Tim Keller wrote a piece recently on The Shack. (Here is Mohler’s piece). It felt like something he didn’t want to do but had to do do because of the popularity of the book. (This sounds like an MO for some leaders in the reformed community – they resist being informed and aware of what is moving through the church because it is beneath them. I have a lot of respect for Keller and think he is a breath of fresh air in the reformed ghetto. But there is still this tendency to be removed from something that almost the whole church likes or is moved by).
His piece is by and large negatively critical. Piper reaffirms Keller’s opinion piece in a recent tweet.
Why, O why? Why, O why? Such people see it as undermining some traditional doctrines of the church. John Piper tweets “”The Shack deconstructs the holiness and transcendence of God.”
I don’t think so, anymore than “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
I think that what Piper and company fail to grasp is that it is exactly the transcendence of God so many see, per Romans, where Paul writes that everyone sees God’s supreme power, though it might be a truth they work to suppress. What people don’t really get is that God outrageously loves and draws near to people like we know ourselves to be and that all things serve the purpose of that love. Perhaps it is here that I part ways with the default mode of the reformed community. Tell people that God is holy and the reformed applaud and rejoice. Tell people that God loves them and they rush in with a thousand qualifications.
I read The Shack. I fell in love with our Trinitarian God all over again. I didn’t believe He was less glorious, less powerful, less holy. I experience the power of His love for Himself and the overflowing abundance of the dancing love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Christians that I know who have read The Shack don’t end up denying the holiness and transcendence of God or diminishing these attributes. They end up on their knees worshiping, grateful for the love of God.