Book Review: Goliath Must Fall

Goliath Must Fall:  Winning The Battle Against Your Giants, by Louie Giglio

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I am not unfamiliar with either the writings of Louie Giglio [1] or the story of David and Goliath from which this book springs [2].  This familiarity brings with it a certain degree of contempt for the way that the author handles this story, as I found myself in fierce disagreement with the author on any number of points while I was reading this book.  From the very title of this book–Goliath “must” fall–I had a degree of offense against the author for his glib “name it and claim it” attitude, and while the author did address some worthwhile giants that many of us (myself included) have to deal with in a thoughtful manner, the author made some notable missteps as well.  Notable among them is his deliberate refusal to consider believers as being future rulers with godly hearts in the manner of David.  Ultimately, the most unsatisfactory portion of this book, and one that undercuts a lot of its potential value, is the way that the author frames David as being only a precursor for Christ and not as a potential model for believers.  His way of thinking is too narrow, too restrictive, and not nearly focused enough on the larger plan of God in which David is an inspiration for all believers, and this makes the book less enjoyable of a read than it could have been had the author been more biblically knowledgeable and less concerned with making glib and superficial attempts at midrashing the story of David and Goliath to make it relevant to the author’s target audience of non-intellectual readers.

The book as a whole is about 250 pages and is divided into two parts.  The first part of the book is introduced by an “overture” that promises that the giants the reader is facing are going down.  After this there are five chapters, the first of which points that God and Jesus Christ are bigger than our giants, that like the wiggling dead snakes the author harvested as a young man that Satan is defeated but still deadly, and that the giants of ear, rejection, and our longing for comfort must fail.  The author has a lot of worthwhile points to make about all of these elements, and I will certainly own that they are relevant in my own life and that of many other people.  After an interlude that seeks to convince the reader that our problems are defeated if we will simply claim our victory in Christ, the author has four more chapters, dealing with such issues as anger and addiction–all very relevant to many of us–as well as the importance of not giving Satan a place at our table to condemn us and our need for fuel for our personal spiritual warfare.  After that the author includes some acknowledgments and notes.

As might be imagined, my feelings about this book are somewhat mixed.  To be sure, the use of the story of David and Goliath is a worthwhile one, and the author is able to make effective use of his own personal stories, although I was not able to entirely buy the author’s assertions that his problems of anxiety were in the past.  This book appears to be a product of a manic phase of unrealistic confidence and optimism, with a depressive phase soon to follow given the author’s tumultuous life history.  Even so, the author squanders a lot of goodwill by combining a sloppy and casual approach to writing with a dogmatism about his points that springs from limited competence in handling scripture.  A more skillful author who was more sensitive to both his audience and more knowledgeable with the scriptures could have taken the story of David and Goliath and made it a vastly better work, but a skillful reader will still be able to find much of value in here to apply to our lives and a great deal of encouragement in our long warfare against our demons.  Whether or not this would be a worthwhile use of one’s time I leave for each potential reader of this book to decide, as this book had good intentions but not particularly successful execution.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/12/04/book-review-the-comeback/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/05/13/book-review-the-most-misused-stories-in-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/12/07/i-love-to-be-the-underdog/

 

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Book Review: Goliath Must Fall

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Armed And Dangerous | Edge Induced Cohesion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s