THE BLOG
09/09/2010 11:42 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Paul Young, Bestselling Author of The Shack, Challenges Seattle Pastor Mark Driscoll to "Man Up"

In April 2008, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church launched a tirade against Paul Young's bestselling novel The Shack. Driscoll claimed that the book was complete heresy: Paul Young is now seeking to refute his claims. A self-published international phenomenon, The Shack is about a man whose daughter is murdered and who goes into the wilderness to discuss the event with God. The Youtube.com video of Driscoll's diatribe on The Shack has well over 300,000 views: Young has decided to say something,

"Mark Driscoll has leveled some serious charges against my writing and by extension against me. He has publicly called me a heretic. I've decided to ask him to meet me in Seattle on Sept 10th, from 1-3 PM, and have an open discussion in front of a public audience about the different ways he and I view scripture."

In The Shack, Young crafts the character of God in a tripartite cast. God is portrayed as an African American woman named "papa," Jesus is a Middle-Eastern carpenter and an Asian woman portrays the Holy Spirit. This is precisely what Driscoll takes issue with: he argues that Young's portrayal of the trinity is an ancient heresy called Sebellianism, or the belief that the Christian God came in phases. In Sebellianism, first God was the father, then the son, then the Holy Spirit. The orthodox view holds that God is triune; one God exists in three persons.

Driscoll is no stranger to talking about controversial or taboo subjects: the hip mega pastor blogs about everything from advice on sex to ancient doctrine.

Young says,

"I have asked my good friend Jim Henderson to host this conversation. It will not be a debate but a discussion about our differences and because we are both Christians about the places we are in agreement. The audience will be able to ask questions of both of us.

Mark seems quite fond of telling his congregants to "man up" and I guess I am really asking him to do the same. I would like him to say to my face what he has spread around the world via Youtube, and you can be sure I'll have a few questions for him as well.

I'm sure many 'non-Christians' wonder why someone like Mark can say things like this with impunity. When someone is able to garner 350K views on Youtube, or for that matter has sold almost 20 Million copies of a book, I believe the conversations have become public property."