Book Review 30: “Goliath Must Fall” by Louie Giglio

A book that supposedly has a “newfound twist in the classic story of David and Goliath”, Louie Giglio writes Goliath Must Fall. That phrase “newfound twist” that you can find on the book’s back cover shows that already a problem exists. We don’t need “newfound twists”, “fresh” takes on Scripture (another popular phrase used in modern evangelicalism), or God to speak to us in a “new” way (or any other phrases in evangelicalism that sound similar to the aforementioned ones). God speaks to us in His Word (Hebrews 1:1-4), a Word that was canonized a long time ago. Furthermore, God’s Word is living and active, the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 4:12; 13:8). Nobody needs a “newfound twist” or the like to get insight on what the Bible says about David and Goliath. The Bible itself suffices.

After two pages of praise from various people (including false teachers Christine Caine and Brian Houston), Giglio gives a weird introduction that seems to be his retelling of the story of David and Goliath (pp. ix-xviii). In the process, he promotes manmade doctrine (i.e., the “giant of complaceny” on p. xiii), narcigetes the retelling and preaches himself. In regards to the narcigesis, he likens the insurmountable challenge/problem David faced with the similar insurmountable challenges/problems we face today (i.e., fear, addiction, anger, etc.). What Giglio fails to understand is the Bible is not about us; it is about Jesus (John 5:39-45). In regards to the preaching of self (which is a bad thing, per 2 Corinthians 4:5), Giglio makes an awfully big claim for his book, as follows (p. xiv; some words bolded by me):

The pages ahead are not just filled with “pie in the sky” optimism. This book is a time-tested pathway for how your life can be different. I know, because I’ve been there. I’ve come face-to-face with giants of my own and experienced God’s power and strength that surpasses [sic] my best efforts. In the chapters to come, I’m going to share from that experience as we carve open the biblical story of David and Goliath. Through that story you’ll discover some tools and new habits, some new perspectives, a fresh way of walking through life [sic].

To call the book a “time-tested pathway” is a huge claim. Furthermore, Giglio claims he knows the book is time-tested simply because he has “been there.” In other words, his subjective personal experiences validate this book’s being “time-tested.” This is nonsense. One’s subjective personal experiences do not make a book time-tested. If this book is so “time-tested” as Giglio claims, why has this whole concept of “Goliath Must Fall” been absent from the church the last two thousand years? Also, why do we need a “fresh” way of walking through life when, as mentioned earlier, God’s Word suffices? After all, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We don’t need “fresh” ways of walking through life. We just need God’s Word.

Post-introduction, this book has nine chapters with an interlude after the fifth chapter (pp. 1-242). Some acknowledgements, notes and an “About The Author” section follow the book’s last chapter (pp. 243-249). The book is not divided into sections. However, Giglio spends the first two chapters laying the foundation for the supposed five giants that must fall (fear, rejection, comfort, anger and addiction). He then wraps up his book in the last two chapters.

In chapter one, Giglio shows he approves of the unbiblical practice of vision-casting (p. 4). He also rips both John 10:10 and 1 Thessalonians 3:8 out of context (p. 8). Giglio continues his Scripture-twisting by adding to God’s Word when discussing 1 Samuel 17:36-37 (which makes Giglio a liar, per Proverbs 30:6; p. 17). Sadly, Giglio’s adding to God’s Word is commonplace in this book. The chapter’s worst part comes midway when he continues his nonsensical narrative of “fresh” (pp. 8-9; some words bolded by me):

It starts with seeing and believing that whatever giant we’re battling might be big — but it’s not bigger than Jesus. Nine feet tall is nothing to him. And he intends to set you free.
We’re going to see this in a powerful way as we unpack the story of David and Goliath. I’m guessing you heard this tale somewhere along the line. if not, get ready. It’s gripping tale jammed with possibility for you. I’ve heard this story since my days as a kid in church. But there’s a fresh twist that’s been exploding in my heart recently. A life-altering way of seeing Jesus in the story that changes everything about the way your giant is going down.

At this point, there are some huge problems. First, Giglio continues his unashamed nonsensical “fresh” narrative. Second, he claims this “twist” (it’s ironic he uses “twist” since he frequently twists Scripture) has been “exploding” in his heart recently. This is a huge problem because the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked about all things (Jeremiah 17:9). Furthermore, Jesus Himself discussed what comes out of the heart (Matthew 15:1-20; NASB; verses 15-20 are key, but I start at verse 1 for context):

Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,“Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to hisfather or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,”he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

10 After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand.11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

12 Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

In explaining the parable, Jesus explained how out of the heart come many evil things (verse 19). If anyone tells you he/she simply wants to share his/her heart with you or a message placed on the heart, steer clear. Nobody needs a message from someone’s heart, especially with how deceitful and wicked the heart is. This would mean that nobody really needs this message Giglio is about to spew in the rest of his book (more on that later). As a result, there is really no good reason for me to go in-depth in the rest of the review. Nevertheless, I review the rest of it in an effort to be long-form and within reason for context’s sake.

