I had actually started another entry on this book this past Sunday after church. It came up in three different instances and I think that the questions/feelings/insights elicited were worth sharing…and I’ll still share them, but I wanted to get this out there first.
Let me begin with this statement, “I was duped!” As someone who likes to think he knows the Word pretty well, as well as someone pretty aware of the movements out there trying to pass themselves of as Christianity, I was duped, at least partially.
As mentioned in my review, I kept a running list of those things which I found theologically unsound and dishonest. In response to a friend who felt strongly about the book, I created a document where I expounded upon my list. I took each page number that had something I found problematic and I wrote a short synopsis of the problem. The instance where I was duped takes places on page 172. What follows is what I wrote in that other document….
Pg 172-To me with the question of the character Sophia, the author is casting doubt, to an extent of the Trinity. In one breath he claims that she is not part of it, yet the next he claims that she is very real and obviously a part of God. So, do we have a Trinity or something else? Confusion. How would this play with a new believer, seeker, or someone struggling with their faith?
Obviously I caught that there was a problem there, which is why I say I was partially duped. It just didn’t sit right with me. Turns out that I only had part of the problem figured out. Thanks to “pottermom” who commented in the comment section of the original review, I was made aware of something called the “Sophia Movement”. Google it, it is quite shocking. Near as I can tell, it is a concept steeped heavily in Easterm Mysticism, as well as the “mother earth” types, which certainly fits with both the Sophia character in the book and Emergent Philosophy. However, what I found especially troubling was this little nugget, in Russian Sophiology, Sophia is THE FOURTH PERSON OF GOD!!! Go back and check my synopsis again.
I had no clue that there was a such thing as the Sophia Movement, nor did I realize that as I read this book, this book being ate up by Christians and being hailed by some as the second coming of the Bible, that I was also being steeped in Eastern Mysticism. How exactly does that fit/coexist with Christianity?
Here are my questions/thoughts for people to ponder. I by no means consider myself some great theologian. But I do know the Word and a fair degree of its history. If I have two gifts (and no, they were not discerned by a spiritual gift inventory) it is that I consider myself pretty good at cutting straight to the heart of scripture (we try too hard to complicate things) and if I don’t know the answer, I won’t tell you that I do. I’ll do my due diligence to find out and understand. Secondly, I consider myself fairly well schooled on the those beliefs/practices/people trying to pass themselves off as Christianity.
As I settled into The Shack, certain “buzzwords” and thoughts/ideals began to jump off the page at me. This was early on in the book, which of course caused me to examine and scrutinize every detail from there on out(it wasn’t hard, the author wasn’t shy about sharing). I’m certainly not going to beat up on something, just for the sake of doing so. So, I was careful in how I read and interpreted the book. What was the context? Could it be taken a different way? I tried to look at everything from every angle just so I could be fair and honest.
How many people are going to read this book as I did? How many people have the tools or time to do so? I was someone looking for “problem” areas and I missed a HUGE one. Is a new believer going to see these things? Is someone searching for God for the first time going to be cognizant of these things? How would some of the devout Christians who are hailing this book feel if they knew the deceit hidden right before their eyes?
But what does it matter? If it makes you feel good….It does talk about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit after all….Far too many people are taking this book as something revolutionary, as something that should be viewed as a companion piece to the Bible and it is truly heartbreaking. More to follow soon….