Book Review: Failure: The Back Door To Success

No one likes to fail.

Failure can be painful, and it can leave a person wondering, “Whats next?”

Erwin Lutzer’s book Failure: The Back Door To Success proposes a positive spin, claiming that failure can actually help you get to the success you want.

Or at least that’s what the cover would have you think. After all, more than 100,00 readers can’t be wrong.

A better title for this book would be Failure: Don’t Let It Happen to You or Failure: How It Can Ruin Your Life. Why so negative? A few examples from the book: a couple decides to become missionaries, and they move to a foreign land. Things don’t work out, and they return home. They’re embarrassed to explain why, so they tell their friends a different story to cover up the “failure” that they are no longer missionaries. Or, a Christian woman marries a non-believer, and she has to work like crazy to make her marriage work. She resigns herself to wondering what might have been – could she have been a missionary had she not gotten pregnant before being forced to marry this guy she’s now stuck with? (What is it with this author and missionaries?) This woman can’t stand her husband, but she has to love him.

If you’re expecting a Christian version of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this book isn’t it. I disagree with what seems to be the author’s belief that most human failure results from sin. Yes, much of it does, but just because a career objective does not work out as hoped for, does not mean that it HAD to be the result of sin. Perhaps God had something better in mind, or circumstances changed…. we are human, and our knowledge is finite.

Another major lacking point of this book is how it focuses on failure – it’s very negative – and it lacks the knowledge of how to get from the failure to success.  Information on “the back door to success” is what it’s missing. That positive aspect is lacking. This book focuses on sin so much that it overspiritualizes –  it overlooks the fact that sometimes failure happens even when people are following God with all their hearts.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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