Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps From The Battle Of Jericho To Overcome Any Challenge, by Dudley Rutherford
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Press in exchange for an honest review.]
This book is hard to appreciate, because it has good parts, but also exceedingly bad parts. The organization of this book is straightforward enough. There is an introduction that states the audience that is meant for this book (people struggling with trials and looking for encouragement), seven chapters on seven steps to overcome these challenges based on the Battle of Jericho: focusing on God instead of our problems, trusting in God’s plan, seeing the supernatural in all situations, surrounding ourselves with encouraging believers, keep persevering even in the face of discouragement and gossip, following God’s instructions, and preparing for joy and success, along with an epilogue about the continuing journey of our lives. As might be imagined, there was much in this book that struck home for me as particularly relevant.
Where this book particularly excels is in its use of extended quotations of scripture to show the relevance of the lesson of Joshua–whether that means putting one’s past behind you and recognizing that God can work with anyone, or whether it is in pointing out lessons from the Wilderness . The author, who has apparently written a few books where he tries to appeal to young people and stay hip by referencing technology, appears to realize that if one is not a particularly deep thinker that it is good to enrich your own work by making extended quotations from works that are better than your own (whether that is more popular authors or the Bible). This is a good technique, and one that this author uses effectively in order to turn what could have easily been a mediocre self-help book into a work that has at times the capacity to inspire with its encouragement and advice.
That said, this book has some major problems. The author’s attempts at staying hip by providing fictionalized characters at the beginning of the chapter falls flat. The prayers at the end of every chapter are rather pedestrian. The author frequently wades into areas that are far too deep, and often dangerously heretical, whether it involves speaking muddled words about the Trinity in the first chapter or making a point that we need to obey God to find ourselves blessed by Him and then saying that involves going to church every weekend, totally muffing a chance to speak about the fourth commandment still applying to believers. He even wades a bit too close to the prosperity gospel and the advice of Job’s friends in his belief that our trials last a long time because we lack belief (has he never read or reflected on Psalm 88?), as well as to a superstitious belief that our prayer could induce God to support us, which has been tried by God’s people throughout history with disastrous results. So, although there is much about this book that can encourage, there is much about this work that is simply not up to par, unfortunately, which means it is a mixed sort of book, and far from the level that the author no doubt thinks he attains. Of note is the fact that he appears to mistake the chronology of the wilderness, having one character be a young boy at the time when Edom refuses passage to the children of Israel and yet a man old enough to serve as a soldier a few months later at the Battle of Jericho. The author should perhaps spend more time reading the law; it would be a profitable study.
 This does seem to be a bit of a theme of my reading recently, however unintentionally:
 See, for example: