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The Shack Revisited compared with the Bible

the-shack-revisited-cover
Baxter Kruger’s book to which Paul Young wrote the Foreword.

undoing-of-adam-cover
Baxter Kruger’s book in which he expands on the theology of The Shack as presented in The Shack Revisited.

by 

Published: 20 June 2017 (GMT+10)

This year, 2017, has seen the release of a movie of the 2008 best-selling novel The Shack by W. Paul Young.1 In it, a fictional father, Mackenzie (Mack), grieving over the abduction and murder of his six-year-old daughter, Missy, struggles with why God could have allowed such a thing to happen. The shack is a cabin where Mack encounters bodily manifestations of the Trinity.2 

The Shack Revisited is a 2012 book by Baxter Kruger,3 which says that Kruger has “written the theology that goes with The Shack”.4 Young wrote the Foreword to Kruger’s book and says: “If you want to understand better the perspectives and theology that frame The Shack, this book [i.e. The Shack Revisited] is for you.”5 In this article we shall discuss this theology, as well as that in other material by Kruger,6 and compare what Kruger says with what God says in the Bible.

Kruger bases much of what he writes on the theology of Karl Barth as expounded by Thomas Torrance in his book Atonement.7 In the Preface to his book Jesus and the Undoing of Adam (ref. 6) Kruger says that it represents the heart of his doctoral dissertation on Professor T.F. Torrance’s theology, at Kings College, Aberdeen, Scotland.8 Note: Young’s portrayal of the Trinity in human form has been adequately discussed in the reviews in ref. 2, so we shall be discussing other matters in this article. See too our previous article by Lita Sanders What The Shack gets right.

The story behind the story

Kruger, a close friend of W. Paul Young, begins his book by telling readers, “There is a story behind the story” of The Shack, which he relates as follows:

“By the time Paul was six years old, he had been emotionally abandoned, physically and verbally beaten, and sexually assaulted—repeatedly. … He cried out to God for healing, rededicating himself and his life a hundred times, until his ‘rededicator’ finally burned out. His life became a form of hiding, while he desperately searched for relief and help anywhere he could find it. … Mackenzie’s weekend at the shack represents eleven years of Paul’s actual life.”9

So the two authors, Young and Kruger, are attempting to deal with the problem of why we humans experience pain, suffering, and death. Kruger continues: “So the story within the story is that The Shack is our story, too, the story of our pain and blindness, of the God who seems so absent, so uncaring and impotent when it really matters, and of our lives paused in shame.”10

Kruger didn’t need to stop there. He could have mentioned the evolution-inspired and anti-Christian Nazi Holocaust under the control of Adolf Hitler that took the lives of at least 10 million human beings; or the Soviet Gulag State that murdered about 26 million for political reasons (including the Holodomor, Ukrainian for “murder by starvation”, a Stalin-made famine that killed millions in 1932–33); or the Chinese purges under Mao Zedong of up to 80 million; or the biggest life-taker of all—the abortion of unwanted unborn human beings—some 1.5 billion worldwide since Roe v. Wade in 1973.11 It seems there is no limit to the harm human beings willingly do to each other, when God’s commands for how we should live and relate to each other are defied or just ignored.

Where did bad things come from?

According to God’s Word, pain and death entered our world at the event known as ‘the Fall’. This was after our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed the command God had given to Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17). The immediate result for them both was a guilty conscience, so “they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Then God called them forth and pronounced the penalty, about which He had warned them, and which now applied to them (Genesis 3:2–3, 16–19).

A consequence of Adam’s sin in choosing to do what Satan wanted him to do, and that God wanted him not to do, was that henceforth man would now have a sin-nature inherited from Adam and would be “a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Also, Satan gained control over man’s social, political, economic, educational, and religious systems. That this is so is shown by what happened at the temptation of Jesus, as recorded in Luke 4:5–8: “the devil … showed him [Jesus] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’”

Jesus did not challenge or dispute this claim of Satan’s when He answered, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” In other words, this was a very real temptation for Jesus, in just the same way as was the temptation to make bread out of stones, even though neither would be a temptation for any of us!