In chapter two, Giglio continues his adding to God’s Word with the historical narrative of David and Goliath (p. 45). He also basically takes away from God’s Word by sugarcoating the reason Jesus died on the cross. Specifically, Giglio states Jesus “died for our freedom, but also died for God’s fame” (p. 48). Giglio makes no mention of sin. This is vague and soft. Scripture states clearly that Christ died to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:15). The fact Giglio omitted this very important thing is alarming.

In the next three chapters, Giglio discusses the giants of fear, rejection and comfort (pp. 51-132). In the chapter on fear, he narcigetes 1 Samuel 17, adds to God’s Word (again) and promotes the false belief of shouting down the devil (pp. 60-67). This concept of shouting down the devil (or even saying popular catchphrases such as, “Not today, Satan”) is completely unbiblical. After all, as Jude 1:9 states, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” Believers are not to rebuke or “shout down” the devil themselves. Instead, the LORD does the rebuking.

In the chapter on rejection, Giglio continues his narcigesis and manmade doctrine (pp. 87, 92). What makes this all strange is the fact Giglio makes the important point that the reader (as in you, me, etc.) is not David (p. 91). This combination of narcigesis and stating the reader is not David makes Giglio guilty of double-speak throughout the book. The worst part of this chapter is Giglio’s promoting a different gospel (which leads to eternal condemnation, per Galatians 1:6-9) as shown (pp. 100-101):

The gospel isn’t just a church talk. It’s not just a good sermon. It tells every human what we need to know in the deepest part of our souls — that we have enormous worth to God. Faced with life without us, his choice was to allow his Son to die for us. That’s how he recovered us and rescued us.
God paid an enormous price for you.

This is both a false gospel and narcissistic ear-scratching nonsense. Furthermore, it is eerily similar to the false gospel that false teacher Todd White preaches. As Kozar notes in the third hyperlink of the previous sentence, this type of teaching is demonic. As all the sources note, there is many a Scripture that refutes Giglio’s (and White’s, for that matter) demonic teaching (Isaiah 54:7-8; Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Exodus 34:6-7; Romans 3:1-20, 5:6-10; 1 John 4:7-10; Ephesians 2:1-3). In a nutshell, it was because of God’s mercy, love and compassion that He saved us. It was not because of our “enormous worth” or “value.”

The problems continue in chapter five. Here, Giglio

A weird interlude that adds to God’s Word (once again making Giglio a liar; pp. 133-138) follows after the chapter on rejection and precedes the next “giant” that must fall (anger).  In the chapter on anger, Giglio continues his narcigesis, false teachings and Bible-twisting (the grammar in this book also gets worse after the “interlude” chapter). Worse, he states that “Scripture is clear that anger is a giant that can shut down God’s possibility for our lives” (p. 144). This is nonsense. First, Giglio gives no biblical texts to prove such a point. Second, if anger could really “shut down God’s possibility for our lives”, wouldn’t that make the concept of anger more powerful than God? Wouldn’t that prevent God from being One who does what He pleases?

In the chapter about how addiction must fall, Giglio continues his Bible-twisting ways by taking a descriptive text (Genesis 2:24-25) and making it prescriptive (pp. 181-183). He also inherently twists Jeremiah 29:11 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 (p, 190). In the last two chapters, Giglio continues his manmade doctrine, false teachings, pseudo-profundities and Scripture-twisting ways (pp. 193-242). Giglio also cites F.B. Meyer, one of the promoters of Keswick theology (p. 219). Finally, he continues his unashamed “talking to the giants” doctrine (which, as mentioned earlier, is unbiblical, per Jude 1:9; p. 230). The book concludes with some acknowledges, notes and an “about the author” section (pp. 243-249). In the “Acknowledgments” section, he admits this book was “inspired by a series of messages that came to life at Passion City Church” (p. 243). He ends this section with the words, “I love you, Jesus” (p. 245). Given Giglio’s flagrant inability to rightly handle God’s Word throughout this entire book (not to mention his unashamed promotion of various false/demonic teachings), this “Jesus” Giglio loves cannot be the biblical one. Rather, it is a different one.

CONCLUSION

A book absolutely flooded with narcigesis, Bible-twisting, double-speak, manmade doctrine, mediocre grammar, pseudo-profundities, demonic teachings and other unbiblical nonsense, Goliath Must Fall absolutely falls under the category of “heresy.”  Unless you are reading it for research purposes, stay away from this book.

GRADE: 1.0 out of 5

 

 

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