Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finding God in The Shack?

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Finding God in The Shack is the title of a recent book by Roger E. Olson, professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. My immediate reaction to the title is that if God really were in The Shack (go here for my post on that book), a book such as Dr. Olson's would be unnecessary.

When I read the transcript of an interview with Dr. Olson, the words of the apostle James, cited above, came to mind. Here are a few quotes:

But, in brief, a postconservative evangelical affirms the absolute authority of the Bible without privileging the literal interpretation in every portion of it.

Neither do I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

I'm working on two books. First, for InterVarsity Press, a book about universalism. My own position is what I call (borrowing from von Balthasar) a "conditional universalism of hope."

Dr. Olson claims to be "postconservative," but not liberal. He claims to believe in the absolute authority of the Bible, but not in its inerrancy. How you can trust in the absolute authority of something that contains errors is beyond me--I guess you have to be a professional theologian to be able to perform such a balancing act.

According to this review of Finding God in The Shack, Dr. Olson affirms the authenticity of The Shack because it conforms to his experience. It's apparent, therefore, that Dr. Olson uses his experience, and not the Bible, as his authority in evaluating the spiritual authenticity of The Shack.

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