I have not posted a lot here on The Ekklesia in Southern Maine in the last coupe weeks. That has a lot to do with being busy at work; it has more to do with putting most of my efforts into zombietheology.com, a project that Alan Knox and myself are working on which looks at the zombie genre from a Christian Theological perspective. I don’t know how interesting that site will be to the majority of readers here, but the post I wrote today may be of more interest to you then some of the other content over there. We have been doing a series called “Zombies in Scripture.” This is a weekly series that looks at various Biblical passages that may relate to zombies. This morning’s post is one that I would say is the center of controversy between Christians and zombie enthusiasts. It looks at the question of the resurrected Jesus being a zombie. I use the standard definition of zombies (as laid out by George Romero’s films) and compare that to the record we have of Jesus’s resurrection in the New Testament. If this interests you at all, please take a second to read through that post and let me know what you think.
You can find the post here, and, to give you a taste of it, here is a brief excerpt from the post:
I feel like it would be an obvious oversight if we didn’t deal with one of the most commonly held beliefs about zombies in scripture: that the resurrected Jesus was a zombie. Jesus died on a Friday, was laid in a grave, and on Sunday morning, when some ladies went to check on him, he was gone. Later that day he visited some of his closest friends and over the next few weeks several other people saw him out and about as well. Jesus died and came back to life – that is the premise from which many assume that Jesus was a zombie. So the question is: did the resurrected Jesus’ behavior fit that of a zombie? Let’s try to consider this as neutrally as possible.
We are enjoying writing and interacting with new and old friends at Zombie Theology and hope you will check it out and share your thoughts.
In case you are interested in And the Dead Shall Rise First, the zombie novel I am working on, today, in the spirit of Friday the 13th, at zombietheology.com I have posted “Physician, Heal Thyself,” a working excerpt from the book. This excerpt, as well as the rest of the book, is far from polished, and I would love to get some feedback on it.
And the Dead Shall Rise First is a novel about the church’s response to a virus that has turned the majority of humanity into zombies.
It is the year 2020 and civilization died one year ago. A virus and horror like never before imagined has gripped our world. EPV (Evolved Photoplasm Virus) is infecting and killing the majority of humanity. It isn’t stopping there. The dead are reanimating and have one single drive: consume all life. Is this the End, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, those things foretold in prophecy throughout Scripture and history? Will the church be able to overcome her division to help bring relief and hope to the world in the midst of all this devastation, or will she simply wither and die in a fractured irrelevant self-induced coma? What hope can she bring to the few remaining survivors of the pandemic? What relief can she bring to so many people who find themselves widowed, orphaned, tired, starving, sick, homeless, and utterly hopeless? And, ultimately, where is God in the midst of all this mess? These are the questions that the Final Council must ask, and the answers are not only crucial to the survival of the faith, but to the survival of humanity.
Also make sure you get back to zombietheology.com next Saturday, May 21st. There will be another surprise in honor of Harold Camping’s “Judgement Day” prediction.
This morning I read a tweet announcing that this individual was about to read a book by the name of Christ Alone. Sounded like a boring old Christian book to me, but it was better than that. Only a few weeks after the release of Love Wins there is ALREADY a “response” book out there against it. That is impressive. Do you remember the Da Vinci Code? Here are just a few of the “response” books to that:
- The Da Vinci Code Controversy
- Breaking the Da Vinci Code
- The Da Vinci Hoax
- Exploring the Da Vinci Code
- Da Vinci Code Decoded
- The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code
- Cracking Da Vinci’s Code
- Cracking the Da Vinci Code (not to be confused with Cracking Da Vinci’s Code)
Seriously, I did not just make that up. So what is the point? I’m not sure that I have a point but I just found this interesting. Are Christians overly reactionary? Or are “Christian” publishing companies just really good marketers who know how to ride the coat tales of the success of others? Do Christians worry too much about people being tricked into abandoning the faith by every popular book or movie that questions Christian beliefs? Do Christians not have enough of a foundation in Christ not to be washed around by every contradictory belief out there?
Those are some of the concerns that are raised in my mind when I see this trend of books in “response” or offering a “Christian perspective” on certain popular subjects. Why bother responding? Why not just teach the truth from a positive angle (i.e. this is the truth) as opposed to the negative angle (i.e. this is not true, this is not true …)? It seems much more effective to teach one truth thus opposing ALL beliefs that contradict that truth than to go out and try to disprove every particular opposing belief out there.
So my good friend Josh is a missionary in Belgium. If you want to learn more about him you can check out the interview I did with him a couple months back. Well, one of the things he does in Belgium is play his bass. He’s really good. I remember when we roomed together and I would hear him plucking away some Red Hot Chili Peppers or Primus song. That was always really cool. So he is doing that stuff over in Belgium now. He plays in a couple bands. He is going to be on a short tour with one of those bands, the one in the video above. Please continue to pray for Josh.
The song in the video is a translation of The Time Has Come by Hillsong. These are the lyrics in English:
Found love beyond all reason
You gave Your life Your all for me
And called me Yours forever
Caught in the mercy fallout
I found hope found life
Found all I need
You’re all I need
The time has come
To stand for all we believe in
So I for one am gonna
Give my praise to You
Today today it’s all or nothing
All the way
The praise goes out to You
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
Today today I live for one thing
To give You praise
In everything I do
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
All we are is Yours
And all we’re living for
Is all You are
Is all that You are Lord
I came across a blog earlier today that had a couple posts explaining that the younger generations of Americans have become less and less interested in Christianity. The two posts he wrote on this topic each dealt with one of the reasons that he suspects for this shift. The two reasons he gave were parents having interfaith marriages and not going to church regularly.
While it is clear that there are not as many young people professing to be Christians as there were in the past, I wonder what this actually means. Does it mean that there are less Christians, or less professing Christians? If there are less Christians then we can start asking why that is, but I think that it may be inaccurate to make the leap from less professing Christians to less actual Christians.
For quite awhile Christianity held a strong hand on culture. People went to church, they said grace, they tried not to swear around the pastor. Was that good? I don’t know. It was what it was, but it certainly did not mean that those people had surrendered their lives to Christ. It may have meant that a lot more people had a false sense of security in their religious observations that made them confident that they were going to Heaven because mom and dad went to church and they were members of “First Baptist.”
It’s not that way anymore. Maybe this means that less people are Christians, maybe it just means that the traditions of earlier generations’ Christianity are no longer relevant. I can’t say what it means, but to think that there was a “good ol’ days” of Christianity seems a bit inaccurate. It is important to separate the actual beliefs from the cultural traditions.
To deal with the second part of this: why do young people not seem interested in Christianity, I can’t give some definitive answer, but I think it is a little more complex than interfaith parents and non-churchgoing parents. I had both. I believe. Christianity is about God touching your heart with the truth of the Gospel and you surrendering your life to that truth. It is not inherited from parents and if it is forced on kids by their parents it isn’t real. So maybe it has to do with the fact that the church is more tied up with the gospel of traditions than it is with reaching people with the gospel of Christ. Maybe it has something to do with fundamentalism, and the church running away and hiding in caves while the world moved on. Maybe it is because certain people believe and certain people don’t. It’s all speculation. All we can do is share the gospel of Christ with the people around us, young or old, and live out the love and truth of that Gospel in our relationships with those people. They may have interfaith parents, they may have never gone to church. I don’t see how that matters in the least.