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 Further Discussion about "The Shack"

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topshot rhit



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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:24 pm

messiaen77 wrote:
I think for the story, a feminine view of God was important.
I'm curious if God was never a man as well in the book?

Quote :
I don't remember enough of the book to know what the parts that promote universalism are supposed to be, but I have no problem with the idea of God having already forgiven all the sins of all people and don't think it in any way conflicts with an orthodox view of sin and salvation.
I'm guessing it's the part on how God loves everyone. Well, duh! But it was also said there are consequences for sin. Double duh! OK, I'll give you that I don't recall them saying specifically that one must also repent. Frankly, you hardly hear about that from the great majority of pulpits so I don't expect it from Hollywood.

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:19 am

BearDad wrote:
alldatndensum wrote:
BearDad wrote:
kerrick wrote:

The "harm" in books/movies such as this is probably pretty minor for the discerning and biblically-knowledgeable Christian, but it's being used as a means of evangelism to people who don't know much about Christianity at all and that is a HUGE problem.  If we [Christians] are spreading false "gospels" in the Name of Christ... that is no minor detail.

Well stated. I would also add that a "harm" that comes from going to "The Shack" is the financial support you are providing the theater for showing it, and therefore the production company for producing it, and ultimately the author. Mere pennies by the time it reaches him, I know, but pennies add up. Also, the Paul tells us to avoid making weaker Believers stumble; you may feel you are grounded enough to see the movie without your faith being affected, but what about a weaker brother or sister that sees you going to the movie and therefore feels it must be OK. Just as eating sacrificed meat (the object of Paul's discussion; say "drinking whiskey" for a modern example) might not bother me, if it bothers another Believer that I do so then I should not do so.


If you are going to paint with such broad brush, then a Christian should not go to a theater EVER.  Most movies contain unblblical situations and paint sin to be just your fun choice with little recourse.   Just walking in a theater, even if you are to see a Christian film (not counting The Shack right now), would mislead people and cause them to stray.  Thus, Christians should not go to the movies, hit the Redbox, or have cable/satellite/Netflix.  Period.  That's the ONLY outcome you can have from what you just said.

Personally, I haven't seen the movie.  I will, Lord willing, but I haven't yet.  I read the books.  If you are familiar with allegory, then this is a fine piece of fiction that will give people baby steps towards the Lord.

Wow, talking about jumping to extremes. I'm not painting with a broad brush, I'm repeating what the Apostle Paul says. If what he says is too restrictive, well ...

As long as your playing the "jump to extremes" game, we better all climb into a hole and quit buying food at the local grocery store, because they sell magazines that are put out by the same companies that put out "adult" magazines, and we don't want to support them or be seen supporting them.

As for jumping to the extreme of saying no movies ever, you've just argued the stance taken by many denominational churches, at least during the 70s and 80s.



Very true.  I used an extreme to show your extreme as well and I get the opened ended "well..." thrown in to insinuate something more.  While I may have used the arguments from the past, they do show just how much fear you are sowing.  That level of fear is little more than manipulation.  If that were not true, then you would have refuted those claims rather than push them further.

I am done with this as I won't be bullied into not seeing a movie I want to see based on having read the book and knowing what is there.  When Christians take up arms against any film, they drive it into being a huge success as negative press is better than none.

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Candlemass

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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:19 am

Doubt if I will, not at least 'til it comes to the small screen. Most Evangelical films suck from an artistic standpoint, not worth the $.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:32 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Very true.  I used an extreme to show your extreme as well and I get the opened ended "well..." thrown in to insinuate something more.  While I may have used the arguments from the past, they do show just how much fear you are sowing.  That level of fear is little more than manipulation.  If that were not true, then you would have refuted those claims rather than push them further.

I am done with this as I won't be bullied into not seeing a movie I want to see based on having read the book and knowing what is there.  When Christians take up arms against any film, they drive it into being a huge success as negative press is better than none.

You touch on a very interesting aspect of our modern individualistic culture that I wonder if it is shaping our perspectives too much.  I will use you as an example but please know I don’t mean to single you out in malice or ill-will – for this is something all of us Americans/westerners succumb to, myself included.  Beardad is passionately suggesting not taking part in or supporting something because he argues that it is harmful on multiple levels – which he backs up with Scripture.  I don’t think anyone here would argue that as Christians we are commanded sternly by God to hold one another accountable and lovingly correct one another when we step out of line or are moving towards an unbiblical path.  If he (we) didn’t care about you or anyone else here, this thread wouldn’t exist.  Whether or not Beardad and I are right about The Shack being harmful, I think I can safely speak for both of us that at the root, this is our goal.  Could we have done it more lovingly?  I’m not sure really, but possibly.  But in our culture, any suggestion, imploring of change, or attempt to encourage to change is seen as overstepping one’s boundaries and “bullying.”  Our individualistic society tells us that we are all entitled to do whatever we want without anyone suggesting otherwise.  I would argue that this is extremely unbiblical and dangerous.  As the famous hymn says,

Quote :
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

We are prone to wander and God instituted the Church which among its many roles, is a means for all of us to be held accountable to biblical doctrine.  I might suggest we all take a step back and humble ourselves (myself most certainly included).

