Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 8:11:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

For many of us The Shack by Wm. Paul Young challenged our view of the Triune God. For me it was a big push toward a more correct understanding of God. However, for others, it seemed like heresy. Clearly two opposing views of God exist within the church today, and a major step towards freedom is coming to understand which view we believe. Granted, the two views represent extremes on a spectrum and there are a lot of nuances, but the clear extremes help us to see where we live our lives in relationship to God.

C. Baxter Kruger is a theologian who has written a book entitled The Shack Revisited. Kruger's scholarly focus is the Triune God and in his book, he explains why he supports the theology behind The Shack. Kruger describes Paul Young's mission as follows:

"What Paul knows is that Papa is good, and that you are accepted as you are, and he knows that you believe that you are not." (Kruger, p. 36)

In chapter 5, Kruger describes two prevailing views of God: One view is that God is not for us because He is bound by a law of abstract justice. We have failed, so we deserve to suffer. God is angry. He is aloof and, while Jesus gives us access to God, we must continue to work for a lifetime to maintain any sense of intimacy and connection. In my words, the goal becomes one of "pleasing God." Though this may be an overstatement, this was the view of the church in which I was raised.

The other view: God is good all the time. He loves us with an incredible love. He is for us. We were completely forgiven at the cross. Kruger writes:
"Young's Papa is for us, always has been and always will be. Love is the core truth of (his) very being." (Kruger, p. 54).

From The Shack, Paul Young quotes God as saying:

"I have really been looking forward to seeing you face to face. It is so wonderful to have you here with us. My, my, my, how I do love
you!" (Young, p. 85).

When living from this view of God, our focus becomes "trusting God" instead of "pleasing God." Unfortunately, we oscillate between these two views of God, though maybe not as extremely as the first view I mentioned. But we do struggle with:

"... a thousand questions. What about wrath? What about holiness and judgment, faith and repentance, heaven and hell? God can't simply
love us because that's the way he is. Don't we have to do something?" (Kruger, p. 54)

The beginning of freedom is to understand how much we have been impacted by this first view of God and that, like a pendulum, we regularly swing back and forth between "pleasing God" and "trusting God." I encourage you to take a moment and write down your view of God in your own words, watching for conflicts between the two views. Then, pray that God would reveal His truth to you in the days ahead.
Hi Doug, Sometimes things pop out during the day that just reach up and smack us in the face with a bucket of joy! This post was one of those things. I have been – and still am – going through some vexing times. And, just this morning during prayer my prayer was "Father I just want to PLEASE You!" Your post highlighted my recent tendency to focus on my performance and helped me relax into that understanding that He knows… Resting and Trusting, leads to an easier understanding of joyful obedience when called upon – or tasked – by The Father. Thanks for redirecting the gaze of my heart!
Derek @ 10:28:00 AM 10/22/2013

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