love or reject him.

      But if God was to suddenly do a 180 and make everyone saved through the death of Christ, wouldn’t that contradict his own original reasoning for creating man with free will? God cannot do anything against his own nature and therefore cannot contradict himself. God cannot dwell in sin and therefore cannot control all that sin has control over. He cannot allow sinners into his kingdom without willfully acknowledging that they are sinners and that his Son’s sacrifice is their atonement.

      We are only created through Christ when we allow Christ’s sacrifice to be evident in our lives. It is a choice, not a blanket benefit of Christ’s death.

    • Craig Roberts

      Interesting. But what if the bank calls and says that only you are authorized to make payments to your account and if you want someone else to make payments you need to verify that you are willing to accept payments from a third party on your behalf?

      • Trilemma

        Analogies have their limits but a debt isn’t paid until the creditor actually takes possession of the payment. I’ve never had trouble depositing money in another person’s account without the bank getting permission from the account holder.

        • Craig Roberts

          Well I’ve never had a problem jaywalking. That doesn’t make it legal. You’re calling Jesus a liar and God a criminal.

          • Trilemma

            I have never called Jesus a liar or God a criminal. I’m saying the doctrine of eternal consious torment in a fiery Hell says horrible things about God’s character.

          • Craig Roberts

            I hear you. No loving father would ever actually ground their kid for life. Besides, what would be the point? Punishment is always meant to emphasize a lesson to be learned. If punishment is eternal there is no opportunity for learning. Still, you disregard the many threats of eternal damnation that our Lord himself utters throughout the Gospels.

          • Trilemma

            In some translations, it appears Jesus is making threats of eternal damnation but in other translations it obvious He is talking about punishment for a period of time and not for all eternity.

          • AndRebecca

            Actually, it says horrible things about the character of people.

          • Trilemma

            It makes God infinitely worse than parents who lock their children in a house and burn the house down.

          • AndRebecca

            God is trying to tell you that if you don’t repent, you will burn in hell and don’t blame Him because He told you so over and over and over. You can avoid Hell only by accepting Him and doing as He says.

          • Trilemma

            If the only way to avoid Hell is by accepting Him and doing what He says, then why did God make it impossible for so many billions of people to avoid Hell?

          • AndRebecca

            Read the Bible and you will learn.

          • Trilemma

            How could people living in the Americas prior to Christians arriving avoided going to Hell?

          • AndRebecca

            Do you know the history of your “faith”? I’d be happy to help you out with it. I’ve seen you on here defending socialism and now you are going after Christianity from another angle. I’m not a pastor and so it is out of my expertise to explain everything to you and it is not what a comment area is for. I do know about Unitarian beliefs and the history of the anti-Christian work that they have done. I’d be happy to go into that.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Trilemma and I are NOT unitarian. Ultimate Reconciliation or as I call it Christian Universalism, is entirely different from unitarianism. There is enough scripture in this thread form tri and I that should give you pause and make you think. If it does not, then you have a pre-conditioned mind and will never see truth. Not saying you are not saved, but am saying you will miss much of the relationship with the Father Jesus died for you to experience. And that is sad. I understand the “secret place” in Ps 91. Do you? Embrace the FACT that the Father loves ALL and will draw ALL to Himself eventually, that He really is LOVE and love does NO harm, and you will find what it is like to live in the “secret place”. I pray you will open your heart.

          • AndRebecca

            So you are part of a what you consider a new cult, and yet at the same time a heresy that you said went back a couple of thousand years. Sorry, I’m not open to people who are in such sad condition they watch a movie and join a cult. You’ve taken a couple of verses out of the Bible, misinterpreted them, and claim that is enough support for your false beliefs…You do know the Mormons believe all will be saved, and so do some other new off shoots of Christianity… Why is it people with crackpot (a word out of the Bible) theories always think they’ve found some new answer and that causes them to be smarter everyone else? As far as me being saved, it is smart of you to NOT say I won’t since your Entire Believe System rests on the silly notion that ALL will be saved! And, at least do a net search in order to find out that your cult is related to the Unitarian Church and most likely was started by a uni, since unis are behind the emergent church movement and have had a hand in the unity churches. I certainly was once in the dark just like you, and so I will hope and pray you see the light.

          • Kevin Quillen

            do you really believe in the concept of a father torturing his child FOREVER? think about it. your image of our Father needs to change.

    • JP

      You are incorrect in the application of the death of Christ. Christ died for all but not all will be saved. Christ death did not eliminate hell and damnation for many. Jesus Himself warned about the reality of hell.

      • Trilemma

        Not all will be saved from punishment but all will be reconciled as Colossians teaches. Jesus warned about Gehenna not hell.