See:

The Fall—according to Kruger

Kruger gives his reason for why Adam and Eve tried to hide from the presence of God after they had disobeyed Him, as: “it was the love of God that they feared.”12 And he offers:

Adam projected his own brokenness onto God’s face. … He took a paintbrush, dipped it into the cesspool of his own double-mindedness and guilt and shame, and painted an entirely new picture of a god with it. And it was this god, created by his own darkened imagination—not the Lord—that he feared and from whom he hid. … He now projected his pain onto God, thereby creating an entirely mythological deity, a figment of his own baggage.13

Kruger goes on to suggest that God’s action of clothing Adam was “an act of love, of acceptance, of real relationship”14 and he then says: “We see the Lord putting aside all rights to abstract justice and punishment, and we see him more concerned about his lost and terrified creatures than he is about his honor.”15

Not so. God did not put anything aside. According to Genesis chapter 3, God summoned Adam from his hiding place among the trees of the garden, conducted a trial, and then passed sentence. Satan’s temptation of Eve had involved doubting the Word of God, denial of that Word, disregard for the judgment of God, and defamation of the character of God. God’s honour was indeed at stake and of the utmost concern.

See:

The love of God and the holiness of God

Kruger spends several chapters of The Shack Revisited highlighting the fact that the three persons of the Trinity love each other, which of course is a biblical concept and undeniably true. And he goes on to say: “We are accepted as we are, known and loved for our benefit, embraced forever, because love is the nature of the blessed Trinity.”16 (Emphasis in the original.)

See:

In the Bible, the book of Acts shows us the way in which the Apostles went about the task of obeying Christ’s command to them to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all nations, (Matthew 28:19). Interestingly (perhaps even surprisingly) the love of God is not mentioned by any preacher or teacher in Acts in any speech or discourse. In fact, as a Concordance will show, the word ‘love’ does not occur anywhere in Acts in any context. Instead, Peter, Paul, and the other evangelists reiterate the themes of the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s judgment, and the need for their hearers to repent and believe in Christ. See Acts 2:38, 3:19, 4:12, 10:42–43, 13:38-39, 16:30–31, 17:30–31, 26:19–20.

Paul’s expositions on the love of God, including the great theme in Romans 5:8 that God loved us while we were still sinners, were all written to Christians, and were not, it seems, preached to non-Christians.

See:

Concerning the holiness of God, Kruger writes:

“To begin with, the holiness of God has been given far too prominent a position in our vision of God and of the relationship between God and the human race.”17
“The holiness of God was detached from the relationship of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and reconceived within the world of Roman law, becoming a legal idea. Instead of holiness being a name for the incomparable love of the Father, Son, and Spirit, it became a matter of law, morality, and ethical perfection.”18

Actually, the Bible presents holiness as the attribute by which God was especially known in both the Old and New Testaments. See (inter alia) Joshua 24:19; 1 Samuel 6:20; Psalm 22:3; Isaiah 6:3; Jeremiah 50:29; Ezekiel 39:7; Hosea 11:9; Habakkuk 1:12; John 17:11; Hebrews 12:10; Revelation 4:8. God is called ‘the Holy One’ no less than thirty times in Isaiah alone. In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to “be holy for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44 & 45; cf. Leviticus 19:2; 20:26; 21:8).

The God of the Bible is supremely love, and simultaneously He is also unspeakably, unimaginably, and supremely holy. Hence God’s love is properly God’s holy love. It distorts God’s revelation of Himself to try to present a purely warm, cuddly image in which man’s sinfulness is not much of an issue. As Kruger’s own mentor, Thomas Torrance, writes: “God is opposed to the sinner in their sin, and the sinner is opposed to God.”19 (Cf. Romans 8:7, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.”) God’s holiness is in stark, utter contrast to the sinfulness of mortal man, so much so that without the mediator Jesus for believers to appropriate, God would be unreachable and unapproachable. In Isaiah’s vision of God in Chapter 6, as the prophet becomes acutely aware of God’s intense holiness in contrast to his own sinfulness (verse 5) he exclaims: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

When Peter in the New Testament saw the astonishing miracle of the massive haul of fish (Luke 5:4–7), he caught a glimpse of just who this Jesus was—the Creator God Himself. Far from a ‘wow’ response, wondering how he could have his needs met from this amazing relationship with a powerful friend, his reaction was reminiscent of Isaiah’s. It reflected the awesome reality of the yawning, seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the absolute holiness of God and the darkness of even the best of humanity by contrast. Falling down at Jesus’ feet, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O, Lord” (Luke 5:8).

