Monday, June 23, 2008

CSFF June Tour

This month's tour is for the book Vanished by Kathryn Mackel. She writes novels that have been called Christian Horror and I know that some people probably think that can't possibly be possible. Well, that's because they've been raised on a steady stream of Stephen King and Resident Evil. To me it's not the horror aspect of horror that's anti-Christian, rather it's the anti-Christian aspect of horror that's anti-Christian. (No, that sentence made perfect sense, thank you very much.) When you peel away a few very thin layers you typically find that modern horror writers are a non-religious bunch. They believe more in the occult or the 'power of positive thinking so you can be the best you you can be' or some such drivel. These sorts of things have an anti-Christian bias to them by their very nature. They distract from and obscure the message of the Bible. But there is plenty in the realm of Christianity that can be pretty horrifying if you face it without God so the concept of horror fiction that lines up with a Christian world view is not all that strange.

8 comments:

nissa-amas-katoj said...

Hi, just swinging through on the blog tour, I'm trying to visit all the participating blogs before it's over, I'd like to make some interesting and witty comment about your blog but it's after midnight and my witty don't work.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Hey, Jeff, now this is the kind of topic I was hoping we could discuss on this tour. I'm just sorry I didn't check your blog sooner. FYI, if you include the list of links, WordPress (where my blog is) notifies me, so I know to come over to check out your post. Not to mention that all the links help your placement on search engines.

Anyway, thanks for tackling this tough topic.

Becky

Steve said...

Good points.

I've written that horror is one of the most theological genres, and one of the hardest to get right. I did a brief series on it last Halloween--the first seven posts under http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=6898093196374109483&searchType=ALL&txtKeywords=&label=horror (not the book reviews).

Jeff Draper said...

Horror as a theological genre is a good take on it. What else combines the supernatural with our own mortality?

Tina said...

Excellent post Jeff!

To me it's not the horror aspect of horror that's anti-Christian, rather it's the anti-Christian aspect of horror that's anti-Christian.

That makes perfect sense to me. I enjoy being scared in a 'safe' environment (i.e. my living room under a comfy blanket with a tea at my elbow). Being scared makes me think of how strong God really is.

As a long time Christian I sometimes get upset with what I find to be occasionally narrow minded view points on what is 'good' to read and 'bad' to read. Very nearly anything you write can be used to glorify God. You just have to have the talent to do so. There are things in this world that don't make much sense, that are down right terrifying and are not super-natural at all. Technology and what we can do with it can be horrifying.

But under it all is the fact that God is bigger and stronger than all of that. We live in a scary world and a well done horror novel can make us remember that.

Just my opinion anyway. :)

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Great comment, Tina. For more discussion of this, see the comments in DGD Davidson's CSFF post.

Becky

Anonymous said...

There are things in this world that don't make much sense, that are down right terrifying and are not super-natural at all. Technology and what we can do with it can be horrifying.

Who needs horror stories when we daily witness man's inhumanity to man? No horror story can compare to that. Power mad despots in Zimbabwe; unbelievable cruelty in Central Africa and Darfur and so on, and so on. Horror stories are one safe way of exploring the evil that lies inside all of us. At least horror stories generally have an ending in which good triumphs over evil. Even atheists need that security. Real life has no such consolation.

Where's God when you need Him?

Jeff Draper said...

God is always there for His creation. It's unfortunate that so many people spend most of their time running from Him.