|Book review: There Are No Strong People By Jeff Lucas|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 15:40|
"If you are a little squeamish, skip the next few paragraphs" - so writes Jeff Lucas towards the end of his latest book about Samson. Some might suggest he place this "health warning" at the beginning of the book - "If you are a bit squeamish, skip the book!"
Undoubtedly Jeff's treatment of Samson is controversial as he seeks to dump all of today's sex obsessed culture on to this Old Testament figure. He repeatedly locates sexual innuendos which have probably bypassed most students of scripture, including this reviewer, in the past - the reader must decide on the accuracy.
There is much of worth to think through as Jeff uses Samson to shine a light on some of the strong treacherous currents that swirl around the individual Christian and church communities today e.g. How to be distinctive and not merge with culture; the issue of internet pornography; the danger of "success" in Christian leadership, the Christian leader who falls etc.
The most powerful chapter for me was "Jesus works at the rubbish dump" where Jeff looks at Samson being "led by his eyes and his loins" and observes how God is able to transform the scraps and junk of our foolishness into treasure.
However there is also an inherent danger that some will retune the message from Jeff's explicit and often speculative commentary that if it's OK for God's chosen judge to act at times as a Philistine sex tourist, it validates any sexual activity. Jeff would argue that his unexpurgated treatment of the Samson narrative simply supports his basic contention that the are no strong people but rather people with different strengths.
On balance strong stuff, written with humour, but needing to be read with care.
The Revd Martin Poole is a retired Baptist minister (Penarth, Godalming, Eastleigh) and is currently Lymington Centre Manager for Christians Against Poverty
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 15:00|
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