The Strange Man is the first title in the Coming Evil series, written by Greg Mitchell. Dras Weldon is a college dropout looking for a job who parties at night and recovers during the day. He considers himself a Christian, while his brother Jeff, a pastor, does not. One day, an unusual storm arrives at their little town of Greensboro. What this storm brings forces Dras to reconsider his views on the supernatural and to realize true devotion for his best friend-Rosalyn Myers.
Before I get started on my criticism of this book, I will have to say that if you plan to read this, go for it! The rest of this review contains spoilers, so I give my approval of the book now. If anyone reading this has read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, (spoilers here for it too) the ending of each book is quite similar. There are some important differences, though. In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton, a reclusive drunkard, comes to “save himself” through one “righteous” act. He is shown to be a Christ-figure: one who dies in the place of an innocent person. The problem with this is that man cannot earn salvation by anything he does. When I finished The Strange Man, I had to do a double-take. Dras is beaten and killed for what he was thought to have done, but didn’t. He could have stopped it, but he knew this would change Rosalyn’s mind about Christianity. I did not get this message clearly the first time through, and was struck by the similarity between the two books. Then, I didn’t recall exactly where it said he earned salvation by doing this, and re-read it. At this point, I did not find any statement, and realized my mistake. Instead of dying for his salvation, he died, not for Rosalyn’s salvation, but for her gaze to be moved from the world to Christ, who Himself would then give her salvation. All in all, this was a great book, very pleasing to those who enjoy suspenseful monster material and yet satisfying to the Christian.