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Opinion | Pop Culture

Halloween and the Werewolf Within

Two new Christian books embrace monster stories as ways to understand the human heart.

I snuggled up close to my daughter as we each cracked open our brand-new books, ready for some quiet reading time. It lasted about 30 seconds.

"Listen," Greta said. "You'll love this." She launched into the description the narrator—a 10-year-old boy named Zach—gave of himself:

And I guess I've always been sort of interested in weird stuff. Stuff like werewolves and vampires and zombies and houses where you go into the bathroom and turn on the faucet and out comes blood. Stuff like that.

"He's just like you, Mama!"

My children know me well. Indeed, I share Zach's interest in weird stuff. Not so much the blood out of the faucet, but the monsters and spooky houses? Yes. Love it. At least in stories. In fact, I've written about my love of the "ooky-spooky" here at Her.meneutics, and have defended my love of Halloween and all the accompanying creepiness as things that actually draw me closer to God.

So you can imagine my delight discovering that not one but two new books—Night of the Living Dead Christians: One Man's Ferociously Funny Quest to Discover What It Means to Be Truly Transformed (Tyndale House) by Matt Mikalatos, and The Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within (Thomas Nelson) by Jeff Kinley—were hitting the shelves this month, and also propose that monsters can play a key role in our spiritual development.

In Night of the Living Dead Christians, Mikalatos—a Portland-based speaker, writer, and Cru staff member—takes readers on ...

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