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.
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.
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?