Author of The Shack

Scandalized by the Substitute:  
A Response to Young and Gungor
by Owen Strachan for 
The Gospel Coalition
The doctrine of atonement for sin is-or at least has been-at the center of Christian faith and practice since Jesus’s earthly ministry. But in recent days, various voices have raised objections to the cross. Musician Michael Gungor 
called the atonement “evil” and “horrific” on Twitter, decrying a God who would mandate blood sacrifice for sin. William Paul Young, author of the 20-million-copy-selling The Shack, concurs. In his new Lies We Believe About God, Young says of Christ’s death:
 
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.
 
Don’t miss this: The most popular Christian writer in our time labels the biblical God a “cosmic abuser.” Ancient false teaching returns.

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Decluttering Is Not True Freedom

Minimalism Is Not the Gospel
by Megan Hill for
The Gospel Coalition
I was once a minimalist.

Faced with the need to sell our house quickly, my husband and I (with the help of my mother-in-law) packed every belonging not strictly necessary for sustaining life and carted it off to a local storage unit. Our out-of-season clothes, extra chairs, and bulky file boxes disappeared in a single afternoon. Gone were the tangled cords of phone chargers and the riotous color of children’s art projects. No longer did our refrigerator door bristle with missionary prayer cards, or our bookshelves sag under the weight of Bible commentary sets. In their absence, our home became a minimalist temple-an open-concept sanctuary with gleaming surfaces and unadorned white walls.

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The Shack & Evangelical Discernment

The Shack–The Missing Art 
of Evangelical Discernment
by Al Mohler
“The theorized submission of the Trinity to a human being–or to all human beings–is a theological innovation of the most extreme and dangerous sort.”
The publishing world sees very few books reach blockbuster status, but William Paul Young’s The Shack has now exceeded even that. The book, originally self-published by Young and two friends, has now sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. It is now one of the best-selling paperback books of all time, and its readers are enthusiastic.

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Campus Outreach Racial Progress

Stewarding a Multiethnic Campus
by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra for
The Gospel Coalition
 
 

It is hard to get whiter than Campus Outreach was in the late 1970s.
The interdenominational campus ministry originated in Birmingham, dubbed by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 as “probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
 

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The Shack

What Does “the Shack” Say About Your Pain?
by David Mathis for Desiring God Ministries
 
The Shack movie releases in theaters this weekend, as this year marks the tenth anniversary of Paul Young’s self-published novel of the same title. The book appeared in 2007, and traveled through the wider Christian market to become a global phenomenon. By early summer, 2008, more than one million sales were reported, and by the end of 2009, more than ten million.

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Teenagers & Friends

How to Help Your Teenager Choose Friends
by Jaquelle Crowe for The Gospel Coalition
 
When I was 13, I suddenly made a lot of friends. It happened when I joined the drama club. I immediately clicked with the core of kind and passionate teenagers, and we bonded over our love for theater and shared desire to create meaningful conversations on stage. We attended each others’ birthday parties, threw cast parties, and saw each other weekly at rehearsals.

But three years later I left the club, and things changed. The friendships began to fade. The glue that held our relationships together-drama-was gone, and without it our “close” friendships fizzled out.
 

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A Place for Judging Others

 
Taking Back Christianese #8: 
 “It’s Not My Place to Judge Someone Else”
by Michael J. Kruger
 
We live in a culture where the thing that is most offensive is not doing something wrong, but telling someone else that they are doing something wrong.
Bad behavior gets a pass.  Calling it bad behavior does not.

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The Shack

The Shack–The Missing Art of 
Evangelical Discernment
by Albert Mohler
The publishing world sees very few books reach blockbuster status, but William Paul Young’s The Shack has now exceeded even that. The book, originally self-published by Young and two friends, has now sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. It is now one of the best-selling paperback books of all time, and its readers are enthusiastic.
 

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Singleness

5 Things Singles Wish Married Couples Knew
by Jennifer Grisham for  
The Gospel Coalition
As my church has been going through 1 Corinthians, we’ve talked a lot about marriage and singleness. Ever since we looked at 1 Corinthians 7, I’ve had interesting conversations with my single and married friends.
In my experience, here are five things singles wish married couples knew. 
 

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Pilgrim Love

What Real Love Looks Like
by Ray Ortlund for The Gospel Coalition

William Bradford, leader of the Pilgrims, describes the remarkable love with which they cared for one another during that horrible first winter:

“But that which was most sad and lamentable was, that in two or three months’ time half of their company died, especially in January and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvy and other diseases which this long voyage and their inaccommodate condition had brought upon them. So as there died sometimes two or three of a day in the foresaid time, that of 100 and odd persons, scarce fifty remained. And of these, in the time of most distress, there was but six or seven sound persons who, to their great commendations, be it spoken, spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them. In a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren; a rare example and worthy to be remembered.”

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, edited by Samuel Eliot Morison (New York, 1953), page 77.

“Love one another earnestly.” 1 Peter 1:22