Since Christmas I have been working around the clock on a book on The Shack. For the next stretch I will be posting some of the material I am working on. By now, The Shack has probably become the best selling book in history, apart from the Bible, or at least it is close to it. Well over 11 million copies have been sold in about 30 languages. At least ten more translations are in the works. The wild, global popularity of The Shack in itself tells me that there is serious spiritual hunger in people’s hearts. I hope and pray it is a sign of the passing of the Augustinian captivity of the Church. Perhaps I am too critical of Augustine, but he is the Father of Western Christianity, and that version has handed down the deadly quagmire of deism, legalism and rationalism—the unholy trinity of the Latin West.
So much has been written on The Shack (pro and con) but I think the vast popularity of the book speaks for itself. The world is desperate for the God portrayed within the pages of The Shack. Listen up, world!! Good news!!! Great news!!! He is that God!! The Good News of the Gospel...if you've seen me, you've seen the Father!! Hooray. But...I digress.
Upon reading this blog post, it reminded me of a post of my own that I started to write a while back comparing a point of theology between a quote from The Shack and a quote from kingdom minister of yesteryear...Ray Prinzing.
It touches on the total sovereignty issue....a horse I've beaten to death in my mind many times!! I am dredging my post from the queue....
On EU there was a recent thread called Salt and Peace. It was a long thread...and honestly, I only had a chance to skim over some of the posts. The topic? The problem of evil. Exactly what is evil? Where does it come from? When we deem something evil are we eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? How about when we deem something good? Same tree?
Some of the posters seemed to look at evil as an illusion. That really doesn't work for me. I look around me and I see evil in the world. If it is an illusion...man oh man, is it ever convincing!!
Does evil come from the hand of God? Great minds have pondered THAT question down through the ages. So following are two of the many things that have been said and written about the POE. The Problem of Evil.
Are these two unlikely folks ("Papa" from The Shack) and Ray Prinzing expressing similar thoughts?
“Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies.”
So, what about the evil we suffer? Did God cause this? Certainly not in the sense that He would speak a word into a man, saying, "rape this child." Absolutely not! We will not "charge God foolishly." (Job 1:22). However, as Creator, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CREATION, so the ultimate charge is laid at His feet.
If He allowed it, in a sense He is responsible for it. He has, however, given man a limited amount of freedom for self-expression, and it was out of this evilness in the wicked heart of man that the deed was wrought. An example: you have a man with a dog on a leash, and the dog bites a child. The man did not deliberately bite the child himself, nor did he command the dog to do so, yet, because the man held the leash, we lay the ultimate charge on him. Satan is the dog on God's leash. God has the power to control him, yet He allows the adversary to cause much havoc. So what is the answer? Look past the dog, look past the leash, and SEE THE HAND OF GOD IN ULTIMATE CONTROL!
Prinzing's message is usually total sovereignty but he back pedals a bit here when asked flat out by a woman who was repeatedly sexually abused during her childhood. Did God plan it or not?
More fodder to ponder on this issue that used to haunt me, hound me, torment me.