the resurrection by mike duran

The Resurrection was my first foray into “Christian Horror.” I won this book from the author at Christmas and it has been sitting and waiting for me to read it. I was apprehensive because I don’t like horror–it scares me. I don’t watch scary movies, and I swore off horror books after Stephen King’s Misery. But I felt I owed Mike Duran a chance (I follow his blog and really enjoy his perspective on things: http://mikeduran.com/), so I read The Resurrection. And enjoyed it a lot.

Was it scary? No, it wasn’t. Not Stephen King scary. Or Friday the 13th scary. I would label it Christian Noir instead of Horror. The Resurrection certainly has dark overtones, but that’s because it deals with the problem of the occult, not because it’s meant to be scary, per se. Are there dark supernatural forces at work in the real world? You’d better believe there are. The Bible says so. But the Bible also says that Jesus has overcome this world (John 16:33). If you believe that, then there’s nothing in this book to scare you, but plenty of things to make you think.

Theme/Theology: Go(o)d vs. Evil

Ruby Case prays over a young boy’s corpse at a funeral and asks God to have mercy on his family. The next thing she knows, the boy sits up, alive, as if he’s just been asleep. Can you imagine how people would react? Well, that’s exactly what the book is about. Some believe, some want to worship Ruby, some think she’s a witch and want to kill her. What does her pastor think? Well, that’s the thing. Her pastor has lost his way, and this resurrection is the wake-up call he needs to get him back on track, or send him over to the wrong side forever.

The Resurrection explores our reaction to miracles, as well as the supernatural warfare that rages around us.

Rating: PG-13

The Resurrection is a smart book written by a highly intelligent man. It is not fluff by any means. While I think a teen could pick it up and read it, I wonder how much they would really understand the subject matter. It’s not just Mike Duran’s vocabulary that’s challenging, it’s the lens he views the world through that makes you pay attention as you read. This book is chewy, in a good way.

Social Issues:

The occult. Politics in the church. Miraculous gifting. Universalism. Ghosts. The supernatural.

Some will read this list of topics and not want to read The Resurrection. If you’re on the fence about whether this book is for you, I will say that the topics are treated in such a way that they didn’t affect my conscience or make me uncomfortable. On the contrary, some of Mike Duran’s points both made me think and rang with truth. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how these topics are treated.

Now I can reach for the other Mike Duran books on my shelf with a bit more confidence. 😉

What do you think about Christian horror as a genre?

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5 thoughts on “the resurrection by mike duran

  1. I’m with you on horror. I’m not into being scared and high body counts. Noir, yes. I love noir. Even more, I love chewy books (great description by the way).

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    1. I don’t like blatant emotional manipulation in books or movies. Things like The Christmas Shoes (song) or Bridges of Madison County, etc. It’s like they want to make you cry. That really annoys me. Same with scary–I don’t want to read/watch something that’s only purpose is to make me feel fear. This book doesn’t do that. It’s more cognitive/contemplative.

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      1. Me, too! That’s the biggest reason The Christmas Shoes annoys me. And sometimes in church services, the music leader will get carried away and nothing kills the worship experience for me like feeling like they are trying to manipulate me into something.

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  2. I think the term Christian Horror sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but a big chunk of it probably depends on how you define literary horror. When I hear “horror” used to describe a story, I think of the commercials I’ve seen (since I’ve never actually watched “horror”) for modern movies. But in googling just now, it seems Dracula, Frankenstein, & The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are considered horror.

    According to wiki: “One of the defining traits of the genre of horror is that it provokes a response; emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to react with fear.” I guess this is where my personal opinion hinges. I don’t mind a little bit of fear if there is purpose &/or God’s presence to counterbalance it. (I know Peretti’s This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness aren’t considered horror but I remember, when I was reading it, thinking how terrified I would have been had we not also been given the angelic perspective throughout the book.)

    But fear for the sake of fear is something I have never understood. I don’t think it is something God delights in or wants for His children. It is in this world and fear of God & His wrath is necessary. But not something that I think should be sought for thrills. So my personal opinion is Christian Horror can be a good valid thing, if utilized properly and for the right reasons. From your review, this sounds like an excellent, “chewy” book. 🙂

    (It’s something I have similar thoughts on regarding war and the movies portraying it. Sure, I think it’s important to know how much soldiers endure and sacrifice for their loved ones. But they do it to protect their loved ones – so we will never have to endure or see the atrocities they suffer. My great-uncle didn’t want his family to know about everything he went through on d-day – so running off to a movie to see everything in graphic detail would be disrespectful to his wishes and sacrifices. IMO) Sorry – off my soapbox now…

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  3. Kat – You said so many great things! “But fear for the sake of fear is something I have never understood. I don’t think it is something God delights in or wants for His children.” – Yes!

    And your comments on war in the movies–that’s something I’ve never considered. I remember seeing the movie Platoon in junior high and thinking “wow” I didn’t know war was anything like that. I think it can help people appreciate what our brave military men and women do for us, but it also has the downside that you mentioned. Thanks for challenging me with a new thought. 🙂

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