Mikejencostanzo's Reviews > The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within

The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook by Jeff Kinley
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Oct 11, 11

bookshelves: reviewed, booksneeze
Read in October, 2011

I chose to read The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within because I wanted to try and understand the whole zombie fad. Not being a horror aficionado myself, I was immediately repulsed by the direction the first chapter took. Admittedly, I was curious to see how author Jeff Kinley could possibly tie his gruesome subplot into a wholesome, evangelical read.

Kinley accomplished the feat by alternating between a spine-tingling fictional account of a mounting zombie-holocaust and a pastoral discussion of our struggle against inner sin. I found myself reeling from the whiplash of transitioning from chapter to schizophrenic chapter. I would at one moment experience that creepy sensation where you are afraid to look over your shoulder, and the next moment with the flip of a page, I would be basking in a virtual Sunday school class.

Not having read any other zombie literature, I can't speak to the relative quality of the fictional portion of the book. However, I can say I was pleasantly surprised at much of the content Kinley offers in the theological chapters. One favorite portion for me was a passage where Kinley takes the reader through an imagery exercise involving "rappelling into our own hearts."

As for Kinley's solution to our inner struggle with sin, it's theologically sound, and also fits well with some of the approaches to conquering addiction that are used in 12 step groups like AA.

I believe Kinley unwittingly identifies early on in his book a tension that his audience will likely struggle with in reading Zombie Killers. On page 12, he laments, "Why can't Christians concentrate on God for more than a few minutes at a time without our minds jumping to another subject?" And yet, this book really caters to this very mentality. We are given nuggets of spiritual truth, and then before we really get a chance to digest them, are diverted by another "fun" chapter.

Later in the book, Kinley asserts, "...affection for God and affections for worldly values are mutually exclusive... It is impossible to both love God and be romantically involved with the spirit of this age." Sheepishly, I will admit, I found myself slogging through some of the theological chapters, anticipating the upcoming thrill of the zombie chapter just a few pages away. In a way, this felt like the very tension between love for God and the spirit of the age that Kinley earlier alerted us to. Ultimately does his book fight this tension, or rather feed it? I'm left not quite certain.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

--Jen

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