This is probably the only book that I have attempted to read, but twice and gave up without finishing. Willard’s prose to some is brilliant; to me it is annoyingly obtuse. Then a friend recently mentioned that Divine Conspiracy was the most impacting book that he has read besides the Bible and that instead of reading it he listened to it. With this recommendation and advice plus audible.com, I tried one more time and happily finished the whole book.
Divine Conspiracy is filled with broad insight that moves readers to practical application. We must admit that a book using the foundation of the Sermon on the Mount is a pretty good starting point for describing kingdom life! Willard expanded, explained, and illustrated the timeless text with breathtaking depth to inspire and motivate believers to enter into the kingdom life as subjects of our Lord and king, Jesus.
Divine Conspiracy is a foundational book for any believer. To understand its message is to understand the message and mission of Christ and our proper response to the truth of the New Testament; the book is that epic.
There were a few statements of note that should be rephrased or eliminated, for example: “God is not present where he is not wanted.” Actually, that is Arminian gibberish, as if humans have ability to chase God away or thwart His will.
Another statement that needs revision is Willard’s instruction that we should obey laws if there is “some vital need or reason why in a given case it is necessary to do what this laws forbids.” From this, it seems that Willard is instructing his readers to first judge if a command meets their standard of reasonableness and after that decide if the commandment is worthy to be obeyed.
And finally, when describing the “outward disciplines” I was surprised that “study and worship” are highlighted. These seem personal and inward to me, what about evangelism and service?
Outside of these minor corrections I highly recommend this book. It is sometimes a chore to read, but any reader with perseverance will be rewarded with remarkable insights and instruction.