        • JP

          Incorrect. Hell is forever. Take Revelation 20:10 where it mentions the Lake of fire:
          ” 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

          and-15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

          • Kevin Quillen

            you need to study the words “eternal”, “forever”, and “everlasting”.
            Hint……they only mean actually forever when pertaining to God.
            Was Jonah in the belly of the fish forever like he said? Jonah 2:6
            Lev 24:8…everlasting covenant? Exodus 40:15…everlasting priesthood? Exodus 21:6 “serve forever”, forever until death. Could go on, forever does not always mean forever. The Hebrew and Greek words translated as forever, eternal, etc, really mean “for an age, with a beginning and an end. They are adjectives, adjectives cannot be greater than the subject. Think about this statement……..”I have a big house and a big car”………..do you picture a car sitting next to my house that is the same size as my house? Of course not. The value of the adjective is determined by the subject.

          • JP

            The consequences of the Judgement are eternal i.e. forever, unending.

          • Kevin Quillen

            wow! That was quick research. You are wrong.

          • AndRebecca

            Eternal, forever, and everlasting mean just that. Hint, if the Bible says hell is everlasting then it is. And, you sound like you’ve eaten of the tree of knowledge.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Having been translated from Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew into English some of the words in the Bible did not have exact equivalents. This is the case with forever, everlasting, eternal, etc.. Also, there were possibly some bias in translation. Look up these words in a Strong’s Concordance and Greek and Hebrew dictionary and see for yourself. You are on very dangerous ground to just accept what your pastor or Grandma says. There are many Bible colleges and seminaries turning out preachers with Doctorates in Theology who disagree on much. How do you decide who to follow? I and apparently Trilemma have studied long and hard independently to come to our conclusions. It is easy to find info in the internet age if one really has the desire to know truth. You have exhibited as one who simply follows the herd. We have demonstrated many scriptures that should give you pause and make you think. May the Lord lead you to have enough desire to put in the time and effort to learn. Of the first 6 theological schools in early church history, 4 were Christian Universalist. DIG DEEPER

          • AndRebecca

            You are the one on dangerous ground. You’ve missed the whole point of the Bible. Christians through the centuries have gone to heaven without being able to even read. You and Trilemma don’t understand dictionary definitions of words, much less understand the Bible. At least you are starting to expose your real self by bringing up the heresy of universalism.

          • Trilemma

            and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night — to the ages of the ages. – Revelation 20:10 YLT

            “To the ages of the ages,” comes from the Greek, “eis tous aiōnas tōn aiōnōn.” The Greek word “eis” is used to express movement toward a destination in location, condition or time. It is never used to express a duration of time. The ages of the ages is not a duration of time. The ages of the ages is a destination in time when the work of reconciliation has been completed and all have been reconciled to God.

        • coloradojed

          Read Revelation 14:10-11, & Revelation 20:10.

          • Trilemma

            Both say torment lasts until the ages of the ages at which point the torment stops. The ages of the ages is when the work of reconciliation is completed and all are reconciled.

      • Kevin Quillen

        1 Tim 2:10. Jesus warned of being cast into Gehenna, the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. Not hard to understand, if salt loses it’s flavor………..
        1 Cor 15:22, Philippians 2:10, and Ps 145:21. There are many more.

    • tether

      He paid the price for All but not all are willing to accept the gift and repent

      • Trilemma

        Those who don’t repent in this life will in the next, thus, all will be reconciled as Colossians teaches.

        • Patmos

          No, Colossians doesn’t teach that. Why would one letter from Paul all of a sudden go against everything else The Holy Spirit says? You are utterly confused.

          • Trilemma

            Universal reconciliation agrees with everything else the Holy Spirit says. God is not the author of confusion.

          • Patmos

            God is not the author of confusion, but you sure are! You’ve proven that much, trying to rewrite scripture.

          • Kevin Quillen

            visit tentmaker(dot)org and hopebeyondhell(dot)com you might learn something. The history behind eternal punishment is not hard to trace. Do so and you will find that it is an invention of man for the purpose of control and money. The original language does not support the idea. Do not blindly accept modern doctrine, the majority is usually wrong. Simple concept applies here, punishment has a purpose……to correct and change behavior. Eternal punishment is just torture. Serves NO PURPOSE! If God tells us to love our enemies don’t you think He does too? Or does He expect us to do something He can’t or won’t?

          • Trilemma

            I’m not trying to rewrite the Bible. I’m trying to correct errors in interpretation. Peter warned about heresies of damnation sneaking into the church. The doctrine of eternal consious torment in a fiery Hell is one of those heresies.

          • coloradojed

            Did you learn nothing from the story of Lazarus in Luke 16?!

          • Trilemma

            The story of Lazarus is a parable using a false view of the afterlife people had.

          • coloradojed

            The story of Lazarus, whether it was just a parable or not (which is not certain based on the fact that it was the only story that Jesus told in which He used an actual person’s name) still teaches what it teaches. You can’t discount the aspects of what He taught in that parable just because it doesn’t fit your view of Hell and eternity. You’re practicing eisegesis instead of exegesis.

            In any case, have a nice life and I hope you’re not counting on seeing all your unsaved friends in heaven.

          • Kevin Carr

            Cite book chapter and verse(s), please.

