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Walking the Walk –– The Rise of King David for Today: A Dramatic Exposition of 1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 5:10

By Pete Wilcox
February 2010 | Review by Henry Dixon


Pete Wilcox opens up the very human story of Davids rise to power and shows him to be a complicated person full of light, dark and shades of grey; a man not so very different from ourselves, yet a man after Gods own heart.

  • Publisher: Paternoster
  • ISBN: 978-1842276488
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: £3.03
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Book Review

This book calls itself a ‘dramatic exposition’ of the story of the rise to power of David. The author is Pete Wilcox, who is the Canon Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral. He divides the story of David’s rise to power into ‘acts’ and ‘scenes’.

Essentially he retells the story, taking a section by section rather than verse by verse approach, making observations along the way.

The author accepts the dating and authorship of Old Testament books which liberal scholars put forward in the nineteenth century. For example, he says that Genesis 1 ‘took shape during the period of the Exile’. He speaks of there being inconsistencies in the story. He also talks of the ‘confused pre-textual history of this narrative’.

Moreover, Wilcox seems to question the goodness of God and integrity of David. He speaks about an ‘undeniably arbitrary aspect of the providence of God in the story’ of David. ‘Like the chief suspect in a murder mystery, David finds himself the beneficiary of the sudden, violent and immensely convenient death of his opponents.’

He speaks of David as being ‘profoundly self-interested’ and making ‘bloodthirsty declarations’. He says that ‘the providence of God is furthered by (or at least works with) deception’. He talks of David having a ‘cavalier attitude’ to ritual when he ate consecrated bread, even though the incident was cited with approval by Christ.

There are some interesting observations and a few helpful applications in this book. The reader, however, should beware of a low attitude to Scripture betrayed by various comments in the book.

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