Apprising Ministries functions with other soldiers against error in the mission field of online apologetics and discernment along the Internet Front of this Truth War.

Sadly, spiritual blindness continues to spread as the Lord sends 1 Peter 4:17 judgments upon the church visible and the new traditions of men within mainstream evangelicalism.

For example, look at recent AM articles like Word Faith Heretic Cindy Trill Receives Award From Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Supernatural Gatherings In The New Downgrade.

Within I’m warning you that one of these judgments is the Lord giving people over to a growing syncretism where fools become convinced God’s “dream” is to draw all Christian factions together.

They’re welcome to their sniveling Rodney King philosophy of can’t we all just get along, but they shouldn’t confuse it with the robust historic orthodox Christian faith; it’s light-years apart. In fact, they couldn’t be more wrong; Jesus is actually separating His sheep from false prophets and Satan’s hirelings.

Surveying the battlefield from this vantage point, you may recall that last time in The Shack Bible Project I introduced you to the spiritually fractured fables of John Stonecypher. His shtick is to be about:

speaking the Scriptures in the language of THE SHACK, [as] I intend to show that the book’s vision of God jives nicely with the Bible’s vision, not to mention the vision of ancient Christianity. (Online source)

Like I said these are fables; i.e. mytholoogy ala 2 Timothy 4:3-4, where Stonecypher has found universalist Paul Young to be his teacher tickling his itching ears. Today Stonecypher responded…kinda sorta:

(Online source)

The link takes us to We have been apprised where Stonecypher states:

Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has posted a page of his thoughts about The Shack Bible Project.  Go check it out and tell me what you think.  Ken’s response to my work is less than positive, but I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion…

I’m aware that what I’m doing here is pretty far off the pattern most people are used to.  Ken also has some critical thoughts to share about Paul Young and The Shack itself, and others such as Rob Bell, Richard Foster, Brian McLaren, and Dallas Willard. (Online source)

I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion either; and that I’m critical of that less than Fab Four matters in the case against Stonecypher’s polluting God’s Word, how? The truth is what Stonecypher’s done is claim he’s in line with the Christian Gospel; he clearly is not, which is why I confronted him now that he’s gaining exposure.

There’s no secret that many in and around the sinfully ecumenical cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church [1 ] love The Shack (TS); e.g. a couple of years ago I showed you what contemplative and EC fav author Eugene Peterson had to say about TS at He gushes:

When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of “The Shack.” This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” did for his. It’s that good! –Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C. (Online source)

As I said before, at least I agree with Peterson this is fertilizer alright. However, for him to even try and equate this man-centered rubbish of Paul Young to the work of John Bunyan gives us even more reason to find Peterson’s spirituality suspect. So right now let’s look quickly at a real Christian review of TS.

In Dr. Gary Gilley Shuts Up “The Shack” I brought you Gilley’s dead-on-target review of Young’s musings:

nowhere in The Shack is the reader given a clear understanding of the gospel. When Mack asks God what Jesus accomplished by dying Mack is told, “Through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.” When pressed to explain, God says that He is reconciled to “the whole world,” not just the believer (p. 192). Does this mean that all will be saved?

Young never goes that far, however he certainly gives that impression when Mack’s father (who was an awful man and showed no signs of being saved) is found in heaven (pp. 214-215), when God says repeatedly He is particularly fond of all people, when God claims that He has forgiven all sins against Him (e.g. 118-119), that He does not “do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation” (p. 223) and, contrary to large hunks of Scripture, God is not a God of judgment.

“I don’t need to punish people for sin, sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my job to cure it” (p. 120). While Young’s comment has some validity it does not faithfully reflect the teaching of Scripture which portray God as actively involved in the punishment of sin. (Online source)

Dr. James DeYoung, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary, also did a review of TS entitled Revisiting The Shack and Universal Reconciliation. That longer version doesn’t seem to be available online but it is cited in Dr. James DeYoung Revisiting The Shack & Universal Reconciliation.

DeYoung gives us this personal testimony:

Seldom does one have the opportunity to review a work of fiction written by a friend that has risen to the top of best seller lists… Who is the author?  For more than a dozen years I have known William P. Young.

We have discussed much theology in a “think tank.”  Over four years ago Paul embraced universal reconciliation and defended it on several occasions.  He claimed that universalism changed his life and his theology.

The core belief of universal reconciliation asserts that love is the supreme attribute of God that trumps all others.  His love reaches beyond the grave to save all those who refuse Christ before they die. (Online source)

Does that sound familiar to you; it should, because it’s precisely the Love Wins mythology aka Christian Universalism (CU), argued for by the Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell in his latest book. Young’s dutiful disciple John Stonecypher now fleshes it out for us:

the essence of Christ’s work in the Incarnation is that he bound the human race to himself in his very nature, making us participants in his sonship with the Father…

Jesus has accomplished this purpose [having the Father adopt mankind] without our assistance… What I’m suggesting is that the entire human race has been adopted into Christ’s sonship, but that not everyone necessarily experiences this reality… (Online source)

This is a form of CU with an option for people to “opt out” of God’s grace; though after some form of purgation time in hell, most—if not all—will opt back in as the love of their mystic mush god with a man-shaped hole in his/her/its heart eventually “wins” them back to Himself. You’ll also see Paul Young discuss it in Transcript of Interview.

You need to understand that just like the theory of evoluti0n, it’s nothing but a fairy tale for adults. In closing this, for now, I remind you that many in the Emerging Church are teaching the CU found in TS. Stonecypher gives you a very good look at what Young teaches in TS; in other words, he knows it and CU very well.

Here’s a few things for you to meditate on. First, this CU Shack-ifying of the Bible by Stonecypher is exactly what Rob Bell himself is now arguing for in his mythical Love Wins; of which Eugene Peterson says:

That’s a pretty good endorsement of its central message and in Emerging Church Progressive Theologian Tony Jones Points To Rob Bell I showed you Peterson is quite critical of those like me who would dare oppose Rob’s ruse. Says Peterson, “There’s very little Christ, very little Jesus, in these people who are fighting Rob Bell.”

*cough* A lot of hubris, anyone; but with his endorsement of both The Shack and Love Wins I’d say we’re likely getting a good look at where Eugene Peterson himself stands. It really wouldn’t be surprising; some form of universalism is where all adrift upon the sea of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism [2] eventually dock.

End Notes:

Back to note 1 — Far from dead, the upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 has been busy forging together its new form of postmodern liberal theology, a Liberalism 2.0 many call Emergence Christianity, which Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren begins laying out in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity.

Back to note 2 — This neo-Gnostic CSM, a repackaged Roman Catholic mysticism, taught by the dubious duo of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, was a core doctrine from the incetion of the Emerging Church circa 1997; it’s often referred to as so-called Spiritual Formation.

See also: