He's Calling God a "Cosmic Abuser"?

One of the most popular "Christian" authors of our time sounds off about the Cross.

"Who originated the Cross? If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner. Frankly, it is often this very cruel and monstrous god that the atheist refuses to acknowledge or grant credibility in any sense. And rightly so. Better no god at all, than this one."  Paul Young, author of The Shack

In his fiction and non-fiction books, Paul Young promotes a theology which is a strange and confusing mixture of truth and error.
If Young was simply saying that God didn't create a method of torture, we could agree. But he's saying much more. In his book Lies We Believe About God, Young claims that Christ's death on the cross was a completely human event, not part of God's plan:
Nothing, not even the salvation of the entire cosmos, could ever justify a horrific torture device called a 'cross.'” Paul Young
Young has numerous non-biblical beliefs. For example, he doesn't believe sin separates us from God, nor does he believe we must accept Christ to be saved. But in this short post, I'm only addressing his view of the cross.

See the Scriptures below which refute Young's view:

Acts 2:23: This man [Jesus] was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

John 17-18: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” 

Colossians 1:19-20: "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." 

Ephesians 2:13-16: "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility."     

1 Corinthians 1:18: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For more on the cross, please read 10 Important Truths About the Cross.

When I hear genuine believers promoting The Shack, it makes me extremely sad. Whatever good the book contains cannot make up for the deception it spreads about God's character. 

Nor can we dismiss The Shack by saying it's "merely fiction" because Young wrote a Bible study to accompany it. If you are interested in seeing how Young distorts the character of God in his fiction, see Examining The Shack.

For more thorough reviews of Young's book Lies We Believe About God, please see Christian Apologetics and Scandalized by the Substitute and The God of William Paul Young.

Beware, dear Christians! Hold fast to the true Gospel! 


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One of the most popular "Christian" authors of our time sounds off about the Cross.


  1. I have heard that term from a teaching before. Thank you for posting truth.

  2. May God in Christ Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, pardon him as he does not know what he is talking. I declare that I was save by the blood of Christ on the Cross and His unmerited favour of His love for eternity