Candlemass wrote:
Most Evangelical films suck from an artistic standpoint, not worth the $.

Why is this???  Thank God He saved me how He did (raising me in a Christian household, church, Christian school...), because were I not a believer now as an adult, I would see all these terrible "Christian" movies advertised which would probably be enough to repulse me from the entire set of beliefs - not even taking into account much of the other elements of the Christian modern culture that are so hideous.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:44 pm

Not sure what this has to do w/imploring change/repentance, I would not in the least bit be concerned w/anyone seeing me going to the theater to see that move, save for being laughed at! No more than I would be if someone saw me going into a bar, something I do quite frequently...
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:52 pm

kerrick wrote:


Candlemass wrote:
Most Evangelical films suck from an artistic standpoint, not worth the $.

Why is this??? 

For the same reason so much of contemporary Evangelical art is general sucked for so long, and we can only blame low budget for so long, it's just a lame approach to art, little to no interest in excellence. How many times have you seen some band at a fest shout from the stage; "Hey, it's not about the music, it's about Jesus!" Using that as an excuse to pass off crap as art. Thank God the films are not as bad as they once were, completely laughable, but now they have the budget and they're still found wanting...
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:57 pm

Oh, and as for the "graven image" concern, lest anyone think I'm getting all "Anti-Evangelical" here, here's something for you to chew on...

http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/are-images-of-jesus-idolatrous/
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:39 am

Ask the author...

http://sheridanvoysey.com/066-the-shack-author-william-paul-young/
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:31 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
Mr. Piper believes (as I alluded to earlier) that God has caused any and every human action for all of history in order to bring himself glory. This includes rape, murder, war, sex trafficking, pestilence and hangnails. I propose that if God caused evil, he isn't really the God portrayed in the Bible or through Jesus because that God is incapable of committing or causing evil.

Not only would this make God evil, it would absolve us of any responsibility of the wrong-doing.

I do believe that God has made certain things happen, and will continue to do so. However, I don't think he's the creator of evil despite using evil events to draw glory to himself.

I don't think you have an accurate or complete understanding of Calvinism or Piper's teachings (and admittedly, I do not either).  "Mortification of sin" is a very huge theme in Reformed tradition.  I just searched "John Piper sin" and one of the first pages to pop up is directly from Piper himself (on his website).
http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-to-kill-sin-part-1
So whatever he is teaching, it's certainly very far from ever suggesting that we are not responsible for our sins.  What I think it is saying is that we are not responsible for absolving those sins.  Nothing we can do could ever justify and sanctify us: it is only by Christ's sacrifice and power that we are saved.

As for God, evil, and Calvinism... perhaps that's best saved for another thread.  Smile

Candlemass wrote:
Oh, and as for the "graven image" concern, lest anyone think I'm getting all "Anti-Evangelical" here, here's something for you to chew on...

http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/are-images-of-jesus-idolatrous/

Good article.  I agree with it.   Cool   I think the Second Commandment thing in the article I shared was a misinterpretation of the Bible.  My wife and I were discussing that article last night and its implications and both agreed that he was off-base there.  The irony there is that in that specific case, the author is doing just what he condemns The Shack's author of doing: incorrectly interpreting God's Word and thus potentially leading people astray.  I suppose I see it more as a question of our reverence towards our Creator and Savior - similar to how many Bibles, articles, and such do not capitalize "Him" or "Your" when speaking of God.  Is it wrong not to?  I don't think it probably is.  But I rather err on the side of being too reverent towards Him.  Smile  Similarly, are cartoon pictures of Jesus irreverent?  Hard to say, but I'd think the context of them would play a major role...  Either way, I don't believe this is what the Second Commandment is addressing.  Back to The Shack, is it irreverent to assign the female gender to God in the book's personification of Him, when God is very clearly always described using male pronouns and such?  (Obviously God is not male or female as we understand gender, but I hope y'all understand my question?)  Yes, God does have some traits that are ascribed as feminine such as being like a mother hen covering her young, etc., though I believe that is quite different than referring to God as "her."  Thoughts?

