"The Shack," an upcoming movie based on William P. Young's bestselling book which depicts God as a woman, is both "dangerous and false," Christian leaders have warned.
In an interview with the Christian News Network, book author James B. DeYoung said the content of the movie "The Shack" would be alarming for Christians if it indeed follows the storyline of the novel it was derived from. DeYoung, who wrote "Burning Down the Shack: How the 'Christian' Bestseller is Deceiving Millions," said the movie would be detrimental to the believers' understanding of Biblical teachings.
"If the film is a faithful portrayal of the events and the theology of the book, then every Christian should be gravely alarmed at the further advance of beliefs that smear the evangelical understanding of the truth of the Bible," DeYoung told Christian News Network.
In "The Shack," MacKenzie Phillips' daughter is kidnapped while on a family vacation and is presumed to have been murdered in an abandoned shack. After several years, the father receives a message from "Papa," portrayed by Octavia Spencer, asking Phillips to meet her at the shack. When he arrives at the rendezvous, he meets Papa (the Godhead), an Asian woman Sarayu (Holy Spirit), and carpenter Jesus (God the Son). The three help Phillips strengthen his faith and learn forgiveness.
California-based pastor Joe Schimmel of the Blessed Hope Chapel echoes DeYoung's worries about "The Shack." He slammed the movie's depiction of the Holy Trinity, calling Spencer's character a "pretentious caricature of God." The pastor also told Christian News Network that the film conveys a "false image of God and idolatry."
The criticisms on "The Shack" are not exclusive to the movie because the novel also had its share of negative feedback. When the book was first published, it was slammed as blasphemous. One scholar even described the book as a sign that evangelicals were caving in to the "feminist pressure" to portray God as a woman, The Washington Post reports.
Released in 2007, "The Shack" novel sold around 20 million copies. Lionsgate Entertainment secured rights to make a film out of the story and is set to release the movie in March 2017.