Category Archives: Theology

Was Jesus a Zombie

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.

Thanks!


Using the Apocalypse as a Shameless Plug

As you have probably heard by now, the world is going to be ending on Saturday. According to Harold Camping this Saturday is exactly 7,000 years from the day that God told Noah he would destroy the world in seven days. And we all know that to God a day is like a thousand years and all that.

This end of the world prediction is just so absurd that it isn’t even worth refuting, but, in an over-the-top kind of way it definitely demonstrates something I was talking about a couple months back: it is dangerous to try and interpret the Bible into current events. I specifically used eschatology as an example to demonstrate these dangers and never would have expected someone to come along and say “See me? I’m doing exactly what that guy warned you about!” but, as fate would have it, that guy has come along. Well I’ve got to admit he has given this a shot before, but I wasn’t blogging much at the age of ten so I didn’t have much of a venue to bring it up in at that time. He also predicted the end of the world in 1994.

When Camping’s ’94 prediction was proven wrong by, well, reality, he ended up making some changes. So here we are on the eve of the eve of the end of the world. While you are eagerly awaiting the Rapture or however it is that you understand Jesus coming back for his followers, might I recommend reading my Reactionary Eschatology series:

And, if you decide that this is really the End, and that maybe zombies will be part of the End then I would also recommend checking out Zombie Theology for Christian advice and encouragement in living through the zombie apocalypse.


I’m Open To Other Views

People have this idea that I always think I’m right, that I am arrogant and don’t listen to other people’s perspectives. Well those people are dumb.

But seriously, I like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded person. I am ready to hear and learn from other people. The problem is that THEY think they know everything and usually they don’t.

Take this conversation I had the other day. I was talking with a guy about Amillennialism and trying to explain it in small words because, as I explained to him, he didn’t know anything about eschatology because his pastors never wanted him to think. So he started to argue with me. He couldn’t help it. He had been indoctrinated, brainwashed if you will. I tried to be patient, but he kept asking all these questions that I couldn’t answer. They were the type of questions his pastor probably told him to ask even though he paused thoughtfully before asking them (I think that was part of his training as well, to make the trick questions seem more genuine). Well I was getting exhausted trying to explain these difficult concepts to someone so under the brain-control of some local pastor. Finally I had to shake him up; I had to get his head out of the haze, so I said “Listen buddy, if you don’t believe this is true, then you are blind to the truth.” That showed him. He shut right up … and he left before we could finish our conversation, but it was obviously because he knew I was right.

There was this other time when I was telling a friend how God had spoken to me about election. How he had laid it all out there for me and I finally understood it all for the first time. Do you know what my friend did? Tried to “discuss” the topic with me. As if there were anything left to discuss! When God tells you something you know it’s true. Why would people try to change your mind about it?

Then there was this other time. A buddy of mine was concerned that I may be a little too zealous about my feelings concerning how I interpret the Bible. He explained that he thought it may not make sense to say that when you read the Bible in faith you come to the same conclusions I have. I said I didn’t understand his concerns. He told me there were a lot of people who interpreted the Bible differently than I do who have come to different conclusions, but they seemed to have demonstrated great faith in their Christian walks. I told him they obviously didn’t. He asked me why I thought that, and I said that if they had REAL faith they would have come to the same conclusions I did. He asked me how I knew this. I said it was because I had real faith. He went silent. That’s what I thought!

See, the problem isn’t that I won’t listen to others. The problem is that they don’t have any good arguments to oppose mine. Is it wrong that my views are hole-proof? I don’t think so. Maybe if other people weren’t so blind and faithless, and would actually listen to God they would come to the truth as well, and maybe then I could learn something from them.


Thanks to My Unlikely Friends

This week Rachel Held Evans is hosting an online “Rally to Restore Unity” (I have a link to info on it in the far right column). Her post today is a roundtable on unlikely friendships where several folks talk about good friends they have who hold very different views than themselves. That post is what got me thinking about the friends in my life. These were my thoughts:

Well, I have pretty strong opinions. This means that I disagree with pretty much everyone on something. To be completely honest, it surprises me that anyone would want to be my friend. Not just because I disagree with people but because I am kind of a jerk about it. Just ask my wife. She has to kick me under the table to get me to shut-up pretty frequently when we are having dinner with friends. There are still people, in spite of my opinionated and argumentative ways, that love me and consider me a friend. Those people are really nice.

For me, if someone wants to be my friend, that is enough for me to be their friend. I don’t have a problem with them not agreeing with me on pretty much any topic. I like to disagree with people, I like to debate with people, and when it gets down to it I really just like to argue. Politics and theology are obviously really easy topics to argue about. I have strong (and generally unpopular) views in both. I like it that way. Some people don’t. Probably a lot of people don’t.

Disagreeing makes a lot of people uncomfortable, uneasy, and unhappy. I’m sure that my antagonistic and argumentative attitude has led some of my friends to feel those things, but, for some reason, they keep being my friends. Like I said, they are nice. So, instead of trying to list all the friends I have who are either too fundamentalist for my taste, or too liberal for my taste, or too left wing or right wing, or believe in the rapture, or man’s free will, or like blue kool-aid instead of the obviously superior red variety, I just want to say thanks to everyone who is patient and kind and loving and understanding enough to stay friends with me in spite of my arrogant argumentative attitude. I’m sure it takes a lot.


Waiting for Him to Come Back

It seems that, for the most part, we, as Christians, have seriously ignored and minimized the importance of Christ’s return. Eschatology (or the study of the End Times) has become a sort of niche theological topic that most view as irrelevant. I can’t blame them for seeing it that way; the way eschatology is discussed IS largely irrelevant and pointless, but I don’t think this means that the truth of Christ’s return is at all unimportant.

Revelation is the last book in the Christian Scriptures. Beyond the canonical order, which may or may not matter at all, it was among the last New Testament books written. So what is the last thing that Christ wants his followers to know?

He is coming back:

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. – Rev 1:4-7 NKJV

His return is what he tells his closest followers and friends about so they “may have peace” to prepare them for His death and their persecution:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – Jhn 14:1-3 NKJV

and His return is closely tied with the importance of His resurrection, because in His return we will share in that same resurrection:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. – Col 3:1-4 NKJV

So where did we get it wrong? According to the Bible, the return of Christ seems like our hope and strength as we live this life. So why has it been largely kicked aside as merely an “interesting topic” ? It may have  a lot to do with the approach many take when they read and teach from the Book of Revelation, and other Biblical prophecy concerning the End. So often these prophecies are ripped apart to try to find timelines and blueprints for how and when it will all go down, but I think that largely misses the point. according to Revelation the point is that Jesus will be returning soon and that is a message that will bless those who hear it (according to Rev 1:3).

So, as we reflect over the next few days on His death and resurrection, maybe we should also consider the glorious hope of His final return:

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! – Rev 22:20 NKJV


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