# Outline: The Truth Versus Lies; or The Bible and Wm. Paul Young

James De Young (2017)

Introduction: Momentous events in the struggle for the truth as opposed by universal reconciliation

  1. Historical perspective on universal reconciliation (UR)

    • From early church history: rise of UR from Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian
    • From early America (mid 1750s): John Murray, Winchester, Relly;
      1. Grew phenomenally till 1850’s: answered by Isaac Backus and Matthew Smith
      2. Declined for 100 years
    • Experienced resurgence in late 20th century till present
  2. Present resurgence with Talbot, McLaren, Bell, but mostly with Wm P. Young, The Shack.
    See my reviews at burningdowntheshackbook.com (opens new window)

  3. My history with Paul Young and his universalism.

    1. In 2004 Young wrote 103-p. paper embracing UR, rejecting his “evangelical paradigm.”

    2. In 2004 I wrote my 22-p. paper rebutting Paul’s paper. Paul had quit the forum.

    3. Paul wrote The Shack with UR, then revised it (2007), now a movie (March, 2017)

    4. Paul came to my home (2007), said in front of several witnesses incl. my pastor that he no longer believed UR; asked me not to circulate his UR paper of 2004. I agreed.

    5. Paul wrote two similar novels, Crossroads (2012) and Eve (2015), with a 365-day devotional for each one of the 3 books (total of 6 books). See reviews on my web site.

      1. All propagating UR in fictional stories of people on an other-world journey.
      2. Crossroads, ch 16, calls evangelical beliefs “lies” (8x), rejects “wrath” of God (16x)
      3. Eve is a pernicious rewriting of Genesis 1-3; claims to be “true”! Adam begins “turning away” from God on 6th day, causes the serpent and Eve to fall; Lilly appears
    6. I wrote Burning Down the Shack to expose UR in Young’s novel and the movie

**I. Recent Events: Paul Young publishes Lies We Believe about God (March, 2017)

  1. Book covers 28 lies evangelicals (supposedly) teach about God (many strawmen, red herrings)

  2. Examples of his 28 chapters (each is devoted to a separate “lie” that we evangelicals believe):

      1. “God is in control.” No, not everything is in God’s plan.
      1. “God does not submit.”
      1. “God is a Christian.” (cf. the movie and novel)
      1. “God is more he than she” and “God is a prude” (ch. 10).
      1. “You need to get saved.” Paul confesses (118) that he embraces “universal salvation.”
      1. “Hell is separation from God.” No, it is not; God is in hell.
      1. “The cross was God’s idea.” No, it was man’s idea, Young asserts.
      1. “God requires child sacrifice.” No; if he did then God is a cosmic abuser of his child.
      1. “Not everyone is a child of God.” All people equally and always have been his children.
      1. “Sin separates us from God.” No, it doesn’t. Young redefines sin.
      1. “God is One alone.” Young says that he rejects the understanding of the Trinity derived from his “evangelical Christian fundamentalism” which presented God as an originator of evil and a perpetrator of torture.

    —Could Young make it any clearer that he is not an evangelical Christian?

Importance: the Genie Is Out of the Bottle, the Cat Is out of the Bag

  1. Reveals for all to see that Paul lied in 2007 when he said that he did not believe in UR (see above), but he did all along. His is a serious character flaw, it seems.

  2. Vindicates what I and some pastors, bloggers, writers and others have said for 13 years

  3. Why to me and to others did he say what he did in 2007? What was his motive? Hiding?

  4. Here are some quotes from his paper of 2004 which I quoted in my paper of 2004 and in Burning Down the Shack (the page nos. refer to the Introduction of my book).Paul claims that by evangelical faith “the doctrine of eternal torture makes Jesus a million times [italics Paul’s] more vicious and vindictive than these three (Pharaoh, Nero, Hitler) put together” (xvii). Eternal judgment is “sadist humbug” (xvii), Paul said.

    According to Paul’s distortion of the Bible, Christ never atoned for sin because he never suffered eternal torment. “Calvary was nothing but a farce, a burlesque, a travesty, and a sham. Then Jesus died a failure and in vain, and never redeemed anyone from anything. If eternal torment were the penalty for sin, then Jesus is not the Savior of men, for He failed to take our place, and pay our debt, by being eternally tormented. And if He is not the Savior of men, then He is not even a good man, but a liar, and therefore a rogue and a deceiving rascal. And therefore, if eternal torment is the penalty for sin, then salvation is a mere myth, and the Bible’s the world’s most abominable maze of evil imaginings; for it then merely leads men to trust for deliverance to a concept which will lead to everlasting sorrow” (xvii).

III. Reason for Young’s boldness now

  1. Always difficult to determine motives, but

  2. Paul’s recent interview (3-3-17 from ReligNewServ) offers insight—a vision of his and others’ ability to change the church and its beliefs—a new reformation:“The popularity of ‘The Shack’ is just the tip of the iceberg, Young said. Evangelicalism is changing, returning to an understanding of God in line with the early church fathers and mothers—an understanding he tried to capture in his book, he said. ‘As the structures start to crumble, which they are, all of a sudden permission to ask the questions is emerging,’ he said. ‘I think that’s a movement of the Holy Spirit. . . I think we’re on the cusp or inside the beginnings of a reformation.’ (See praise of Young as a possible second Martin Luther on C. Baxter Kruger’s web site, Perichoresis: “The Genius of the Shack”).

    Paul appealed to the Spirit of God as bringing a reformation to the church. His book makes it clear that he seeks to destroy the church. This could only spring from Satan, not the Spirit.

Conclusion. What’s Next? How Should We Respond? What resources exist?

  1. Additional quotes from Young’s 2004 paper are in my Burning Down the Shack.
  2. My 22-page paper responding to Paul’s, from 2004, and other docs are on my web sites, burningdowntheshackbook.com (opens new window) and liespaulyoungbelieves.com (opens new window).
  3. Read my book in response to his book*: Exposing “Lies We Believe about God”*.
  4. Pastors, media people, and other Christian leaders should apologize for abandoning the truth, for enriching and encouraging a heretical view of God and His word.
  5. Great quotes that apply to Paul Young’s works:
    • It’s easier to modify the truth than to create a lie.
    • It’s easier to alter history than it is to create it.
    • The more truth to one’s lie the easier it is for people to believe it and sell it.
  6. Note Jesus’ warning about “false prophets” and “liars” who are “ravenous wolves” (Matt 7: 13-23); and the Apostle Paul’s concern for transparency and genuineness: 2 Cor 2:14-17, esp. v. 17; and 4:1-4 where he warns about those who “distort” the gospel.