Candlemass wrote:
Ask the author...

http://sheridanvoysey.com/066-the-shack-author-william-paul-young/

It's hard for me to listen at work.  Is there a transcript?  Speaking of the author's own words, apparently the author of The Shack released a new book called Lies We Believe About God and from this review (from the same guy I posted of before, though I think this article is pretty spot-on), it should put to rest any questions or doubts on his beliefs.  Most of the article is just quotes from the book.

http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/what-does-the-shack-really-teach-read-lies-we-believe-about-god

Here are a few excerpts from the article, though I recommend reading the whole thing:

Challies wrote:
Chapter 2: “God is Good. I am not.” This chapter looks at the human condition. “Many of us believe that God sees us all as failures, wretches who are utterly depraved.” But the reality, he insists, is far different: “Yes, we have crippled eyes, but not a core of un-goodness. We are true and right, but often ignorant and stupid, acting out of the pain of our wrongheadedness, hurting ourselves, others, and even all creation. Blind, not depraved is our condition.” First falls the doctrine of human depravity.

Challies wrote:
Chapter 5: “God is a Christian.” In chapter five Young means to show that it is futile and even dangerous to concern ourselves with who is a Christian and who is not. “Believing (trusting) is an activity, not a category. The truth is that every human being is somewhere on the journey between belief and unbelief; even so, we perpetuate the categories of believer and unbeliever.” Rather than seeing people as being believers or unbelievers, we should understand that we are all on the same path, though in different locations along it.

Challies wrote:
Chapter 13: “You need to get saved.” Here he turns to the matter of salvation. I will excerpt this at length so you can see his full-out embrace of universalism—that everybody has been or will be saved by God.

So what is the Good News? What is the Gospel?

The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.

What or who saves me? Either God did in Jesus, or I save myself. If, in any way, I participate in the completed act of salvation accomplished in Jesus, then my part is what actually saves me. Saving faith is not our faith, but the faith of Jesus.

God does not wait for my choice and then “save me.” God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind. Now our daily choice is to either grow and participate in that reality or continue to live in the blindness of our own independence.

Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation?

That is exactly what I am saying!

Here’s the truth: every person who has ever been conceived was included in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. When Jesus was lifted up, God “dragged” all human beings to Himself (John 12: 32). Jesus is the Savior of all humankind, especially believers (1 Timothy 4: 10). Further, every single human being is in Christ (John 1: 3), and Christ is in them, and Christ is in the Father (John 14: 20). When Christ—the Creator in whom the cosmos was created—died, we all died. When Christ rose, we rose (2 Corinthians 5).


Young leaves no doubt that he espouses universalism. To further his argument, he includes an appendix on the matter.

Challies wrote:
Chapter 17: “The cross was God’s idea.” Should we be surprised that he now moves against the notion that the cross was somehow part of God’s divine plan? He borrows Steve Chalke’s language of “divine child abuse” to describe any God who would plan such a thing.

Who originated the Cross?

If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner. Frankly, it is often this very cruel and monstrous god that the atheist refuses to acknowledge or grant credibility in any sense. And rightly so. Better no god at all, than this one.

The alternative is that the Cross originated with us human beings. This deviant device is the iconic manifestation of our blind commitment to darkness. It is our ultimate desecration of the goodness and loving intent of God to create, an intent that is focused on the human creation. It is the ultimate fist raised against God.

And how did God respond to this profound brokenness?

God submitted to it. God climbed willingly onto our torture device and met us at the deepest and darkest place of our diabolical imprisonment to our own lies, and by submitting once and for all, God destroyed its power. Jesus is God’s best, given willingly and in opposition to our worst, the Cross.

When did God submit? Not only in Jesus incarnate but before the creation of the world, according to Scriptures (Revelation 13: Cool. God knew going into the activity of creation what the cost would be. That God’s own children, this highest order of creation, would one day make the final attempt to kill Life.

And how would we religious people interpret this sacrifice? We would declare that it was God who killed Jesus, slaughtering Him as a necessary appeasement for His bloodthirsty need for justice.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:47 pm

kerrick wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
Mr. Piper believes (as I alluded to earlier) that God has caused any and every human action for all of history in order to bring himself glory. This includes rape, murder, war, sex trafficking, pestilence and hangnails. I propose that if God caused evil, he isn't really the God portrayed in the Bible or through Jesus because that God is incapable of committing or causing evil.

Not only would this make God evil, it would absolve us of any responsibility of the wrong-doing.