          • Kevin Quillen

            1 Cor 15:22, 1 Tim 4:10, Philippians 2:10, Psalm 145:21, there are many more. Go to tentmaker(dot)org if you are serious to learn.
            Also, hopebeyondhell(dot)com

          • Trilemma

            Here’s two more in addition to those Kevin gave you.

            “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32 NIV.

            “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Romans
            11:32 NIV.

          • AndRebecca

            Don’t mess with the Holy Spirit.

          • Trilemma

            I’m not.

      • Kevin Quillen

        you make Adam’s sin and man’s “free will” more powerful than God’s love. Try 1 Cor 15:22 and 1 Tim 4:10

        • Bryan

          Kevin, you’re saying that God will force those who have rejected him to believe and receive him. You’re saying that we really don’t have a choice because God won’t let anyone ultimately reject him. So we are no longer Humans with the choice to freely love God, we are robots destined to do as we are programmed. If man ultimately has no “free will” then why allow Adam to sin in the first place? Or why allow Adam to continue living after he sinned? Why not get rid of Adam and Eve and start over with a new set?

          • Kevin Quillen

            you misunderstand what accepting Christ’s offer is and does. Acceptance puts us back in right relation with the Father. It allows us to live the life of Christ(zoe life) while we are alive and frees us from the “sting” of death. We have free will to accept the gift. If we do not accept it then when we die we will face the wrath of God and be punished until we repent and then are reconciled to the Father. Punishment has purpose. It has an end, and the end comes when the purpose is achieved. Common misunderstanding.

          • Bryan

            “Common misunderstanding”
            I am so glad I have you to contradict roughly 2,000 years of church teaching. Of course what you’re saying is not new either. Every generation since Paul has had those who believe in some form of universalism.
            For the sake of many friends who have rejected Christ, I hope you are right. For the sake of those who suffered under the oppression of some of the worst men and women in history, I hope you are wrong.

    • Bryan

      You are absolutely correct that Justice demands the punishment fits the crime. In human terms, that’s why there are human laws that deal with the crimes of man. However, human punishment has no bearing on the soul of the individual. Human justice cannot punish the soul, only the body. Therefore, human justice is incomplete.
      The reason eternal torment is necessary is for the soul. When we sin, not only is it usually a mental and/or physical act of defiance towards God. It is also a spiritual act of defiance towards God. It’s “I don’t need you to tell me how to live my life, my soul is fine on my own”. That’s the sin Adam & Eve committed against God in the Garden and why the spiritually died that day. At the end of life, the soul lives on and it would seem that as it was in physical life, it is in physical death. If it accepted Christ’s gift of salvation, then it is spiritually reborn and lives forever, glorifying Christ. If it did not accept Christ’s gift of salvation, then it is spiritually dead and forever curses Christ.

      • Trilemma

        Colossians teaches that all will be reconciled. That means a soul will not forever curse Christ but will eventually repent. Punishment is for the purpose of achieving reconciliation and is therefore temporary.

        • Bryan

          Tri, Paul is speaking to believers in that passage of Colossians 1 not to the world at large. Read further in the chapter, Col 1:21-24: 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
          Note verse 23 which says “if you continue in your faith…and do no move from the hope held out in the gospel” then you will be presented “holy in his sight…”
          Christ’s gift is for everyone, but not everyone will choose to receive it, John 1: 10-13.
          I understand where you’re coming from. There are times when I want to believe something along the lines of what you are proposing. However, I don’t see that when scripture is considered as a whole.

          • Trilemma

            Paul made a general statement and then moved to a subset of the reconciled. If I make a general statement about mammals and then start talking about dogs, that doesn’t mean the only mammals are dogs.

            Colossians 1:20 says, “and through him to reconcile to himself all things.” It does not say to reconcile to himself the elect. It does not say to reconcile to himself believers. It does not say to reconcile to himself a few. It says all.

          • Bryan

            Tri, If Paul started his message at Colossians 1:2 with an address to the world and then talked about believers specifically, your premise and example would have merit. However, that’s not the case in this scripture passage. To borrow your example, you’re saying Paul started with dogs, expanded to mammals in verses 16 to 20 and then went back to dogs in 21 to 24. I don’t think that’s the case.
            By the way, the context of Romans 11:32 is specifically about Israel and God’s covenant with them through Abraham.
            Tri, as others have said, what you and Kevin Quillen are saying goes against the whole of scripture and what theologians have discerned since the earliest days of the Church. Yes you have picked several verses that you believe support your position. And you have been challenged by other scriptures. I’ll never forget what a pastor I knew told me one Sunday morning: I can use this book (he was holding a bible) to support any premise I choose. But my job is to preach scripture as God intends it not as I want it to be. It’s your job to read and understand scripture so that you will know if I’m being faithful to my calling or leading people astray.
            You’re belief that God will reconcile all people to himself, whether they rejected Christ in this life or not, may not damn you to hell. But it will likely damn many who believe you.

          • Trilemma

            In Colossians, Paul doesn’t start out talking about reconciliation so to use my metaphor, he doesn’t start out talking about dogs. The context of Romans 11:32 is Israel and gentiles, everyone.

            Universalism does not go against the whole of scripture nor does it go against what theologians have discerned from the earliest days of the Church. Damnationism was established as the official doctrine of the Church by the government, specifically by Emperor Justinian. Would you want someone like President Trump dictating official church doctrine?

            I agree that the Bible can be used to support any premise you choose including the doctrine of eternal conscious torment in a fiery hell.

          • Bryan

            You’re right that Paul doesn’t start out talking about reconciliation but my point was that he started talking to believers and didn’t change his audience. In Romans Paul is referring to the Israelites for the previous 7 verses as they, them, etc. He is speaking to the Gentile (as in non-Jew) Romans who now believe, telling them not to now despise the Jews because they have, essentially, seen the light.
            I, and others, have shown you scripture (generally in context) that seems to disagree with your position. You have shown scripture that you’ve used to support your position. I pray that we will both understand the truth in this matter.

          • AndRebecca

            It says to the elect because that is who he is speaking to.

          • Trilemma

            Paul is talking to the elect about the reconciliation of all things on earth and in heaven.

          • AndRebecca

            No he is not.

        • Patmos

          This isn’t even close to being what scripture teaches. Why not, instead of trying to be clever and inject your own thoughts into scripture, you try to understand it?

          • Trilemma

            Why do you think you understand it better than I do?

          • Patmos

            You have understood anything. You’ve just come to your own conclusion with no scripture to even back it, all while ignoring the scripture that counters your own thought. Get over yourself.

          • Kevin Quillen

            go to tentmaker(dot)org if you serious about knowing truth.

          • Trilemma

            I backed my conclusion with Colossians 1:16-20, John 12:32 and Romans 11:32.

        • Kevin Quillen

          excellent! you are preaching truth!

        • coloradojed

          Please name the verse in Colossians that says all people will be reconciled to Christ.

          • Trilemma

            Colossians 1:16-20 says that everything created through Christ will be reconciled through Christ.

          • coloradojed

            Tri – you are misinterpreting this passage.

            Paul is describing Christians as people who have “put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Then verse 11 begins with the word “where” to show that what he is about to say is limited in its scope to the sphere of this renewed humanity he was just asking about in verse 10.

            He says, “Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man; but Christ is all, and in all.” Now if you took the sentence”Christ is all and in all” by itself, you might say that it taught universalism: “Christ is all and in all human beings without exception.” But we know that is not what he means, because the verse begins with “where” – that is here in the sphere of the church; “here” – in the new humanity that Christ is creating, He is all and in all.

            This is the way I think we are to understand Colossians 1:20. Look how the paragraph is organized. The scope of verse 15-17 is all creation. The whole universe is in view. And the point is that Christ is preeminent over all creation, because He made it and he holds it all together.

            But then in verses 18-21, the focus shifts and the scope is no longer the whole universe but the new creation, namely the church. Notice how verse 18 turns from creation to the church: “He is the head of the body, the church.” in this context of the church, we read verse 20, that “he will reconcile all things to himself in heaven and on earth.” So, the “all things” in verse 20 should be limited the same way the “all” in 3:11 was limited – to the church.

            So, in Matthew 7:13, when Jesus says “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many,” He was didn’t mean destruction, He just meant they would go to a holding cell where they would have a chance to choice not to go to hell and therefore get to go to heaven?

            And when I asked for a reference that said everyone will have a second chance to choose to submit to God I didn’t mean a misinterpreted passage, I mean show me a verse or verses that actually say after you die you will have a second chance at reconciliation with God, as opposed to Hebrews 9:27 which says it is, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgement.”

          • Trilemma

            How Paul said something in chapter 3 has absolutely nothing to do with something he said in chapter 1. That is a ridiculous argument. In Col 1:16 Paul says, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth.” In Col 1:20 he says, “Reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven. By repeating all things on earth and in heaven in verse 20, Paul re-established the original scope of verse 16. All things means all things without exception.

            Both the wide gate and the narrow gate enter into heaven. The wide gate leads to destruction or ruin in heaven but not eternal torment in a fiery hell. Universal reconciliation does not mean there will be no judgment, no justice or no punishment. But after judgment and after punishment, there is reconciliation.

          • coloradojed

            It’s very telling that in His parable about Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16), Jesus doesn’t mention a thing about the rich man just being there until he chooses to reconcile to God. He was worried that others would not go to that place of torment, so much so that he implored Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers to repent. Why would he be worried about his brothers if all he had to do was repent and he would jump to the other side? Why wouldn’t Abraham, in the story, just say, “don’t worry, you can get out of there by just choosing now to be reconciled to God.” It stretches credulity.

          • Trilemma

            It’s also very telling in the parable about Lazarus and the rich man that Jesus doesn’t say the rich man will be in fire for all eternity. It’s also strange that a man in fire would ask for only a few drops of water. Why does the rich man only want to warn 5 of his 11 brothers? Nowhere else in the New Testament is Hades described as a place of fire. Nowhere in the Old Testament is sheol described as a place of fire. Nowhere else in the Bible is Heaven described as Abraham’s bosom.

