Never one to back away from controversy, and having recently see the movie of The Shack, based on the book by Wm. Paul Young, I was eager to read his latest book, Lies We believe about God.
Some people who are offended by the theology in Lies We Believe About God suggest that it starts with the yin/yang on the cover. I think that is stretching it somewhat. However, I exert my own warnings about the departure from mainstream Christian doctrine expressed in Young’s book.
I do encourage Christians to think for themselves, but so few have a comprehensive grasp of what Christianity actually teaches. We really should bring catechism classes back.
Young makes Christianity comfortable and popular. He states that everyone is already reconciled to God. This is a heresy known as universalism in which there is the belief that God saves all people or creatures in the entire universe. There are a lot of scriptures which counter this heresy. Matthew 25:46 talks of eternal punishment and eternal life. Mark 3:29 speaks of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit being the unforgivable sin. 2 Peter 3:7 speaks about day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. Revelation 20:10 speaks of the devil being thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone.
Heresy is nothing new. Most of the early church councils dealt with various heresies. The way of cults is to denounce traditional theology and then to replace them with new teachings, usually beliefs that contradict scripture. It is usually not blatant, and the lies are woven in with truths. Sometimes people are affirmed for having knowledge other Christians stuck with traditional theology don’t have or refuse to see. No wonder some people are attracted to heresy. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 addresses those who will not endure sound doctrine, but choose teachers who will turn their ears from the truth.
I certainly think that this is a great book for mature Christians to be reading, discussing, debating, thinking and talking about. Perhaps use it as a tool for learning sound orthodox doctrine in cell groups, bible studies and prayer gatherings. But please be aware at all times that much of it is heresy and it needs careful and prayerful reflection.
- Title: Lies We Believe About God
- Author: William Paul Young
- Publisher: Simon & Shuster UK
- Distributed in South Africa by: Jonathan Ball Publishers
- Date: April 2017
- Recommended selling price: R270
- ISBN: 978 1 4711 5239 9