On Friday night, author and researcher Ray Yungen attended a lecture at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon to hear The Shack author William Paul Young. The name of Young’s talk was “Can God Really Be That Good?” During the talk, Young told the audience that “the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster.” He was referring to the belief that God is a God of judgment and will judge the unbelieving. Young also rejects the biblical view of atonement (wherein Jesus died as a substitute for us to pay the price of our sins). This view by Young is evident in a radio interview he had one year ago where he rejected the biblical view of the atonement. He echoes the sentiments of William Shannon and Brennan Manning, who both say that the God who punishes His own son to pay for the sins of others does not exist:
He is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased. This God whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger — a God who is still all too familiar to many Christians — is a caricature of the true God. This God does not exist. (Shannon, Silence on Fire, p. 110, also see Manning who stated the very same thing in Above All, pp. 58-59 )
Young told the audience that his book has now sold 14 million copies. He says that he believes his book has been a “god thing” to heal people’s souls because so many people have been tainted by this evangelical God.
Young said his book is so effective because when you put something in a story form it gets past mental defenses.
Young’s obvious distain for evangelical Christianity (in a derogatory manner, he said there are “1.4 million” rules in the evangelical church) is shown in his book as well when The Shack’s “Jesus” states: “I have no desire to make them [people from all religious and political backgrounds] Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa” (p. 184).
Young asked “evangelicals,” “Do you want to hold onto your darkness?” and answered for them, “No, you want to get rid of it.”