Should We Care if The Shack, The Chosen, & Jesus Calling Contain Scriptural Errors?

What makes you mad and what will you defend? God's Word or popular books and mini-series?

Several years ago I wrote about the serious biblical errors in The Shack, and a woman left a comment sharing how The Shack was the first step in her conversion. The book touched her heart and brought her to a Biblical faith.

I believe her.

I also believe The Chosen and Jesus Calling have done good for the gospel. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the biblical errors they contain. 

When I first read The Shack, I found serious contradictions to Scripture, contradictions which misrepresented God's character, sin, forgiveness, and salvation. However, when I wrote about these misrepresentations, the criticisms rolled in fast and furious. According to many readers, I was a sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing, a Pharisee, a nit-picker, small-minded, a hindrance to the Gospel, evil, self-righteous, and a hate-monger. 

And these comments all came from professing Christians.

I've had similar responses when writing about Scriptural errors in The Chosen and Jesus Calling.

Rude name-calling and self-righteous anger regarding a book or movie is one indication that a person has lost their objectively and priorities.

Signs of idolatry are also obvious in many of the reviews of The ShackThe Chosen, and Jesus Calling with people claiming that nothing in their lives has made God more relevant to them.

If a man-written book or movie makes God more relevant than Scripture, we haven't genuinely experienced Scripture. And when we defend a movie regardless of its Scriptural errors, we are placing it above God's Word.

Is it small-minded, self-righteous, and nit-picky to be concerned about biblical errors that are influencing millions? If something has good points or is doing some good, should we ignore the errors? 

Many people are proclaiming "Yes!" loudly and clearly to this question. And the authors and producers of these books and movies are gaining great followings and confidence to make no apologies for the errors they present.

What does Scripture teach about such things:

Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

One of the easiest ways to be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies is when they are mixed in with truth.

Proverbs 30:5-6: Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

It's not necessarily wrong to fill in unknown details in a story. But it's never, never, never appropriate to contradict, embellish, or misrepresent Scriptural principles.

Acts 17:11: Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

It is always noble to carefully judge things whether a sermon, devotional, Bible study, or form of entertainment.

2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

We need to understand what Scripture teaches so we can apply it to all areas of life.

What makes you mad and what will you defend? God's Word or popular books and mini-series?

See the Bible Love Note's Collection of articles on 
The Shack.  
See the Bible Love Note's Collection of articles on The Chosen.
✓ Gail shares this info on You Tube: The Chosen's "I Am the Law of Moses" Statement.
✓ The Integrity and Humility of John the Baptist. Addressing the inaccurate way John is presented in the Chosen.
✓ Amazing Contradictions: Dallas Jenkins and The Chosen. Addressing the contradictory values Dallas Jenkins has unashamedly expressed.
✓ Gail Share's this info on You TubeThe Chosen: Gay Pride Compromise.

See these articles about the popular devotional Jesus Calling:

I also encourage you to read Contend for the Faith.

This article was first written in 2017 regarding The Shack, but was updated in 2023 to include similar concerns.


  1. What the Bible warns of this...
    Romans 16:17 ESV

    I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

    1 John 4:1 ESV

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    2 Timothy 4:3 ESV votes

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

  2. If Satan can't keep a person from the Truth, he'll certainly TWIST THE TRUTH so that people believe they have the Truth when they really don't. If THE WORLD loves it, that's a RED FLAG WARNING to Christians.

  3. Thank you to the author of the original love note for exposing the false gospel of The Shack. The Word of God as found in our holy Bible is sufficient to bring people to Christ and for salvation. Hearing the Word is how people are saved. Those folks who defend the shack over the Word of God are defending the world and friends of the world are enimies of God. James 4:4 The way you get closer to God is by being saved, and the message of the shack is not the true gospel and can save no one. To say you Got closer to God by reading this book but then attack anyone defending the word of God only proves The Shack is a dangerous book. Salvation is through Christ alone, and Jesus Is The Word of God. John 1:1 Thank you again for doing exactly what our Lord commands us to do, by exposing the false Christ and false God of The Shack. May the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

  4. Oh Gail, I can't thank you enough for taking a stand on this topic. Every time I see a promo of it coming to the theaters, I feel something negative rise up in me. I have read the book. Yes, it is interesting, but definitely not the God I know. I wonder how many caught the fact when he saw his little girl through the glass from the large room he was taken to, he was greeted by Mary. The other factor is many believed it to be a true story. At the end he tells us to read the last 6 pages of the book. I read it and it tells us clearly he and friend together came up with this story. How many people did take time to read the last 6 pages. Thank you Gail... God bless. JKH

  5. Gail, I so appreciate the reviews I've read on the movie. I read the book and don't plan on seeing the movie . . . definitely agree with the need to be aware of the errors. I recently wrote a post about that mentions the fact that is fiction and a story about love and forgiveness. But I agree with the concern about people saying it helped to form their thoughts about God. My struggle with all of it has been the personal attacks either way. Thank you for talking about the movie. I am sorry you received attacks for sharing your review as I am sorry for the way people treated Tim Tebow for his positive review. My prayer is that we can start being able to talk about differing views without the need for full-on character attacks. God's blessings to you!

  6. Yes, Deb, there are good elements in the book. Sadly, I think many Christians don't know their Bibles well enough to discern the errors.

    And I'm sorry you've been attacked from the other end. We Christians are having a problem with anger - starting with politics and going from there. God wants us to be angry about some things, but I think we are getting angry about the wrong things and attacking our fellow believers.

    God bless you, Deb. Keep up the good work!

  7. I was disturbed about many aspects of The Shack. It doesn't represent Jesus I know, or give Him the glory He deserves, I think. And I didn't like the style. Thank you for posting this.