Christians Go Mad Over A Black Woman Playing God in “The Shack”

The Shack

The new movie The Shack sent some Christian leaders into an uproar, by presenting a unique cinematic representation of the Holy Trinity. Octavia Spencer stars in the film as “Papa”, a human form of God, and guides the movie’s grieving protagonist (played by Sam Worthington). Sumire, a Japanese actress and model plays the Holy Ghost; Israeli actor, Avraham Aviv Alush plays Jesus Christ.


Conservative Christian public figures have created sermons, blog posts, articles, and books that cite the The Shack’s all-inclusive message of salvation as heresy. Christian leader, Joe Schimmel stated that Octavia Spencer’s character resembles a “New Agey Oprah Winfrey far more than the one true God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ — Hebrews 1:1-3” and called the story idolatry.

Octavia Spencer


The movie is based on the 2007 best selling book by the same name. William P. Young originally wrote and self-published the book, which eventually became a best seller with over 20 million copies sold.  Young told the New York Times he made God a Black woman to shift religious perceptions, stating, “It was just a way of saying: ‘You know what? I don’t believe that God is Gandalf with an attitude, or Zeus who wants to blast you with any imperfection that you exhibit.’”


The cinematography of The Shack is breathtaking and presents a very unique story about spiritual transcendence in the face of pain, grief, and misfortune. Watch the trailer here, and let us know what you think.


The Washington Post
Shadow & Act


-Ananda Lo

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