Taking issue with Malcolm Gladwell

Recently, I was able to download a sample portion of Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath.  I was interested to read this book because in our Men’s Bible Study we are studying the life of David and I wanted to read someone else’s perspective on this well-known Bible story.  I was flying home from Dallas last Friday and decided to read the sample portion that I had downloaded.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Photo courtesy of books.google.com

I was enjoying reading the immense detail as I started in the introduction and then I got to page 10 in the Introduction and when I read this statement:

What matters next is a matter of legend”

I was absolutely appalled.  Here is a well-known author who is writing on a well-known Old Testament Biblical Narrative and he undermines the rest of the book by negating the core Biblical account of the entire story.  After I read that phrase, I went back and re-read it to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting and I read it right.  At that point, I went to my Bible to see what Gladwell was calling legend.

Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.  But there was no sword in the hand of David.  (I Samuel 17:49-50 NKJV)

I do not see how this could be considered legend when the Bible is very specific regarding the events that took place at this point.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, but after reading this one phrase that undermines the Biblical narrative, I am not so sure that I would be impressed with the rest of the book. I might end up downloading the rest of the book some day, but right now I am not in a hurry to do so.

I would love to engage Malcolm Gladwell in a discussion regarding this phrase, but I seriously doubt he will even see this posting.




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