At one point, Keefe says:
. . . Young's book has clearly struck a nerve, likely with those who have been burned by deep tragedy, bad church experiences, and churchgoers who consistently misrepresent Christ. Judging from The Shack's continued sales and largely glowing reviews, this is a sizable group.
Indeed, that is a swath of folks who resonate with the book. But there's also a sizable chunk out there, I suspect, who don't feel burned by bad experiences but resonate with the novel because they simply long and thirst for more, for the authentic Love and Life of God--something that seems rare among believers in current church culture. Why is that? Among other things, I think many of us don’t experience that ever-transforming Life because we aren’t living in relationship to the Father. Young's story gets at what that looks like and some truths that help us enter into that relationship. I think it's easy to overlook this core aspect of the novel (and the chunk of folks who resonate with that) in the noise of all the controversy.
For what it's worth, it's been an interesting deal watching this book launch into the mainstream. I heard about it from Wayne Jacobsen's blog (where he periodically mentions the progress they're making towards putting the story to film) when it first came out--when you could only get it from the garage that served as their publishing distribution center. These days, I've seen the book everywhere from the grocery store to Borders. Heh, recently, both of my sisters-in-law (who live on the other side of the continent from me) asked me if I had read it.
If you haven't, you might think about it.