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Fails to address key issues,
This review is from: There Are No Strong People (Paperback)
I am a huge Lucas fan. As usual the writing was witty and engaging - I finished the book in 2 days flat.
In the book Lucas explains some of the difficulties that Samson faced in his life, such as other people committing him to a vow he had not chosen and a lack of parental guidance. He goes on to list out many of Sampson's failings (and warns us to be alert to the wiles of the devil). He seems to hate that brave Philistine called Delilah who finally discovered his "Achilles heel" (I was mystified as to why he seemed to think her a traitor.....)
His main point seems to be that God used Samson in spite of his obvious failings - so God can (and does) use weak and sinful people (that is all he has to work with!).
My concerns about the book were
Firstly literalism. Lucas seems to assume that the stories happened exactly as set out in scripture. Surely not.... Just think of having to catch one fox. Even if you are a good fox hunter could you catch one a minute? So to catch 300 takes 5 hours (at the crazy rate of 1 a minute). then tie them together in pairs - 150 pairs at 1 every 2 minutes - another 5 hours. Tie flaming torches to them - another 5 hours...... Sorry it does not work for me!
But more seriously is the idea of his murderous strength coming from the "Spirit of God". Lucas reminds us that we cannot judge Samson by New Testament standards - and clearly this is a fair point. However, are we also to conclude that the Holy Spirit has not read the New Testament and considers it a holy act to give a lout great strength to kill those he has fallen out with? I was very saddened that Lucas did not seem to notice that this would be an issue.
If we assume that this is the Holy Spirit acting in this way perhaps Christians (and Jews) can justify genocide on the grounds that the Holy Spirit was a party to a similar act in the past.
For my part I believe this is quite wrong - but Lucas treads on dangerous ground by not addressing this issue.