Author Mike Duran is not one to shy away from exploring controversy. As an avid reader of his Facebook posts, Mike also has his own blog and he is well equipped to address the issues closest to his heart. Yesterday, I completed one of Mike’s rare nonfiction books, Christian Horror: On the Compatibility of a Biblical Worldview and the Horror Genre, a lengthy analysis of a genre rejected off-hand by most Christians as being a legitimate expression of artistic creativity. Nonetheless, there is a growing cadre of Christian authors who are tackling horror in its many forms including myself and the book was a breath of fresh air compared to the criticism so often leveled at people of faith who read or write in the horror field.
Mike’s five chapters cover a number of topics starting with religious themes within horror as well as horror themes within religion. Jumping to an exploration of evangelical Christian culture and its relationship to literary and cinematic horror, Mike ends his book with an apologetic explaining his definition of Christian horror and then tackles in the final chapter several popular objections to what some consider the oxymoron: Christian horror. Along the way, he explores the work and philosophies of Stephen King, H. P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Dean Koontz, and others like Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti.
The result is a satisfying apologetic for those of us who write in the horror genre, but also written with a maturity to understand that there are pitfalls and dangers for the Christian artist regardless of their chosen field.