There are no strong people
Going beyond Scripture Ð going too far
THERE ARE NO STRONG PEOPLE
By Jeff Lucas
CWR. 216 pages. £9.99
ISBN 978 1 853 456 244
The story of Samson in brief outline is well known by many. However, the details, which are not so well known, Jeff Lucas manages to expand to some 220 pages of intriguing reading. BUT, the book should come with a ‘health warning’.
Over the last 60 plus years of Bible study I have amassed a wide range of Reformed and Puritan literature. I have also enjoyed the creative writing styles of poets and literary scholars of this world. However, I have never before come across a writer quite like Jeff Lucas. He is certainly a very readable, accomplished and apparently scholarly writer, regularly referring to the meanings of Hebrew words. He uses his own illustrations to memorable effect and often harks back to those truths reflected upon quite skilfully. His book is well presented and helpfully referenced.
I was immediately fascinated by his presentational style. In the computer world we say that writing in capitals or large fonts is like SHOUTING. And Jeff certainly does a lot of shouting. He also adds a lot of speculation or wild imaginings far beyond what the Scriptures might state. I am reminded of: ‘If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll’ (Revelation 22.18-19).
His writing style repeatedly uses ‘we’ as an attempt to draw the reader into associating with his message. He repeatedly attributes thoughts or feelings to the reader which should not be true of any born again believer. Similarly, such issues as he raises I would not share with a weak Christian or non-believer. So I question who the target audience might be. However, rather than going into a detailed analysis of the good and bad points of either his anecdotes or biblical exposition, I must make this one statement of protest.
Sullying our minds
On many, many pages throughout the book Lucas makes some reference to the sexual exploits of Samson. Not only that, he often expands upon them in lurid detail far beyond what is stated in Scripture, quoting from the Talmud or other non-scriptural sources — details of which I cannot in all conscience repeat to avoid sullying the minds of the readers of this review.
I bought the book in good faith. However, I feel as if I have been holding the Scriptures in one hand while studying, page after page, the pornography of a third-rate ‘red top’. Graphic images that Jeff Lucas has burnt into my mind will be hard to remove. This is a book that the curious should avoid.