Dallas Willard’s work here is anything but mainstream. He criticizes modern culture insightfully and interprets a lot of what Jesus said (as well as other passages) with very creative scholarship. I learned invaluable lessons from this book, and I don’t doubt it’s beneficial qualities for anyone else.
As the book is titled, “The Divine Conspiracy” refers to the fact that ever since sin entered the world, God has been and will continue to undermine it with good until the last day when he will set everything straight. The major, overarching motif of the book is the kingdom of God and what it means for us now. The first three chapters talk about the problem with our secular culture and different, contrasting attributes of God. The middle and largest chunk of the book is devoted to reflecting on Matthew 5-7 (especially the Beattitudes) in a refreshing way I’ve never heard before. The last few chapters deal with practical steps of living the Christian life (or living in the Kingdom, as Willard would say).
While I don’t agree with absolutely everything Willard said in the book (but it’s like that with just about any composition), new Christians and old alike would benefit from this book. It tasted similar to Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, but with a more spiritual and exegetical focus versus leadership.
I loved this book, but here’s one disclaimer: this is a long and rich book. It is right at the 400 page mark, and every couple of paragraphs will beg you to stop and either look at referenced Scripture or just ponder the big picture of whatever Willard is mentioning. This book is amazing, but definitely pick it up when you’ve got a consistent amount of free time on your hands!