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Why the gospel pisses people off

I shared these negative reactions below, because they illustrate how emotional and pissed-off people can get when they are confronted with a gospel that takes the Trinity and the Incarnation seriously.

The gospel IS genuinely offensive, and it’s worth taking note of WHO gets offended by it.  Not egregious sinners.  Not even egregious Bible paraphrasers.  The gospel is offensive to religious people who think it’s extremely important for them to have ‘figured everything out,’ and who therefore are threatened by any indication that maybe they have more thinking to do.

Jesus calls people to repent (metanoia: “to rethink your thinking”).  As I struggle with the ways I have made idols out of my own concepts and doctrines, I begin to understand why people crucified him for offering them a new way of thinking.


3 Responses

  1. Do you think that renaming the trinity after a book that does not hold to clear Biblical doctrine is the same as “taking it seriously?” If YOUR version of the Gospel is not making sinners offended then you are probably doing it wrong. Jesus Himself offended both sinners and religious folks who relied on their own self righteousness instead of the righteousness of Christ. If you are so focused on the theology of The Shack that you feel you need to rewrite the Bible to compliment that theology then your idol is clear.

  2. Hi Jason, I do appreciate the feedback. I do think basing a Bible paraphrase on a pop novel would be dumb. But that is not actually what I’m doing. I actually started this paraphrase almost 2 years before I even read The Shack. I was trying to get a grip on scripture from the light of ancients like Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa, and moderns like Barth and Torrance, all of whom take the Trinity and Incarnation with a unique seriousness. When I discovered that The Shack jived so well with this theology I’d been working with, making a Shack-language version of it seemed a natural step to take. My hope is that it can be a stepping-stone for Shack fans to take a look at the Bible (which by no means can my paraphrase replace). Anyway, thx again for the feedback.

  3. That’s ridiculous, the gospel has never offended sinners, just Pharisees. Pharisees like offending sinners because it gives them a feeling of self-validation. Read Acts 2 – the early church gained favor with the people. The common people flocked to Jesus; it was the religious know-it-alls who wanted to kill him. Jason, it’s all as plain as day in the gospels – it’s amazing how many “theological experts” are blind to it. No, it’s actually not so amazing. “Shack-Bible” – great site…I totally agree with the beauty of pre-Augustinian Christian theology. Nothing against Augustine…especially the young Augustine that wrote the Confessions…but not all of his ideas were improvements on what came before. I don’t think questioning Augustine is blasphemy no matter what people like Jason say. Keep up the good work!

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