6.01.2011

Samson Syndrome

It is a boring afternoon, and at a friend's suggestion I sat down to read The Samson Syndrome. I should say that the book itself was not recommended by my friend, but the rather the noble activity of reading.

I had my doubts when I read the blurb on the cover: "What you can learn from the baddest boy in the Bible." From this statement, I hoped that the author might give some profound revelation as to why Samson behaved in the particular manner that he did (that is, driven by lust and prone to rule breaking), but he offers very little besides citing "testosterone flare-up[s]" or that the ten commandments turned out to be too restrictive for larger than life Mr. Samson. How insightful.

He gives a whole big list of failures, included pushing boundaries and ignoring good advice. I remained more interested in the psyche of these "strong men," but that was all he said. Strong men are simply prone to make these mistakes, and he never explains any of the tendencies but just assumes his statements to be true.

I grew very tired of the author's authoritative generalizations that strong men tend to blah blah blah without saying why. I skipped through the later chapters, but no insights were to be given.

I don't actually know anyone like this Samson character, to be honest.

He wasn't strong; no, he was inhuman. He was larger than life.

So, I decided that I this book wasn't worth completing not only because the author only talked about the behaviors and not the mindset, but because I am not interested in Samson. He's kind of like an animal, a brute of a machine. I don't care too much for him.

In all honesty, I would rather read about some Shakespearian tragic hero of the Bible. Someone who is virtuous but has the potential to commit wrong.

Because I feel as though anyone who actually acts like this Samson guy is still a baby, sipping on spiritual milk that is spoon fed to them by the preacher man. But anyone who is serious about their faith has moved on from this, and a long time ago. And now they are trying to be good soil in earnestness. They are tragic heroes, saints of lost causes, and prone to error but who are, as Aristotle notes, virtuous.

From what I read, the author never even defined the word "strong," even though he uses it for the title of every chapter. The fallacy of the book is that strong can be replaced by sinful, and the book would make more sense.

Sorry if you wrote it, but I do need a different book now.

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