The Shack Bible Project?
For those of you unfamiliar with William P Young’s The Shack, it is a novel about a man who goes through tragedy only to meet God as a black Aunt Jemima (without the pancakes though), a self-deprecating Jew, and a quiet Asian woman. No, seriously it is. While there have been plenty of posts via the Internets about the heresy of God as a woman, blah blah, blah, the most disturbing thing about the book is its representation of racial minorities as well as Young’s unwillingness to acknowledge racial blindspots throughout the book. I’ll hesitate to say more given that I am currently finishing up an article based on the research and joint presentation with a colleague of mine.
But now comes word that there is a Shack Bible paraphrase in the works. That’s right, the Bible is being re-paraphrased for fans of the Shack by someone who sees similarities between the Shack’s theology and patristic thought. Personally I do not see it. I am afraid that Young’s deity is right in line with the god of Marcionism, where YHWH’s just and righteous nature is replaced with the liberal Eurocentric god of mainline Protestantism, since laws and regulations should no longer be found in Scripture according to Saraya (the Asian lady/Holy Spirit figure). That, and the notion that Jesus somehow refudiates the notion that he is from the Ancient Near East, dismissing his Jewishness in The Shack leads me to become more suspect of The Shack’s cultural imperialism as well as any Bible translation or work giving it an uncritical glance.