In the first part of every chapter Rutherford adds fictional dialogue to the historical narrative of Joshua 6:1-20. I can’t begin to tell you how much I dislike this when people do it. It seems so presumptive. Many people won’t have a problem with this. It is just a personal preference with me. I understand for movies and other media it is common. I just personally don’t appreciate it. You really have to be careful that you don’t change the meaning of the word of God in so doing. It isn’t a risk I think is advisable. There are even some commentaries and study Bibles that have made a mess of the Bible and their authors are usually trained theologians.
I appreciate the concept in the first chapter to take the focus off of our problems and to seek after God’s greatness instead, but he takes it to a different place on page eleven. Rutherford writes, “God can and will make the walls fall down in your personal Jericho, and the first step in accomplishing this feat hinges upon your ability to grasp His greatness” I think he is contradicting Himself a bit here and sounding like a prosperity preacher. So I have to, “grasp His greatness” before God will make walls fall down? Throughout the book there looks like there is a lot of conditional statements. Granted there are some conditional statements in the Bible, but we have to remember that God is sovereign and will accomplish His will.
Rutherford says much that I can agree with on the trinity, omniscience, and omnipresence, of God. He also encourages us to read the Bible daily. Then on page 23 he has to scare me again with this kind of lingo, “This truth leads you to trust not only in His knowledge and wisdom but also in the strategy He has already prescribed for your victory. How awesome that we serve an omniscient God who is willing to share His knowledge with us so that we can conquer the impossible obstacles in our lives.” Now if he is talking about God conquering sin in our lives by the gospel than that would be great, but it doesn’t seem like that is what he means. There is a theme throughout the book that looks like Rutherford is saying that God will conquer every trial we have, oh and sin to. I don’t want to be unfair. He does attempt to make a distinction between the false prosperity gospel and the true gospel. He just comes off as a little of both in his terminology.
On page 42, in chapter two Rutherford makes a good point about God’s promises. When he says something is going to be, it is a certainty and we can and should act on it as a reality yet to be realized. He ties this in with Gods sovereign purposes for us as individuals. Throughout the Bible we can see where God has used people for certain purposes of His and we have purposes. God will use us as He has planned. Subsequently he starts laying out the notion of trusting in God’s plan for your life and how that will look. I agree with him here, when we believe something we behave as if it is true. If we trust God and His word we will behave accordingly.
He teaches tithing as in 10% and something Christians are supposed to do. This is not a true doctrine for Christians. According to the New Covenant we are to prayerfully consider how much to give and then do so with a joyful heart. Some people might be convinced to give 70%. Would you tell them that their obligation is only 10%? I don’t think so. Some people are very poor and are in debt. It would be irresponsible to tell them, “God wants His 10%”. The author missuses a few idioms. One that should have been caught by the editor was, “Shark invested waters” instead of, “shark infested waters.” He quotes Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren. He misapplies and incorrectly exegetes the story of Gideon to imply that it is better to have 300 committed men than thousands of self-serving ones. The text is obviously about God cutting the numbers down so that He gets the glory for winning the battle and not the army. The book isn’t very deep at all. Representative of most of the Christian books out there, a mile wide and an inch deep, like a puddle in a parking lot. He doesn’t endorse works righteousness. He tries to teach obedience to God relationally and God will bless you. I honestly don’t think he is trying to teach you to obey to get a blessing, although it would be very easy to take what he is saying that way. Read with caution; eat the meat throw out the bones. He keeps talking about victory, but over what? He takes until the end of the book to get around to it. I am still not sure of what I just read. Maybe instead of this read, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan or, “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul.
I received this book for free, and am not obligated to give it a positive review.
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