            This parable is about unbelief, specifically of the priests who were descendants of Levi who had five natural brothers and 6 half-brothers. The parable is also saying that Abraham can’t save the priests. The reason Lazarus was named was because Jesus was going to bring someone named Lazarus back from the dead. And, as Jesus predicted, it did not change the unbelief of the priests.

        • AndRebecca

          Your out of context verses apply to believers in Christ, not everyone.

          • Trilemma

            How does all things on earth and in heaven not mean all things on earth and in heaven? Col 1:20 does not limit itself to believers only.

          • AndRebecca

            Col 1:2 explains it…He’s talking to the brothers…Plus, things on earth and in heaven can be reconciled Through His Blood, that means if they believe in Him, not if they don’t, as stated in Col 1:20. No Jesus dying for our sins, no peace through His blood. If you are saved through His blood that means you are a Christian. Ditto for things in heaven. You have to believe. That is what it says.

          • Trilemma

            I agree that Paul is talking to the brothers but that doesn’t mean he is talking only about the brothers. If belief is necessary for reconciliation, then obviously all will eventually believe.

          • AndRebecca

            The reason we have the Bible is because God is talking to all of us through it. Words have different meanings and one of the meanings of the word reconcile is “to bring to acquiescense: reconcile oneself to defeat,” per my dictionary. In other words the brothers (and Christians) have to accept that sinful people, including themselves (ourselves) are not going to heaven.

          • Trilemma

            Reconcile means to bring back a former state of harmony. Just because the English word has other usages doesn’t mean the Greek word also has those other usages. You have to use the definition that matches the Greek meaning.

          • AndRebecca

            Here’s another way of saying it. Read Col 1:21-22: “You were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation….Not all are holy in His sight and so not all are saved.

          • Trilemma

            First Paul told the brothers that all will be reconciled. He then told the brothers that they had already been reconciled. Obviously, the reconciliation of the rest of all things by Christ’s physical body through death to present them holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation would happen later. Not all things are currently holy in His sight, but they will be when all are reconciled.

        • Mo

          @ Trilemma

          Nonsense. The Bible teaches no such thing.

          • Trilemma

            Colossians teaches that all will be reconciled. Colossians says that God was pleased to reconcile to himself through Christ all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven. How does all things on earth and in heaven not mean all things on earth and in heaven?

    • Patmos

      Light has come into the world, and some love darkness more than the light.

      Paul wrote that you have to lay hold of eternal life. YOU have to be the one to take it, to repent and receive salvation through grace.

      Knowing all this, why is it that you choose darkness with your complete butchering of scripture?

    • Kevin Carr

      Christ paid the price and we can have a pardon, but a pardon rejected is no pardon at all. If you confess with you mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Romans 10:9. Salvation is free to all that step up and take the offer. God sends no one to Hell, he gives you your choice.

      • Trilemma

        If the governor pardons someone in prison and the prisoner rejects the pardon, do you think the prison will allow him to continue to serve time for the crime?

        • Kevin Carr

          Not actually talking about a prison, the focus is the pardon and rejecting it. Salvation is freely given if you want to take it. Repentance, and confessing Christ as Lord is the requirement. God in his holiness cannot abide the presence of sin.

          If what you espouse (universalism) then Hitler, Stalin, Dahmer, Bin Laden, anyone need not repent, or recognize Christ as the sinless Savior, that died on the cross for everyone’s sins, will upon death, or the rapture of the Church will be ushered in to the presence of God. Why have a Great White Throne Judgement if all get in? The GWT is for judgement of non-Christians.

          • Trilemma

            Why do you think God cannot abide in the presence of sin? Didn’t Jesus abide in the presence of sin for 33 years?

            The Bible teaches that people like Hitler, Stalin, Dahmer, Bin Laden will be judged at the Great White Throne and punished justly. At the GWT, people are judged according to their works. Those whose works are good enough will find their name written in the Book of Life. Those whose names are not in the Book of Life will be in the Lake of Fire until the ages of the ages. Ultimately, all will be reconciled.

          • Kevin Carr

            As I said God cannot abide sin because of his holiness. All the unsaved will be at the GWT judgment Yes people will be judged according to their works to determine the severity of their punishment. The GWT is not for the saved the Bema seat is for the saved. Your works don’t get your name in the book of life.

          • Trilemma

            Please quote the verse that says God cannot abide in the presence of sin. Was Jesus God and did He abide in the presence of sin for 33 years?

            The Book of Life is not at the Bema seat. Why is the Book of Life opened at the GWT judgment if nobody present will have their name written in it?

          • AndRebecca

            You are putting a word in the sentence that Mr Carr did not. You say “in the presence of sin,” and he said “the presence of sin.” God is all about not abiding sin. He tells people throughout the Bible what sin is and not to do it. It is obvious to all that people commit sin, don’t you agree?

          • Trilemma

            You’re right, I did add a word unintentionally. I’m used to the assertion being worded, “God cannot abide in the presence of sin.”

            Did Jesus abide sin when he lived on Earth for 33 years?” Does God abide sin by withhold judgment and wrath?

          • AndRebecca

            Understand that words have different meanings. “Cannot abide sin” means to most people that God can’t stand sin or sinful creatures and does not want to be around them for long. However, Jesus did hang around people others would normally judge as sinful and off limits (prostitutes and tax collectors) because He saw their possibilities. But He didn’t hang with unrepentant people for very long. God certainly is wrathful and judgmental and want us to be judgmental as well, about ourselves and others as far as sin goes.

          • benevolus

            I believe the Bema Seat occurs just after the Parousia (rapture) of the Church. As a Pre-Milenialist, I belive that event is in the future, and many will accept Christ during the Tribulation, even at the cost of their lives. And if I am not mistaken, the GWT occurs after the 1,000-year Millennial reign of Christ on David’s throne in Jerusalem. Nobody will be forced to be saved, then as now. Most probably will, but people will drift from the faith, and at the end, the deceiver is released; some will follow him. So I deny that, at the GWT, there will be no names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

          • Kevin Quillen

            the “rapture ” is a fairy tale. Research John Nelson Darby. He started the modern rapture theory and Scofield bought into it and inserted it into the Scofield Bible in 1903(?) You cannot find this theory in the Bible unless you have a pre-conditioned mind.

          • benevolus

            That’s self-contradictory.

          • benevolus

            God the Father is a consuming fire. This is why he could not show His full self to Moses, but let him see only his mercy passing by. Otherwise Moses would have been burned to a crisp, as it were, as were the two sons of Aaron who lit strange (unauthorized) fire as priests under the Old covenant and were struck dead, and as those who handled the Ark wrongly in David’s day were struck dead. God the Son, being in human form, did not abide in the presence of sin. He rejected it outright, and spoke more of hell than of heaven. And Jesus did not minister on Earth as God. Scripture tells us that he emptied himself of his divine privileges and walked as a man. He even called himself the Son of Man and abjured the apostles to tell no man He was the Son of God. He was able to do this sinlessly because He only did what he saw his Father do, and, because of the virgin birth, had no sin nature in Him. So Jesus did not abide in the presence of sin, but ministered to sinners to get them out of sin, and then died on the cross to probate his own will of reconciliation by grace to all who would believe on him (and no one else). Else the Great Commission to spread the Gospel would have been unnecessary, if all people are save in the end. People need to rightly divide ALL the scriptures, not just the ones that fit their agenda.

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        “God sends no one to Hell”

        Better read your Bible. God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, not only “sends” them to Hell, He HURLS them into the Lake Of Fire.

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      “The doctrine of eternal conscious torment in a fiery hell makes God a narcissistic sadistic monster. Justice demands the punishment fit the crime. Eternal conscious torment in a fiery hell is infinitely unjust punishment for finite human crimes.”

      ONLY if you’re stupid enough to think you can sit in judgment of Almighty God AND you have devalued the blood of Christ to the point where rejecting God sending His only begotten Son to atone for the sins of all mankind is not worthy of eternal punishment. That really does show just how small your god is.

      “If Jesus death on the cross paid the sin price for everyone, then everyone is saved.”

      Almost hard to believe that someone could be utterly ignorant or oblivious to what is perhaps the most quoted verse in the Bible – John 3:16.

      “Everything that was created through Christ will be reconciled through Christ.”

      You just keep holding onto and preaching that lie. That’s called “practicing lawlessness” so ya might wanna take a little look-see at Matt. 7:21-23 because you’re standing in line waiting to hear Jesus speak.

      “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)

      “Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Rev 22:15)

      • Trilemma

        I don’t judge God. I judge what people say about God. Apparently, you believe God is so small and weak that He can only save a few people.

        Paul is the one who said that everything created through Christ will be reconciled through Christ. You’re calling Paul a liar.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          Nice try. No cigar. Try harder. You ARE judging God because HE is The One who says HE is gonna hurl you into the Lake Of Fire for practicing lying about what HE has said.

          Ya see those verses I quoted above? Those ARE the words of Jesus.

          As for Paul, Paul wrote the words and God-breathed them. I’m not calling Paul nor the Holy Spirit a liar. I just know how to properly exegete what the Scripture says and speak truthfully about what God has said.

          • Trilemma

            Yes, some will be thrown into the lake of fire but they won’t be there forever but only until the ages of ages.

            Please explain how to reconcile to Himself all things on earth and in Heaven doesn’t mean to reconcile to Himself all things on earth and in Heaven.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Yes, those thrown into the Lake Of Fire WILL BE there forever. Jesus said so. Both in Matthew & Revelation.

            Oh, golly gee Wally, I am tempted to just refer you to Matt. 7:6 but this is too good to pass up. How about you just keep reading the rest of the passage where Paul finishes his statement before changing subjects.

            “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Col 1:21-23)

            Isn’t it a bit telling and revealing that you would neglect to mention that? Could it be because Verses 21-23 show where you are since the “were” doesn’t apply to you?

