Monday, October 1, 2012

Review - Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn by Clay Morgan

Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, and RebornUndead: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn by Clay Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clay Morgan uses our current fascination with zombies, vampires, and other undead figures to draw parallels with the need to come fully alive in our Christian spiritual life. He is engaging, interesting writer and Undead is an easy, fast read. I enjoyed the way that Morgan would segue from pop culture supernatural to his life and then bring it home to Christ and personal points we all can ponder about our own faith. This was always done with a light but sincere touch.

I especially appreciated several interesting points drawn especially from the interpretation of different parts of scripture. For example, I never caught the connection between Jonah and Peter before. Morgan points out that Jonah fled to Joppa when he was running away from God. In Acts, Peter raised Tabitha from the dead. Tabitha came from Joppa. Jonah went to Joppa in disobedience and Peter went in obedience to God. Just like bookends. Peter, in a sense, corrects Jonah's actions.

I must mention, though, that any Catholics reading this are bound to notice where the author is distinctly Protestant, such as when he says in a footnote:
So when he [Jesus] figuratively says to eat his flesh and blood they take him literally. When he says he will literally rise from the dead they think he's being figurative. Fascinating.
What is more fascinating to me is that the author provides no support for his interpretation of the above statement. He just assumes that everyone understands why he makes these statements. Now, a Catholic would say that Jesus was being literal about eating his flesh and that Jesus' followers did not think he was being figurative but were continually confused and unable to understand what Christ meant about resurrection. There aren't many of those moments and the above example is the most egregious, but they are there. Catholics can get a lot from this book but they need to know their faith and be ready to shrug off the places where the author diverges from Catholic teachings.

To be fair, pushing a Protestant "agenda" isn't the point the author is making. He is trying to draw people into a deeper experience life, whether they need to find Christ or know Him already. This book would probably be especially interesting to college age and young adults who love pop culture and are seeking a deeper meaning in life. I admit that I am far past those years but I enjoyed Morgan's humor and writing style. It isn't a very deep book but sometimes the simple things are what make us dig deeper on our own. I'm giving it thumbs up.

*I wrote this for the Patheos Book Club. Publishers pay for the Patheos Book Club to feature their books ... and I received a review copy free. However, my opinions are my own and I love or hate a book on its own merits.

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