Wow... this book has impacted my spiritual walk, my grasp of the Word of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. There are a couple of folks reviewing here who struggled with it, I guess that they can have their opinion. What you will find is a deep read... it may raise questions to the 'traditional interpretation' of Biblical truth many churches have given over the years. Why? Because it goes deeper. How? looking at historical, cultural settings. It takes the message of the Sermon on the Mount and gives clearly the meaning. The book has focused me on the good news of the gospel. Too often we 'go after' the unsaved from a 'turn or burn' perspective. Williard emphasizes Jesus' message of the GOOD NEWS of the Kingdom of heaven - NOT the western perspective of condemnation of man. John 3:17 says it well 'he did not come to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved'. This is not a denial of sin - for God hates sin. It comes from how Jesus taught - the reconciliation of man to God!
Dallas Willard takes the Sermon on the Mount and shows you how to get to the heart of God. He shows the reader how God is always at work even when we don't realize it or take part in His plans. The book lets you know that you can be a part of the divine conspiracy or be a part from it.
Reading this book was torture. I had to read it as a class assignment and wanted to pull out my teeth because of the absurd doctrine! There are so many examples given and beliefs taught throughout the book that are contradictory to the Truth of the Bible. The only redeeming factor of this book is that I have a better foundation of my beliefs because I read so many falsehoods.
This book is on a very short list of books that I have found to be life-altering in its presentation and application. I don't think one can read this book without coming to grips with your own walk with the Lord. It is a difficult read because there is so much meat that requires thoughtful consideration.
This book is one of the must insightful books at helping a Christian mature his faith that I have ever read. I have reread the first 4 chapters 3 times in the last 6 months as I attempt to make Willard's ideas a part of my understanding and not just a bunch of thoughts with which I have a nodding acquaintance. For me, he has too much to say to be a quick read. I find it helps me to underline and highlight as I attempt to understand and retain. His thoughts on the phrase in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done...", are worth the reading of the book. I cannot speak about the rest of the book as I have not read beyond chapter 5.