This same Apostle Peter, addressing believers in the New Testament, repeats God’s Levitical command to holiness: “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15–16).

Why did Jesus die?

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Kruger says:

“The death of Jesus Christ was not punishment from the hands of an angry God; it was the Son’s ultimate identification with fallen Adam, and the supreme expression of faithfulness to his own identity as the One who lives in fellowship with the Father in the Spirit.”20
“And Jesus died because the only way to get from the Fall of Adam to the right hand of the Father was through the crucifixion of Adamic existence.”21
“It was not just Adamic existence that was crucified in Jesus Christ; it was Adam and you and me and the whole human race.”22

So what does the Bible say?

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
“For our sake he [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).
“Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18).
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Why this emphasis?

Answer: God cannot justly pardon sin solely on the ground of a sinner’s repentance, because a righteous God could not do so and still maintain the integrity of His own previously proclaimed edict (the penalty for sin is death). God can pardon sin only when the pronounced penalty has been paid. Jesus paid the sinner’s penalty so that God could pardon the sinner and remain righteous at the same time, as Paul writes in Romans 3:26, “It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

See:

The Gospel

Kruger says: “the gospel is not the news that we can accept an absent Jesus into our lives. The gospel is the news that the Father’s Son has received us into his.”23 

He relates the story of a young girl named Stephanie who told him of a vision she had had of God on a throne. Lots of people, bruised, cut, with bloodied knees, exhausted, sad, and crying were trying to get up the steps of the throne to God, but couldn’t. Then she saw Jesus, who gathered them all into his arms, walked up the steps, and sat down in his Father’s lap. To which, Kruger responded: “Stephanie, that is the gospel.”24

It’s a moving story, but that’s all it is. It doesn’t take into account, e.g., Jesus’ own parable about a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, to which those invited refused to come, and then one who did attend entered without a wedding garment. The king’s response was: “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness” (Matthew 22:1–14).

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul gives us a somewhat different portrayal of the Gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4 he writes:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you … that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (Emphasis added.)
good-news

This and many other passages of Scripture demonstrate that God shows his love toward us in providing the means by which we can come into a right relationship with Him. This is the biblical Gospel, i.e. the message that when Jesus died on the Cross and rose again, He bore the divine wrath against sin. His death was vicarious, i.e. on behalf of others, because He Himself had no sin (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). And His death was expiatory, i.e. it satisfied both the justice of God and the law of God, and thus made possible a free pardon for all who are willing to receive it (Romans 8:1).

Sadly, we need to mention here that the Apostle Paul has some very solemn things to say about those who, he asserts, “are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7). Here is what Paul writes:

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned” (Galatians 1:8–9 NIV).

So why is the full biblical Gospel not joyfully accepted by everybody? Paul gives us two reasons:25

  1. “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  2. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

See:

Is everybody saved?

Kruger says: “When he [Jesus] ascended to the Father, he took the whole human race with him to the right hand of God the Father almighty—inside the circle of all circles, into the very life of the Triune God.”26 

In support of this, Kruger quotes Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:4–6, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”27 

However, Paul addressed this letter “To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). He was not addressing the world. The terms “we” and “us” in all of Paul’s letters refer to believers. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that all humanity is saved or will be in heaven or is already there now. In Jesus’ prayer to God the Father for His disciples before His crucifixion, He said: “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those whom you have given me” (John 17:9).

Much as one might like to think of God as a warm fuzzy father figure who will take everyone to heaven in due course, that is not what the Bible teaches. In a verse sometimes quoted by universalists, John 3:17 indeed says: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” But the very next verse goes on to say: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Rather than universal salvation, there will be a universal judgment, at which the Judge will be the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:27–29). This means that when Jesus paid our sin debt, He did so, not as a third party, but as the Judge Himself. If the Judge pays the penalty Himself, He is free to do so on His own terms. The terms that God has lain down for the forgiveness of sin are repentance (Acts 3:19) and believing the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1–2). This involves our seeing ourselves as sinners in need of forgiveness, asking God to forgive us, and receiving Jesus not just as our Saviour but also as our Lord (John 1:12Romans 10:9).

We must meet these terms before we can benefit from Christ’s atoning death for us, but when we do, God forgives our sins (1 John 1:9), He imputes Christ’s righteousness to us (2 Corinthians 5:21Philippians 3:9), and ‘since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1).

