Confidence in the Living God

David and Goliath revisited

Andrew Watson

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Confidence lies at the heart of society, determining the success or failure of the economy, the government, companies, schools, churches and, of course, individuals. As Christians, we are called to proclaim our faith in God, but how can we build and maintain this confidence in an increasingly secularised culture where such faith is often seen as marginal, embarrassing or even downright dangerous?

Using the story of David and Goliath, Andrew Watson takes a narrative theology approach to show how the Lord can indeed be our confidence, whatever the odds. He explores how God can develop a proper self-confidence within individuals and his Church, revealing the gospel through transforming words and transformed lives.

He considers, too, how we can confidently tackle the challenges of day-to-day living, whether a difficult work situation or family relationship, or simply anxiety about the future. The book includes a study guide and is ideal as a whole church course on the subject of confidence.

'If there is a quality that needs restoring to the church right now it is a faith-filled confidence in God. This timely and inspiring book is a prophetic call to rise up with a Davidic new boldness in the person and power of the living God. I highly recommend it'
- Mark Stibbe, Leader of The Father's House

Contents include:

  • Introduction: The call to confidence
  • Building confident foundations
  • Confidence, faith and wishful thinking
  • Confidence within God's Church
  • Confidence in the providence of God
  • Responding to godly confidence
  • A right self-confidence
  • Confidence in sharing the gospel
  • Confidence-imparting leadership
  • Confidence at the coal face
  • Conclusion: The confident Christian
  • Discussion guide

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Author info

Andrew Watson is Bishop of Aston and is involved in promoting church growth and leadership across the diocese of Birmingham. He was previously vicar of St Stephen's, East Twickenham, where he helped pioneer three church plants. He has also written The Fourfold Leadership of Jesus (BRF, 2008).


From The Good Bookstall - April 2010

A thoughtful exploration of the David and Goliath story, portraying the church as David against its modern-day 'Goliath' - a combination of secularism, militant atheism and indifference. Andrew Watson draws many parallels between the Israel of David's time, who had demanded a king to fight their battles for them, and the church's abandonment of the priesthood of believers in exchange for a clergy/laity hierarchy, in both cases leading to a damping down of faith and a distancing of themselves from God. The chapters dealing with 'the Eliab reaction' to faith-filled enthusiasts in the congregation will, I'm sure, strike a chord with many of us, and the Biblical evidence that Jesus was all in favour of those with fire in the belly, however imperfect, is food for thought. An interesting read, difficult to put aside and forget, since it is in many ways a call to arms, evoking the spirit of Revelation 2 and 3 for the modern day. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Dianne Morrison

From Christianity Magazine

As the title suggests, this is a book about confidence (from the Latin meaning 'with faith'), drawing insights from the epic confrontation of David and Goliath. Andrew Watson, Bishop of Aston, explores Goliath's misplaced overconfidence, Saul's tortured self-doubt, Eliab's patronising superiority and David's modest, inspirational trust in God.

Though the battle in 1 Samuel 17 is between two men, Watson applies the story to the whole Church as well as to individuals, showing how our nerve can be tested both by personal troubles and through public assaults on faith, especially the recent attacks in the media from humanists and atheists. Exploring in detail the narrative of the battle, the author brilliantly probes important themes like values in Christian leadership, effectiveness in evangelism, our suspicion of success and our acceptance of decline.

Watson's searching biblical investigation, revealing character portraits, lively anecdotes, relevant application and readable style make this an outstanding expository book which is anchored in the real world. The discussion guide at the back will be a great resource for preachers and small groups too.

Reviewed by John Lambert

From Christian Marketplace - June 2009

Of course leadership models are not just confined to the New Testament. The first part of the Bible is full of inspiring (yet flawed) leaders; great men and women of faith who led God's people through good times and bad. In Confidence in the Living God by Andrew Watson, Watson turns from the leadership model of Jesus as explored in his last book (The Fourfold Leadership of Jesus, BRF, 2008) to one of the heroes of the Old Testament, David.

Using the story of David and Goliath, he looks at a key characteristic of leadership, that of confidence (in God). The book has some interesting chapter titles including "Confidence within God's Church", "A Right Self-Confidence" and "Confidence-Imparting Leadership". Due out in July, I have only seen the first part of the book where he points out the importance in leadership of not ignoring the history of the situation you find yourself leading. A good friend of mine has just taken over a new parish and one of his challenges as a leader is to instil confidence in his 'flock' that he is leading them onward yet is mindful of their history too. Perhaps I should give him a copy.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857464828
  • Published: 20 May 2016
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
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