A Review of “The Shack,” -- By: Gino Geraci

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 13:2 (Fall 2008)
Article: A Review of “The Shack,”
Author: Gino Geraci

A Review of “The Shack,”1

Gino Geraci

Gino Geraci is the founding Pastor of Calvary South Denver. Gino became a believer at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. He grew in his relationship with the Lord during the “Jesus Movement” years and has been closely linked to ministries in Calvary Chapel of Chuck Smith (Costa Mesa) and Skip Heitzig (Albuquerque). He met and married his wife, Mary, in the Inland Empire of San Bernardino County. The Geraci family has three sons: Miguel, Anthony, and Jonathan. You may reach Gino at [email protected]

The Shack has generated countless comments, endless reviews, and more criticism than a presidential candidate.

Long ago in his book, A Call to Discernment, Dr. Jay Adams, noted Christian apologist and pioneer biblical counselor, used a brilliant illustration from conservative political philosopher William F. Buckley’s book, The Jeweler’s Eye:

The title is, of course, a calculated effrontery, the relic of an impromptu answer I gave once to a tenacious young interviewer who, toward the end of a very long session, asked me what opinion did I have of myself. I replied that I thought of myself as a perfectly average middle-aged American, with however, a jeweler’s eye for political truths. ... The jeweler knows value; that is his trade.2

Adams rightly pointed out that Buckley was speaking of discernment. The jeweler rightly distinguishes a common stone from a precious gem, the right mineral from the matrix and mineral, the flawed from the truly valuable. The jeweler looks at the stone and asks the questions: “What is this?” “Is it valuable?” “How can it be cut in such a way to enhance beauty and create value?” Individuals in discernment ministry—people with a jeweler’s eye for historical biblical Christianity and theological truth—have stared long and hard into the rough crystal people call The Shack, by William P. Young. It looks like a diamond, but it is not; it is common quartz crystal filled with inclusions and cracks that mar whatever value it may even have had as costume jewelry.

I am an average Christian with a jeweler’s eye for biblical truth. An interesting crystal may fool a child, but it will not fool a person who handles precious stones for a living. There is a large dark spot in Young’s work of fiction; a crack runs through it; a flaw so profound that it renders the stone useless rather than priceless.

The Shack contains subtle and not-so-subtle heresies. The Shack also contains what many Bible scholars would call “aberrant” teaching. Former Professor...

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