I do believe that God has made certain things happen, and will continue to do so. However, I don't think he's the creator of evil despite using evil events to draw glory to himself.

I don't think you have an accurate or complete understanding of Calvinism or Piper's teachings (and admittedly, I do not either).  "Mortification of sin" is a very huge theme in Reformed tradition.  I just searched "John Piper sin" and one of the first pages to pop up is directly from Piper himself (on his website).
http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-to-kill-sin-part-1
So whatever he is teaching, it's certainly very far from ever suggesting that we are not responsible for our sins.  What I think it is saying is that we are not responsible for absolving those sins.  Nothing we can do could ever justify and sanctify us: it is only by Christ's sacrifice and power that we are saved.

As for God, evil, and Calvinism... perhaps that's best saved for another thread.  Smile


Stupid

I was confused by your response for a second until I re-read what I wrote; I was very unclear. In this article, Piper says this:

He quoted Joseph as saying to his brothers after they had sold him into slavery, as recorded in Genesis 50:20: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."
Piper said he had often heard this text misquoted. Some Christians think Joseph's brothers meant evil as they sold him into slavery to get rid of him, which was evil, a sin, but God used that incident for good. "That's not what it says, and there's a big difference," he said.
"God didn't watch it happen, and say, 'What am I going to do with this. Oh, I will make him vice president of Egypt; we'll turn it all around.' God never watches anything merely; He is always sustaining, acting. So He meant it," Piper said, quoting from Psalms 105, which says that God sent Joseph to Egypt to keep alive a people. "God had a plan to keep alive a people, and that is the way sin works."

So as I understand it, God didn't see the evil his brothers did to him and then use it for good. He actually caused (predestined, ordained, whatever verb you want to use there, Piper actually said sustained) to make sure it happened so he could then use it.

Piper (and other Reformed/Calvinist teachers) teach that we are responsible for our actions. But if God ordained (caused/predestined) every single thing we do, how can we be responsible for any of it? We would then be automaton just doing whatever struck God's whimsy at the moment.

Again, I don't intend to argue and hope I don't come across that way. I'm merely trying to explain the point I made very poorly earlier.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:16 pm

Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying. Smile Yeah the whole topic of predestination is one I doubt Christians will ever agree upon until we're all up in heaven with God haha.

As for what you quoted above, I honestly don't know what to think. Even at the previous church I attended (effectively non-denominational, Armenian), it was taught that what happened to Joseph was very intentionally a crucial part in God's ultimate plan to bring salvation to the world through Christ. There are instances of God hardening Pharaoh's heart, etc., which seem like He was indeed causing him to sin. But what about free will? I don't believe the Bible teaches that we are automatons, as you said, but I'm also not confident that is just what Piper is suggesting either. I'll have to look more into that. Good stuff. Smile (I wonder if we should start a thread on predestination/the elect or we might already have one?)
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:52 pm

"Mortification of Sin" was a huge theme in Church tradition long before the "Reformation" came along, and a bit longer before Mortification came on the scene... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:33 am

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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:29 pm

Now THAT is funny!!!  lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:31 pm

"Shaq-Foo!"
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:30 pm

My wife and I went and saw this last night.  My mind about the film/book has not changed.  I realize that it is a work of fiction and should be taken that way.  I don't see it as harmful as some have challenged.  I could see this being a good way to open a conversation about who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit really are.  I am glad that I saw it.

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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:12 pm

kerrick wrote:
 Back to The Shack, is it irreverent to assign the female gender to God in the book's personification of Him, when God is very clearly always described using male pronouns and such?  (Obviously God is not male or female as we understand gender, but I hope y'all understand my question?)  Yes, God does have some traits that are ascribed as feminine such as being like a mother hen covering her young, etc., though I believe that is quite different than referring to God as "her."  Thoughts?
Completely 100% disagree with you here.  Since God is truly neither male nor female, our use of gendered language to refer to God is purely our way of relating to a being/entity that lacks a gender.  It is convention based in the patriarchal nature of human society--we associate masculinity with authority.  So referring to God as "She" or "Her" or even "Mother" is really no more or less irreverent and disrespectful than "He," "Him," or "Father."  Quite frankly (and I mean no personal disrespect to you at all Kerrick), I think the reason we see referring to God in the feminine as somehow disrespectful is that our society tends to devalue the feminine, so we see a reference to a feminine God as in some way diminishing God.


