Since I’ve become a Christian, I really don’t like zombies. I used to watch zombie flicks all the time, but they gave me nightmares, and after coming to Christ, I’ve stopped watching horror movies altogether. But not long ago, I had another zombie nightmare in which God spoke to me very clearly; you can read about it in the post titled: I Hate Zombies.
Anyway after having this dream, I received an email from Kregel Publications inviting me to review a new book called Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards. Was it sent from God? After reading the book, I’d say most likely.
Zombie Church is all about those in the church who claim to be alive in Christ, but act like they’re dead in the world. It’s a pretty glaringly obvious disconnect that everyone but those who are in this position seems to notice. The world definitely seems to notice with phrases like “Dear God, please save me from your followers” gaining in popularity among unbelievers. I think Tyler puts the bullet in the head so to speak in comparing those living in this disconnect to Zombies.
Overall Edward’s diagnosis of the issues facing the western church was perfect, and his treatment plan of turning to Jesus is the only way to stop the zombie threat.
My one disagreement is the severity of the issue. Jesus didn’t call people living in this limbo of not quite dead, not quite alive, as sick. He called them lukewarm, and He said that He would vomit them out of His mouth. Lukewarmness isn't a sickness; it's a death sentence. The zombies Edwards describes are tares among the wheat that are headed for cremation. In the Return of the Living Dead, a flick he doesn’t reference, that’s the only way to really stop the zombies. Is there hope? Yes. If Jesus can raise the dead, He can certainly restore the undead.
But this is the only point where Edwards pulls his punches, everything else is severely convicting, so be forewarned. Overall, I definitely recommend the book whether you’re a horror movie fan or not.
Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus—so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor’s degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.
Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the Dead, The Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town. Connect with Tyler on Facebook.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A creative, entertaining approach to resurrecting the undead church. There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is “supposed to do” but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.
Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today’s believers.
Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.
While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.