- The Trinity - God the Father is portrayed as "'a large beaming African-American woman' who introduces herself as Papa," "Jesus, a Middle Eastern man dressed as a laborer," and "the Holy Spirit, a woman of 'maybe northern Chinese or Nepalese or even Mongolian ethnicity' named Sarayu."
- The author "wants desperately to show us the God of love as found in Scripture (1 John 4:8), but he ignores the other side, the God of utter holiness (Isaiah 6:1-5) and, ultimately, the final Judge (Revelation 20:11-15)."
- "By emphasizing only one part of God’s nature, The Shack actually leads readers astray with regard to God’s attitude towards sin."
- "The words Papa speaks are a form of the ancient heresy of subordinationism, which puts Jesus in a lower rank within the Trinity. Scripture teaches that all three persons of the Trinity are equal in essence."
- "The Shack also teaches a form of patripassionism, another ancient heresy that teaches that God the Father suffered on the cross. "
- "The Shack wants to make God accessible to a hurting world, but its author also has a very low view of Scripture; in fact he mocks anyone who holds that there is such a thing as correct doctrine."
- "If one is to teach error, it is important to do away with Scripture, either by adding to it (Mormonism), mistranslating it (Jehovah's Witnesses) or simply mocking it (The Shack and some others in the "emergent church”). "
I have heard many people in recent months get very excited about The Shack, sharing its "impact" on their understanding of God and how it is transforming their lives. If human books have more impact on our understanding of God than Scripture, we cannot help but to be led astray, little by little.2 Timothy 4:3-5 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."