I recently received Night of the Living Dead Christian, via Tyndale Media Center, for review.
What does a transformed life actually look like?
In his follow-up to his first book, the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackled this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!!
Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, however we sometimes act like werewolves who are unable to control our base desires. Or zombies, whose resurrection is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. We long to stop being monsters and become truly human—as Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.
Night of the Living Dead Christian is the story of Luther, a werewolf on the run, whose inner beast has driven him dangerously close to losing everything that matters. Desperate to conquer his dark side, Luther joins forces with Matt to find someone who can help. Yet their time is running out. A powerful and mysterious man is on their trail, determined to kill the wolf at all costs . . .
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Night of the Living Dead Christian is a spiritual allegory that boldly explores the monstrous underpinnings of our nature and tackles head-on the question of how we can ever hope to become truly transformed.
Prior to receiving the book, I hadn’t heard of Matt Mikalatos. Less then twenty pages into it, I wanted to know what else he has written, because I wanted to read it, too.
I took the book with me one night to church. My class was cancelled for the evening, but Hubs and the kidlets still had class. So, I thought I would sit in one of the booths and read. As I read, I laughed out loud—multiple times—which of course prompted questions of, “What ARE you reading?” I absolutely LOVE how Mikalatos writes himself into the pages of this book.
By using monsters, which are apparently en vogue right now, Mikalatos explores what it looks like to be transformed as a Christian, and what it looks like when transformation is blatantly lacking. 1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” That isn’t to say that we don’t mess up. I mess us up routinely. We all sin. As Christians, however, we are not to wallow in sin.
This book is not scary… unless you are horrified by the glaring reality that many “Christians” could play a walk in role in this book without having to act. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. And chances are, you will see yourself somewhere within it’s pages. The question is, will you remain there? The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the texture of the cover. It feels like moleskin, a type of dressing used to treat blisters. It isn’t a bad, just weird. Within a few days of reading it, I’d also obtained a digital copy of Imaginary Jesus and devoured it. I eagerly await more from this brilliant author.
Without question, Night of the Living Dead Christian is one of my favorite books this year.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian.