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Be Afraid by Joseph Haward 



Helps Christians make the links with theology and the horror genre - and a master-class in helping anyone interested in the art of interpreting film through a Gospel lens

 



Be Afraid Joseph HawardBe Afraid - How Horror and Faith Can Change the World 
By Joseph Haward 
Wipf and Stock
ISBN: 978-1532632020
Reviewer: Richard Matcham 



Rare is a conversation with horror, which is why I welcome this book. Joe Haward helps Christians to make the links with theology and the horror genre of popular culture. He draws out key characteristics and then makes one direct comparison after another with biblical themes as they relate to zombies (resurrection), vampires that eat flesh and drink blood (Eucharist), violence and sacrifice (atonement), and so on.

It is interesting for a reader like me, because I don’t like the horror genre; but even so, many in our churches do, which means there is a preaching opportunity to be had here.

Haward’s theological method draws on the work of Rene Girard. As such, he regularly alludes to the scapegoating mechanism and mimetic rivalry, and shows how these ideas are put forth in horror and ancient religions. Sometimes this method can be at odds with biblical reception-history, yet the insights offered can prove fruitful. Reading his interpretive conclusions alongside two or three good commentaries on the subject will be a great way to interact with Girardian theory.

Haward is good at interpreting contemporary Western culture, and he is relentless in exposing consumerism, violence, trafficking, the worst excesses of social media and the human obsession with an utterly godless dystopian future. Throughout, he shines the light on the Person and work of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done and what it all means. If anything else, this is a master-class in helping anyone interested in the art of interpreting film through a Gospel lens. 
 

Richard Matcham is minister of Barton Baptist Church in Torquay




 
Baptist Times, 25/04/2019
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An entertaining, creative retelling of 10 Bible stories that nevertheless does justice to the biblical material
Accessible exploration of John's gospel which challenges some long-held views. You may not agree with everything - but it will make you think
Paul's desire to consciously ground mourners’ attention in God’s word is a striking contrast with so much funeral preaching
Important reading for Baptists - John's recipe is end-to-end theological training for all at whatever level is appropriate for each, and the patterns he identifies from Brazil are visible almost everywhere at some level
Beautifully presented and illustrated journal which has its origins in Lent, but could be used at any time of year
The book's value lies in helping the reader, whatever their views, to look at the issues through the broad lens of God’s grace
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