See:

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Judgment

Kruger says: “the judgment of God is not the divine ‘dark side’ finally having its say … as Sophie says in The Shack, ‘Mackenzie, judgment is not about destruction, but about setting things right.’”28 

God says:

“And He [God] has given him [Jesus] authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out, those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:27–29).

This judgment is known as the Great White Throne Judgment. For a prophetical description of it, which God inspired the Apostle John to write, see Revelation 20:11–15.

Believers

Believers won’t receive judgment for their sins, because Christ has paid their sin-penalty in full, when He died on the Cross and rose again. For believers, there will be an assessment, when “each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10–12) and Christians will receive the rewards appropriate for their stewardship of the gifts, talents, opportunities, and responsibilities each has had in this life (1 Corinthians 3:13–152 Corinthians 5:10).

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Non-believers

However, there will be a judgment of the unsaved dead (2 Timothy 4:1). Concerning this the Bible warns that the penalty for their sins will involve exclusion from God’s presence forever (Matthew 13:41–42; Revelation 20:11–15). The bad news is that we have all fallen short, both of God’s rules for human behaviour, and also in our relationship to God Himself (Romans 3:23). God calls this failure ‘sin’, and He says that the penalty for sin is ‘death’ (Romans 6:23)—alienation from God in this life, and forever in the next.

Theologian Bruce Milne writes:

“The Bible’s teaching here is quite unambiguous and of awesome seriousness. Those who remain unrepentant when confronted with God’s claim on them, who reject His will when it is made known to them, and who continue through their lives in the blasphemy and rebellion which sin implies, will face God’s just wrath.”

“No doubt some of the language used to describe Hell is necessarily symbolic, as is the language to describe Heaven. However, the fact that we are thrown back on symbols does not mean we can disregard or devalue them. They are God-given, and while they cannot tell us everything, they will not mislead us. There is no evading the Bible’s witness at this point. Hell is a reality of unspeakable solemnity (John 3:18–2036).” 29

At the Great White Throne Judgment, the time for mercy will be over, for ever. History will have reached the time of the consummation (or completion) of all things. The good news is that the mercy necessary for us to avoid being condemned at this tribunal is available now, but it must be appropriated in this life to be effective in the next.

See:

Does the biblical Gospel give assurance of salvation?

According to Kruger it does not. In rejecting what he terms the ‘legal gospel’, Kruger writes: “the legal model forces us to think of God as divided.”30 He goes on to talk about God having “a split personality”, and he says: “Jesus has successfully changed God, on the legal model, but he has left the human race broken.”31 And: “The legal gospel with its double-minded God is incapable of producing peace, real hope, and abiding assurance in the human soul.”

Not so on all counts. When Jesus took our punishment upon Himself, bearing the just judgment of our sin, He did so as God the Son, otherwise it would have been impossible for Him to have done so. Jesus did not change God the Father, as Kruger claims. What Jesus did, God did, because Jesus is God. When Jesus died and rose again He did so as both our substitute and our representative, i.e. as our proxy. Thus our sin-debt has been fully paid, and so we are free to enter into God’s wonderful love and fellowship.

How sad that anyone would reject the biblical Gospel as fervently as Kruger does. Nevertheless there certainly are people who lack assurance of salvation, like author W. Paul Young, as narrated in ‘the story behind the story’ of The Shack, as reported on p. 1 of this article. So what is the answer?

Our assurance as Christians of forgiveness of sin, of freedom from condemnation, of eternal life, in short of salvation, emanates from nothing less than the character of God Himself. It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), and so the promises of God, recorded in His Word, are true. Here is what God inspired the Apostle John to write:

“Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:10–12).

And John reiterates: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13).

Assurance therefore does not come from our feelings, or from anything we have done, but solely from believing that what God says is true.

What about the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’?

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Kruger writes: “The other-centred love of the Father, Son, and Spirit is … not dependent on anything we may or may not do, including praying the Sinner’s Prayer.”32

So what is the Sinner’s Prayer?

Answer: One form of this is: “Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that you died for me and rose again. I ask you to forgive all my sins, and I ask you to come into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.” While it is true that no one in the New Testament prays this prayer (including the repentant thief on the cross), nevertheless it combines in a few short sentences the message of the Gospel portrayed throughout the New Testament.