            Btw, in case you’re still confused, the “who” Paul is talking to is Believers. How do I know that? Paul says so:

            “To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (Col 1:2)

            That’s called applying proper Hermeneutics while employing exegesis instead of quoting Scripture out of context to twist it like Satan does to get it to say what you want it to. So twist not Scripture lest you be like Satan.

            Now, if you still don’t understand, see John 8:47 & 1st Cor. 2:14 for why. I’ll pray the Holy Spirit illuminate your mind to the truth of those.

          • Trilemma

            Jesus never said those thrown into the lake of fire will be there forever. He said they would be there for an age or eon.

            I asked you to explain Colossians 1:16-20 and you talk about Col 1:2 and Col 1:21-23 instead. In verse 2, Paul is talking to Christians. In verses 21-23 Paul is talking about Christians. But in verses 16-20, Paul is talking about Jesus, what He has done and what He will do. Please explain how, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,
            visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or
            authorities; all things have been created through him and for him,” is referring only to the creation of Christians.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “Jesus never said those thrown into the lake of fire will be there forever. He said they would be there for an age or eon.”

            Wrong. But that’s not surprising. You’ve already demonstrated quite well that you don’t understand Jesus or His Word. The word is eternal or aiōnios.

            As for the rest of your blather all I can say is thank you for demonstrating your Hermeneutics and Exegetical methodology!

            As for providing you the explanation, I already did.

          • Trilemma

            When the New Testament was written, aiōnios did not mean eternal but meant pertaining to an age, or eonian, or millennial. The Greek word aiōnios took on the meaning of eternal as the doctrine of hell became popular. The Greek word for eternal at that time was aïdios which is used in Romans 1:20 and Jude 1:6. But aïdios is never use to describe how long people stay in the lake of fire.

            So, according to you, this is how Colossians 1:16-17 should read: “For in him all Christians were created: Christians in heaven and Christians on earth, visible and invisible Christians, whether Christian thrones or Christian powers or Christian rulers or Christian authorities; all Christians have been created through him and for him.” Who created everything else?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Wrong again. Did you read John 8:47 & 1st Cor. 2:14?

            An Atheist can read the Bible a half dozen times or more from front to back searching for all the reasons not to find God and he’ll find exactly what he’s looking for.

            The exact same thing can be aid for the Apostate & the Poser who create a ‘jesus’ in their own image.

          • Trilemma

            How can you be sure John 8:47 and 1Cor 2:14 don’t apply to you?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Because of exactly what it says. I’m a Child of God. Adopted son of the Most High God, Co-heir with Jesus Christ. Blood-bought Born Again Saint indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. A NEW Creation IN CHRIST. Blessed & highly favored Ambassador to Jesus Christ.

            Thanks for asking. Glad to share. 🙂

            It’s really not that difficult. Matt. 15:18, Mk. 7:21-23, & Lk. 6:45. Those who follow Jesus have the Holy Spirit. Those who stand in opposition to Jesus and call Him a Liar don’t.

          • Trilemma

            Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and many others also claim to be of God. Why should I believe your claim more than anyone else?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I couldn’t give two-spits less as to whether you believe me or not.
            For I know that you KNOW the truth and have rejected it. Romans 1.

            You wanna rot FOREVER in the Lake Of Fire, go right ahead. Just like the man who’s told not to rob a bank or murder but doesn’t listen. He wants to rot in jail – so be it. You wanna rot in the Lake Of Fire – so be it. Meanwhile I’ll be with Jesus in Heaven while you’re gnawing your tongue wondering why you didn’t believe the Truth but instead chose to cling to a lie and your sin!

  • Paul

    When the Shack came out I had no interest in it and have never read it, sounds like I’m not missing much. Paul Young has a series on TBN called Restoring the Shack, sad to see that network harboring such heresy.

    • coloradojed

      TBN has tons of heresy on it’s network. Much more bad than good comes out of TBN.

      • Paul

        Yea, I have to agree

        • benevolus

          But Kenneth Copeland and his fellow preachers are NOT heretics. They only are if you take them out of context, or you believe the professional haters and heresy hunters,

    • benevolus

      The Crouchs have gone home to be with the Lord. Anything can happen to that network now. As another example, compare the late John Osteen with his Son Joel. Dad preached the uncompromised Word. Son preaches a feel-good gospel for people with itching ears, “some other Gospel,” IMO.

  • Jones Howell

    Hard to understand an article written in double negatives.

  • Mo

    “But now Paul has gone a step further. He’s published a theological manifesto that explicitly denies doctrines central to the Christian faith. The cat is finally out of the bag.”

    The cat’s been out of the bag since “The Shack” came out. Even just reading what it was about was enough to make that clear! Then came the movie. I was stuck at a friend’s house and they had it on. There was not much else playing and I was too tired to leave. I didn’t have the energy to get into a long discussion about why I did not want to watch it because I had not actually read the whole book, just bits.

