However parochial it sounds, that omission and the aforementioned criticisms keep "The Shack" from ascending to the heights of spiritual classics like Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle." Yet it is also important to concede that highlighting the ironies wasted on Young and some of his critics pays diminishing returns over time: in the end it is more charitable and more accurate to say that both have performed a public service.The Paragraph Farmer does a wonderful job acknowledging the many flaws in The Shack while still pointing out its inspirational value. This is the answer to the question I put out when doing my own review as I felt there were many problematic areas but knew I was not picking up on them. I must say that when I saw the above mention of the Interior Castle in the same sentence with The Shack I completely cracked up. Such a comparison would never have occurred to me. Ever. Hilarious and telling.
The novel cannot be called lectio divina, but it is inspiring. Despite its flaws, "The Shack" has thought-provoking things to say about forgiveness, freedom, evil, and love.
Be sure to read this review if you are interested in The Shack.