Is He 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. The alternative is that the Cross originated with us human beings. This deviant device is the iconic manifestation of our blind commitment to darkness. It is our ultimate desecration of the goodness and loving intent of God to create, an intent that is focused on the human creation. It is the ultimate fist raised against God. And how did God respond to this profound brokenness? God submitted to it. God climbed willingly onto our torture device and met us at the deepest and darkest place of our diabolical imprisonment to our own lies, and by submitting once and for all, God destroyed its power. Jesus is God’s best, given willingly and in opposition to our worst, the Cross. When did God submit? Not only in Jesus incarnate but before the creation of the world, according to Scriptures (Revelation 13:8). God knew going into the activity of creation what the cost would be. That God’s own children, this highest order of creation, would one day make the final attempt to kill Life. And how would we religious people interpret this sacrifice? We would declare that it was God who killed Jesus, slaughtering Him as a necessary appeasement for His bloodthirsty need for justice.” (pp. 149-151).  Paul Young, author of The Shack, in his book Lies We Believe About God

In his fiction and non-fiction books, Paul Young promotes a theology which is a strange and confusing mixture of truth and error. And this quote is a good example.
If Young were simply saying that God didn't create a specific method of torture, we could agree. But he's saying much more. He's saying that any God who required the death of His Son to pay for our sins would be a bloodthirsty killer, the originator of evil.(p. 238).
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