    To say I was horrified is an understatement – not horrified that an anti-biblical movie like this was made. I was horrified that so many Christians had so little discernment and actually supported this book and film.

  • jacobum

    To quote Bishops Sheen’s classic response to a woman who told him she didn’t believe in hell…..
    “My Dear Lady, You will when you get there”
    or even seriously consider following the advice of Dilbert to
    “Never argue with an idiot because first, they will shout you down and then beat you with experience”
    Denyism is a disease of the intellect aka pride. It’s the sin of Luther and all manner of men who have denied Truth Himself and founded their own religion in their own personal image……35,000+ denominations and counting….all claiming to be true.
    Clearly, the partisans of Satan are having a wonderful time laughing at the folly of the arrogance of man.

    • benevolus

      I agree with you until you get to Luther. The Catholic Church, and especially this Bishop of Rome, teach damnable heresies. The closer you line up with pure Catholic doctrine, the more likely you are destined for hell. This is the 500th anniversary oft he Reformation. Sola Scriptura!

  • bbb

    This book, “The Shack” is surprisingly popular in churches.
    Surprising because James de Young is absolutely right about the deceptive theology it promotes that has little to do with Christianity.
    But then, I am unaware of a lot of things.
    For instance until someone who was in Hawaii at the time told me about this I had no idea. This friend said when the 38-minute warning of an imminent nuclear missile attack blasted out over Hawaii’s islands every church on all the islands was packed and the overflow of people stood in huge groups outside the churches praying.
    Naturally the anti-Christian media did not bother to report that fact.
    Think about it.
    If you had 38 minutes left of your life would you try to find a shack, or would you go to a church where you knew God was preached, salvation was free and your eternal soul depended on it?
    Maybe it was a blessing of sorts. Maybe some people came to their senses in time to embrace God’s word and enjoy walking in the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ for a while longer before discarding their earthly tents for an eternal life in an eternal kingdom.

  • SurrogateReader

    I read the book from the view of one already in Christ and I was blessed by the love of God and forgiveness demonstrated, perhaps because I was raised in a graceless, legalistic church. I didn’t read it to critique it, as some did. God can use any tool to teach and bring us to himself. He used a talking donkey! I am not a UR. Interesting that even those not of this belief commenting on this forum cannot agree on the nature of the gospel; we must walk circumspectly praying that we be not deceived by our enemy the devil who prowls the earth, seeking whom he may devour.

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      I’m curious, how is it that one “in Christ” can read a book that repeatedly calls God, yeah even Jesus Himself, a Liar and be blessed by it? Using your rationale when Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and tells lies which look like love and forgiveness you think he’s sending blessings?

      You bring up the Gospel. Would you mind telling us what you think it is and how one is saved?

      • SurrogateReader

        I’d be happy to tell you what the gospel is. There is one God and Creator existing in three persons: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Christ was sent to earth to live as a man, to die for our sins as the perfect sacrifice, once for all. On the third day he rose from the grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, where he ever lives to make intercession for us all. I confess that I am a sinner, estranged from God and I repent and invite him to be the Lord of my life. I covenant with him to obey him out of love because he first loved me.
        Regardless of what you think of this book, the love of the Father as revealed in his Son Jesus is the most attractive force in the universe. It’s the only weapon that Satan cannot withstand. It is the only weapon God’s Church needs and sadly, it went unnoticed by some who read this book.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          That’s a pretty good definition.

          That said, I’d have to disagree with your “Regardless of what you think of this book, the love of the Father as revealed in his Son Jesus is the most attractive force in the universe.”

          As well as your “It’s the only weapon that Satan cannot withstand.” The Bible, God’s inerrant, infallible, timeless Word, says otherwise.

          Which makes me wonder if you surrendered your life as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ or a ‘jesus’ of your own making? Had you stopped with your definition of the Gospel I would not have wondered but the rest certainly raises the question.

          How do you see the Gospel Message? Is it an active powerful command from God to a God-hating spiritually-dead, totally-depraved, rebellious, stubborn, stiff-necked, sinful enemy of God that belongs to Satan OR more of a passive ever-present beseeching almost begging appeal from God who implores the one who is basically a good person that has just sort of lost their way and really doesn’t wanna hate God, cling to their sin, do Satan’s bidding, and reject all that God has for them.

          How you view the Gospel is, in large part, probably based on how you view the Sinner. And how you view the Gospel is, in large part, probably based on how you view God. And how you view those three things is how you will present the Gospel as well as what Gospel is presented.

          The question is: Do you view the Sinner and God as HE says they are?

  • benevolus

    It was warned in scripture that in the end times, there would appear deceivers, and that people would no longer endure sound doctrine. Sorrow not, for these things must needs be. Rather, rejoice, knowing that your redemption and the coming of our Lord and Savior are closer at hand! In the meantime, be watchful, for your enemy, the devil, goes about like a roaring seeking whom he can devour. This implies he can’t devour everybody. Stand on the rock of God’s Word, be not deceived, and immediately reject any prophet or teacher who says a single word that contradicts scripture.

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