IS IT possible for a story to literally scare the Hell out of you?
Every era has had its stories of monsters, demons, and gods. Those tales can teach some supernatural truth—sometimes by accident.
That’s not to say that we can find the gospel in every tale of horror. But they are “reflections through a distorted lens of godless man.”
I join Derek Gilber’s podcast with Dr. Judd Burton (www.BurtonBeyond.net), author of Interview With the Giant, and Doug Van Dorn (www.douglasvandorn.com), author of Giants: Sons of the Gods, to discuss our favorite examples of horror that manage to teach us something about the spiritual conflict around us.
With the buzz around the recent horror film Nefarious, which presents a more theologically accurate picture of demonic possession than pretty much anything else from Hollywood, we address the question: Can Christians use horror as an apologetic?
Joining us for our monthly Iron and Myth round table are award-winning screenwriter and best-selling author Brian Godawa (Godawa.com), Pastor Doug Van Dorn (DouglasVanDorn.com), author of Giants: Sons of the Gods, and Director of the Institute of Biblical Anthropology Dr. Judd Burton (BurtonBeyond.net), author of Interview With the Giant: Ethnohistorical Notes on the Nephilim.
But it will also show you a playlist for the next two episodes.
Here are the topics:
Episode 1: Pandemic Movies: Viruses, Achoo!
00:00 Intro to Brian and Chris
09:45 Pandemic Movies and God
Episode 2: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 1
03:30 Horror genre
18:00 Zombie genre
39:20 Night of the Living Dead
56:00 28 Days Later
68:00 Twilight Zone
77:00 28 Weeks Later
Episode 3: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 2
00:00 Intro Horror
04:10 I am Legend Novel
05:40 The Last Man on Earth
12:50 The Omega Man
26:10 I Am Legend
53:20 Race in Movies
60:00 The Walking Dead
77:00 Writers controlling their writing
80:20 Walking Dead part 2
I was interviewed by John Piper’s website in response to their questions about horror movies. Understandably, and respectfully, they do not share my appreciation of horror. But they were very open-minded and open-hearted to listen to me and give me a voice.
I really think Christians need to realize the tremendous moral power of the horror genre. It’s not for everyone, but God loves the horror genre, so Christians should at least respect it.
The movie IT, is a classic coming of age horror story of a group of young misfit outcasts who must not only face the returning supernatural evil in their small town, but face the fears and evils in their own lives in order to grow up. It’s not for the feint of heart, and it’s not perfect, but I think it exemplifies moral lessons in line with the Christian worldview.
Some people think that the Bible only describes sex and violence with an historical “reporting” kind of purpose.
Boy, do they have a problem with Jesus, the master storyteller, who used extreme violence in fictional parables to communicate the Kingdom of God. And learn how Revelation’s and Daniel’s visions are virtual feasts of cinematic gore and depravity. There is a holy purpose to depicting disgusting evil in storytelling. Learn how it can be redemptive without being exploitative.
God uses profanity in his holy Word when making important spiritual accusations. I am not exaggerating to make a headline. Some believers just don’t realize that the Bible does not fit the “Christian film” category of storytelling. It does not receive a Dove Award for being family friendly. But that doesn’t justify gratuitous cussing. Learn the difference here.
The Bible is not shy when it comes to describing sexuality of all known kinds, marital, adulterous, heterosexual, homosexual, rape, fornication and more. Ezekiel 16 and 23 are R-rated sexually violent symbolic fiction. The Song of Solomon is undeniably erotic literature. Learn the reason why God is not as prudish as some of his believers when it comes to depicting sexuality in the Bible. And learn the difference between exposing evil and exploiting it in storytelling.
The Bible is quite explicit at times in its depiction of gory, gross or disgusting acts of evil.
Learn why it is important to God that evil be depicted accurately in stories, or the redemption of the story will not be believable.
The Bible is Rated R. Parental Discretion is advised.