In March of this year there were two significant releases in relation to the mega best-seller novel The Shack. One was the movie starring Sam Worthington and academia award winning actress Octavia Spencer, and the other was William Paul Young’s first non-fiction work called ‘Lies We Believe About God’.

While people who support the novel, and those who are heavily invested in its sales, have denied for years that The Shack teaches universalism and other heresies, there is now no sane possible denying of the charge of heresy with the release of Paul Young’s latest book. In The Shack some of the doctrines were somewhat veiled, but that cannot be said about ‘Lies We Believe About God’.

What is Young’s gospel? Is it the Christian gospel of grace, or has it been condemned by the Word of God?

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

-Galatians 1:6-9


According to Young, sin is to deny who you are. It is not to deny the truth about God. But what is this sin which Young speaks about? Who are we according to Young?

“You are patient.

You are kind.

You are good…”

-William Paul Young, Lies We Believe About God, Pg. 229

He also in the book writes this about himself:

“I am fundamentally good because I am created “in Christ” as an expression of God…”

-Ibid., Pg. 35

It is a sin, according to Young, to affirm what the Bible says about us.

“There is a truth about who you are: God’s proclamation about a “very good creation” is the truest about you. That very good creation is the form or origin of you, the truth of who you are in your being. Sin, then, is anything that negates or diminishes or misrepresents the truth of who you are…”

-Ibid., Pg. 229

What is sin according to scripture?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

-1 John 3:4

Sin is not about your self-esteem. Sin is a violation of God’s law. If you don’t believe that then you are not a Christian.

“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

-Luke 5:31-32

The Gospel

If man is so good, as Young claims, then what could possibly be the good news of the gospel?

“The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and unto His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.”

-Ibid., Pg. 117-118

According to Young all men are already saved, regardless of whether they believe or not.

“Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? That is exactly what I am saying!”

-Ibid., Pg. 118


Young shows he not only rejects the Biblical gospel, but that he despises the God of heaven as revealed in scripture.

“Who originated the cross? If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser…”

-Ibid., Pg. 149

In almost every page of ‘Lies We Believe About God’ we see the theology behind The Shack which blasphemes God Almighty. Sadly nothing is new here for Young, but it is much clearer for all to see in this book. There is nothing remotely Christian about William Paul Young, despite his ability to use evangelical language. To support him and his work is to lead people to a false god, a false gospel and a false salvation.