Demons yes — but thank God for good Angels. By Lehman Strauss. Neptune, New Jersey; Loizeaux Bros., 1976. Paperback, $1.95.
Midst the spate of both paperback and hard-cover books being disgorged from the seemingly tireless presses of Christian publishers, here is a timely paperback that is sane, sensible, Scriptural, non-sensational and spiritually helpful. The contents of the book are divided into nine chapters, the following titles being among them:
Satan’s Influence in Governments
The Sinister Satan-Man
Dark Days Ahead!
Thank God for Good Angels
The Heart of the Problem and Its Solution
Complete in Christ
On page 84 Strauss states: “If we are correct in our interpretation of Zechariah 13:8, a third of the people on the earth will be saved during the tribulation.” Many Bible students, including this reviewer, would kindly disagree with author’s interpretation of this text. The passage has to do with Israel’s chastening and refining during the tribulation, “the third” being a reference to the remnant that shall be left. Whether the figure should be taken literally is a moot point. Against a literal interpretation is the fact that Isaiah refers to the remnant as “a tenth” (Isaiah 6:13), his words in their distant or ultimate fulfillment referring to the coming tribulation period. Neither David Baron nor Charles L. Feinberg, both Hebrew Christians and keen spiritual scholars, agree with Strauss’ interpretation.
Further, it was a surprise to this reviewer that the author quoted William Barclay to substantiate a point regarding Christ’s title of “Firstborn” (pp. 86-7). If indeed Strauss and this reviewer have in mind the same William Barclay recently retired from the divinity faculty of the University of Glasgow, perhaps Strauss does not realize some of Barclay’s unscriptural views. On the basis of his recent book, William Barclay: A Spiritual Autobiography, he is a universalist (p. 58); he states that the New Testament never identifies Christ as God (p. 50); he does not affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ (p. 108); he equates the Holy Spirit and the risen Christ (p. 109); and he declares that “the miracles were often not so much stories of what Jesus once did, but symbols of what he still can do” (p. 45).
Finally, to this reviewer, the value of the author’s outstanding chapter, “Thank God for Good Angels,” would have been increased had he included a brief section on “the Angel of the Lord”—namely, the pre-incarnate Christ Himself. Strauss fails to distinguish between “the Angel of the Lord” and angels (pp. 94, 96).
These minor matters notwithstanding, it is hoped that Strauss’ book will have a wide circulation. This reviewer highly recommends it.