(By Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post). Debate continues to swirl around the new film “The Shack,” based on the best-selling novel, as notable Christian leaders contend it contains theological inaccuracies and Christians must be watchful.
In a Thursday interview with The Christian Post, Carmen Fowler LaBerge, host of “The Reconnect” radio program, believes that the book and movie proves biblically problematic on some important fronts.
“[Media company] Lionsgate has sought to address some of concerns about the book by framing the movie in the context of the unconscious,” LaBerge said of the controversy surrounding the film. “And so, we don’t theologically have the same expectations of the way the mind works in its unconscious state. “
But those efforts to respond in this manner were due to some of the strongest criticisms of the film, namely, the representation of God not only as Trinity, but the Father and Spirit shown in human form, she noted. Such physical representation “is contrary to the way the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments represent Father and the Spirit,” she said.
Yet some protest that people are making too big of a deal about the movie, particularly because it is explicitly a work of fiction and never claims to be the Bible. CP asked LaBerge what makes William Paul Young’s The Shack different from other works of fictitious allegorical literature that draw upon biblical themes like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Aslan the lion is the Christ figure in Lewis’ book and is the only person of the Trinity that is physically represented but nowhere is he explicitly called “Christ” or “Jesus,” she said.
But “in The Shack, the characters identify themselves as the Trinity and they identify themselves specifically as individual members of the Trinity.”
The average American, she noted, probably would not even understand “how thin we’re trying to slice the theological pie here.”
“And so my concern really is that tens of millions of people are going to see this movie. And lots of people are going to identify with the depths and reality of pain and the infliction of evil in life” and the legitimate questions about God’s place in it all, LaBerge said.
The movie answers these things “in a way we should be in conversation with,” she continued. LaBerge herself has authored a backgrounder resource on how to do exactly that.