PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 2012
iding the wave of sudden interest in zombies, vampires and other things undead, Morgan illuminates Christian beliefs about death after life. It’s not so much a treatise on the afterlife as it is a parallel with Christianity in one column and our fascination with zombies in the other.
Morgan comes from a Christian tradition, advocating a very real belief in the resurrection of the dead as taught in the New Testament. In other words, Morgan believes the Bible at face-value when describing incidents of the dead coming to life after miraculous intervention by Jesus or His Apostles.
Drawing primarily from New Testament accounts, the author folds in his own personal anecdotes from an obvious interest in the living dead, both film and book and surprisingly, mostly by unbelieving authorship. I say surprising since it seems that most Christian authors fear to tread in the blatantly pagan world of horror stories or even admit to reading Anne Rice or watching Day of the Dead. Morgan’s use of Biblical stories supports a literal understanding of New Testament supernatural events.
I am personally addicted to grand imagery and so was a little disappointed to find an absence of otherworldly, Dante-esque scenes. However, the author delves into the pagan world without borrowing their underlying ontology while preserving the accuracy of the original inspired message.
Instead of a celebration or fascination with death, Morgan clearly focuses on the victory of life over death by Christ. There is no mistake that Morgan is a fan of horror, but it is not an unhealthy obsession, nor does he mention scary things just for the sake of shock and gore.
His comparison of the Christian life to contemporary horror themes is insightful. Zombies and Christians, he would argue, are spiritual twins: We often feel “sluggish, shambling without direction, loaded down by the baggage of our lives.” When compared to vampires, we see that we can also hide “in a cold, dark crypt anytime the light of the world shines on us.” The analogy is fitting, without being forced on the reader.
Similar attempts at comparing Christianity to forms of non-Christian fiction have been done in the past. Few have been able to make the contrast apparent while keeping the reader engaged. And quite a few of those attempts go further to say, for example, that Harry Potter is actually a Christian allegory or finding overt Christian themes in Tolkien or in the Narnia tales. While some elements are certainly borrowed and some themes are boldly apparent, Morgan does not try to redefine the original genre to fit a spiritual agenda, although in later chapters he walks away from the shock value of the earlier chapters.
I found the book interesting and well-written. The point was clear and the overall purpose was pursued with clarity. I felt a younger audience might be a better target readership, maybe late teens to early 20s. Perhaps young adults are the intended audience and if so, I think the author successfully accomplished his task.