For example:

In John 3:5 & 7, Jesus said to Nicodemus: “You must be born again”,33 i.e. spiritual life has a beginning just as necessarily as physical life has a beginning.
Romans 10:9 says: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
John 1:12 says: “to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

The Sinner’s Prayer simply and adequately combines all of these factors into one package. However, it is not reciting the prayer but responding in genuine faith that makes it effective.

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Conclusion

Authors Paul Young and Baxter Kruger have used the medium of a fictitious story to present their version of why bad things happen in the world. The purpose of this article, as stated at the beginning, has been to compare their theology with what God says in the Bible. We certainly can feel compassion for the struggles experienced by The Shack’s author as a result of the consequences of human sin assaulting his childhood. But the solution is hardly to be found in distorting the Gospel out of all recognition, so much so that one is really presenting a false Gospel, so resoundingly warned against in Scripture. The Bible contains both the answer as to why suffering (physical and emotional) and death exist, and the ultimate, eternal solution.34 

For a more comprehensive answer to the question of why God allows suffering and death, please see these articles:

Beyond the Shadows

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walking-through-shadows

In the very earliest days of the CMI ministry, Creation magazine founder Dr Carl Wieland suffered a horrific car accident in the Australian desert that caused a great deal of bodily harm, with permanent effects. This is a whole other story, explained in the book Beyond the Shadows and the DVD Walking Through Shadows—resources that have been a huge help to many. They are semi-autobiographical but (especially the book) feature extensive biblical and logic teaching, tempered by the furnace of personal experience, about how to understand death and suffering (which includes the emotional components) in a world created by a God of love. Highly recommended.

References and notes

  1. Young, W.P. The Shack, Windblown Media, FaithWords, Hodder & Stoughton, 2007. Originally self-published, now sales of 20 million copies worldwide are claimed. Return to text.
  2. See Challies, T., A Review of The Shack, challies.com/book-reviews/the-shack-by-william-p-young.
    See also Shocked by The Shack (Let Us Reason Ministries), http://www.letusreason.org/bookR21.htm. Return to text.
  3. Kruger, B., The Shack Revisited, FaithWords Hachette Book Group, New York, 2012. Return to text.
  4. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 16. Return to text.
  5. Ref. 3, p. ix. Return to text.
  6. Kruger, B., Jesus and the Undoing of Adam, which Kruger refers to some half-a-dozen times in The Shack Revisited. (Page numbers quoted are to the pdf available at: ftp://ftp.compuconference.com/Christian_Material/e-text/Perichoresis/Jesus%20And%20the%20Undoing%20of%20Adam.pdf. Return to text.
  7. Torrance, T., Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, Paternoster, USA, 2009. Return to text.
  8. Kruger, ref. 6, p. 8. Return to text.
  9. Kruger, B., ref. 3, pp. 5, 7 & 8. Return to text.
  10. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 14. Return to text.
  11. This was the USA Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in that country, with huge influence worldwide. Return to text.
  12. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 20. Return to text.
  13. Kruger, B., ref. 3, pp. 165–66. Return to text.
  14. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 169. Return to text.
  15. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 170. Return to text.
  16. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 126 Return to text.
  17. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 31. Return to text.
  18. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 129. Return to text.
  19. Torrance, T., ref. 7, p. 153. Return to text.
  20. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 26. Return to text.
  21. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 50. Return to text.
  22. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 28. Return to text.
  23. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 194. Return to text.
  24. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p.147. Return to text.
  25. This paragraph adapted from Piper, J., Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, Crossway Books, Illinois, 2006, p. 105. Return to text.
  26. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 40. Return to text.
  27. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 146; and ref. 6, p. 29. Return to text.
  28. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 128, which quotes The Shack, ref. 1, p. 171. Return to text.
  29. Milne, B., Know the Truth, Intervarsity Press, p. 332, 1998. Return to text.
  30. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 34. Return to text.
  31. Kruger, B., ref. 6, p. 37. Return to text.
  32. Kruger, B., ref. 3, p. 124. Return to text.
  33. The Greek of this verse can also be translated ‘born from above’. Return to text.
  34. The description of Young’s ‘rededicator burnout’ is distressing, but there is no biblical mandate for expecting automatic relief for personal suffering of any sort from continual ‘rededication’. Return to text.

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