I have so much say on the Piper part of the conversation, but I'm keeping my mouth shut until such a time as a new topic is started.  
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:43 pm

^Cool. Cool Can't say I fully ascribe to the notion of referring to God as feminine to be disrespectful, though it's a question that should be asked I think. It seems to be one of the bigger issues people have with The Shack. I'd err on staying consistent with the Bible, though may not be so quick to call heresy because of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:51 pm

messiaen77 wrote:
kerrick wrote:
 Back to The Shack, is it irreverent to assign the female gender to God in the book's personification of Him, when God is very clearly always described using male pronouns and such?  (Obviously God is not male or female as we understand gender, but I hope y'all understand my question?)  Yes, God does have some traits that are ascribed as feminine such as being like a mother hen covering her young, etc., though I believe that is quite different than referring to God as "her."  Thoughts?
Completely 100% disagree with you here.  Since God is truly neither male nor female, our use of gendered language to refer to God is purely our way of relating to a being/entity that lacks a gender.  It is convention based in the patriarchal nature of human society--we associate masculinity with authority.  So referring to God as "She" or "Her" or even "Mother" is really no more or less irreverent and disrespectful than "He," "Him," or "Father."  Quite frankly (and I mean no personal disrespect to you at all Kerrick), I think the reason we see referring to God in the feminine as somehow disrespectful is that our society tends to devalue the feminine, so we see a reference to a feminine God as in some way diminishing God.


I have so much say on the Piper part of the conversation, but I'm keeping my mouth shut until such a time as a new topic is started.  

 Jesus refers to God as the Father. "I can only do what I see my Father do."


And, I read somewhere years ago that the word that refers to the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is a feminine word. In which case, you have a Father, a Mother and a Son, all in one Triune God.

As far as the Piper thing, if I offended you I apologize. I know Calvinism/Reformed thought is pretty popular and I meant no harm. Just sharing why I disagree with the guy.
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:00 pm

messiaen77 wrote:
kerrick wrote:
 Back to The Shack, is it irreverent to assign the female gender to God in the book's personification of Him, when God is very clearly always described using male pronouns and such?  (Obviously God is not male or female as we understand gender, but I hope y'all understand my question?)  Yes, God does have some traits that are ascribed as feminine such as being like a mother hen covering her young, etc., though I believe that is quite different than referring to God as "her."  Thoughts?
Completely 100% disagree with you here.  Since God is truly neither male nor female, our use of gendered language to refer to God is purely our way of relating to a being/entity that lacks a gender.  It is convention based in the patriarchal nature of human society--we associate masculinity with authority.  So referring to God as "She" or "Her" or even "Mother" is really no more or less irreverent and disrespectful than "He," "Him," or "Father."  Quite frankly (and I mean no personal disrespect to you at all Kerrick), I think the reason we see referring to God in the feminine as somehow disrespectful is that our society tends to devalue the feminine, so we see a reference to a feminine God as in some way diminishing God.


I have so much say on the Piper part of the conversation, but I'm keeping my mouth shut until such a time as a new topic is started.  



Taking your thoughts and applying them to the movie, this is even less of an issue that one would think.  While God is played mostly by an African-American women, the character's name is PAPA.  Even when she is referred to by one of the other parts of the Godhead, she is still called Papa and gender is never really applied.  God only appears to Mack this way because of his pathetic relationship with his earthly dad.  Papa explains that this is only what Mack needed for now.  When the time came for Mack to face the death of his daughter, Papa was male and walked with him.  Besides, if Satan can appear as an angel of light, I reckon God could temporarily appear as George Burns, Morgan Freeman, or even Octavia Spenser.

The scene with Mack and Jesus racing across the water was cool.  If ever there were a scene of heaven, that would be it!

_________________




I might have decided, or maybe not, that I should or shouldn't, depending on the issue or non-issue, to possibly share or not share, any thoughts, opinions, or facts (that might not be deemed factual by some), due to possible fear of any misinterpretation or retribution.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:36 pm

messiaen77 wrote:

I have so much say on the Piper part of the conversation, but I'm keeping my mouth shut until such a time as a new topic is started.  

You should start that new topic!
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:34 pm

All of us (the body of Christ) are the bride of Christ. Regardless of gender. Just sayin'
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PostSubject: Re: Further Discussion about "The Shack"   Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:39 am

kerrick wrote:
^Cool.  Cool  Can't say I fully ascribe to the notion of referring to God as feminine to be disrespectful, though it's a question that should be asked I think.  It seems to be one of the bigger issues people have with The Shack.  I'd err on staying consistent with the Bible, though may not be so quick to call heresy because of it.
Oops, mea culpa.  I misread what you had written as saying it was irreverent.  Dang old-man eyes get me in more trouble...
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