What is Paul Young’s book “The Shack” really about?

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Paul Young certainly has his timing down as he is following hot on the heels of his book turned into a movie with a theological treatise so as to get his fans to fully embrace his views. There is one aspect of his views that I will focus upon and that is the psychology of his theology.


Paul Young certainly has his timing down as he is following hot on the heels of his book turned into a movie with a theological treatise so as to get his fans to fully embrace his views. There is one aspect of his views that I will focus upon and that is the psychology of his theology.

We got hints of this via statements made by James De Young who personally knows, and disagrees with, Paul Young: see The Shack book & movie – trailer & interview and Book: James De Young “Burning Down the Shack”.

Now we will delve into observations made by Professor of Psychology Paul Vitz, New York University, noted that Sigmund Freud speculated that humanity invented the idea of God due to seeking a father figure (this is a form of the logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy). Vitz turned this around and studied the life of various prominent Atheists and concludes that their rebellion against God stemmed from their rebellion against their abusive, absentee, or aloof fathers, “…for every person strongly swayed by rational argument [in favor of atheism], there are countless others more effected by non-rational psychological factors”—his book on this subject is Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism.

With this as background, I heard Matt Slick (Book Review: The Lies We Believe About God, by Paul Young) make a reference to Paul Young’s daddy issues and knew that the above can then be applied to those seeking to twist and turn traditional Christian theology into something which the discerning will recognize as something unrecognizable. Paul Young has done this through “The Shack” in a novel form and does this all the more, even emphasizing his universalist views, in his new book “Lies We Believe About God.”

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Firstly, note some of Paul Young’s my dear diary-like statements which are revealing about his experiences and views on “religious” people based on the “religious environment” he experienced. To him they have “minds darkened by religious indoctrination” and “patriotic fundamentalists are much scarier than religious fundamentalists.”
He also refers to those who exhibit “religious superiority,” just like himself I might add. He also refers to “grim determinism,” that he felt he was under the “dread and specter of eternal conscious torment” and that Jesus’ gracefully loving giving of Himself for sin was “necessary appeasement for his bloodthirsty need for justice.”

Well, we can see whence he builds his theology and it is on the back of a “rigid, religious family” with a father who “was too often terrifying. Being around him was like walking through a minefield” and who fluctuated “from absent to fearlessly present.”

Thus, his books are not about God but about Paul Young sitting in a public psychiatrists couch—and I was very serious about his my dear diary-like statements. The problem is that he is taking millions of naturally rebellious fallen human beings down with him as he subjectively paints a picture of a god made in his own image so as to invent a neo-daddy.
Thus, Paul Young’s book “The Shack” is really about his imaginative conception of his god and universalism. In this case, the Lies We Believe About God are the ones that Paul Young is telling us.

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