Recovering Friendship – This podcast rambles over quite a few topics related to counseling, but the one which really jumped out to me was the importance of figuring out how we do friendship and community in the church. If the appeal of many social rivals to Christianity is that they do genuine relationships well, how much more should the body of Christ make it clear that we love each other? While we all give appropriate lip service to this, we really have retreated into our relatively closed family units. I actually think that they make a good point about being willing to have a narrower but deeper group of friends. It’s not that you need to be friends with everybody, in a superficial, Facebook-y kind of way, but you should have a willingness to let other people come into your space without being quite as guarded as our habits usually require.
Reviving a Church – While I would not be so gloomy as to suggest that my church (as well as many others in the BPC) are “dying,” I do think that these correctives are worth considering as counters to churches which have built up a huge amount of institutional momentum. There’s a reason that established churches tend to have a hard time bringing people into the kingdom, and a large part of that difficulty is what I referred to as “institutional momentum.” All the ways we do things have been defined rigorously, and often, it’s difficult to see what we do because it’s biblical and what we do for other reasons. Maintaining a healthy willingness to acknowledge that, even if we change some of the circumstances of the way we do ministry, we can still be faithful to the biblical essence of that work is valuable in stopping the accumulation of unbiblical baggage in our churches.
The Shack presents God in human flesh. It makes the infinite finite, the invisible visible, the omnipotent impotent, the all-present local, the spiritual material. In its visual portrayal of God it diminishes, it obfuscates, it blasphemes, it lies. Even though I would watch the film to help others interpret it and to bring correction to error, I would still be subjecting myself to a false, blasphemous portrayal of God. I cannot allow myself to watch it even for that purpose. I cannot and will not watch or review it.Tim Challies
Nuff said, although you can heap the heresy on if you want to get into the particulars of the book. If you weren’t aware, most of what passes for “Christian” literature and “Christian” movies in popular culture is worse than tripe; it’s damaging, doctrinally and spiritually.