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Ben Forman was just an ordinary guy, a young professional starting his first job and falling in love with his girlfriend. Living on the outskirts of a southern city, he didn't think the zombie activity so common in metropolitan areas would hit so close to home. But it was becoming clear that the mysterious infection reanimating the dead would soon be a worldwide epidemic.
Cutting-edge and culturally relevant, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook is a unique combination of ...
Ben Forman was just an ordinary guy, a young professional starting his first job and falling in love with his girlfriend. Living on the outskirts of a southern city, he didn't think the zombie activity so common in metropolitan areas would hit so close to home. But it was becoming clear that the mysterious infection reanimating the dead would soon be a worldwide epidemic.
Cutting-edge and culturally relevant, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook is a unique combination of fiction and nonfiction. It delivers a fresh approach to sin, grace, and salvation, exposing the raging beast within us all, and how to overcome life as a zombie.
Jeff Kinley has found a way to communicate God’s grace to a new audience. The Christian ZombieKillers Handbook is culturally relevant, deeply perceptive and really inspires us to discover the truth for ourselves.
In this volume, you will find a gripping, face-paced zombie survival story as good as any you’ll read in a mainstream horror novel or see in the latest Romero film. But, you’ll also find a parallel commentary providing a startlingly honest insight and unique perspective on our struggle with sin. ―Sean T Page, author of War against the Walking Dead & The Official Zombie Handbook.
LEGEND OF THE LIVING DEAD
Ben Forman couldn't breathe. Hyperventilating, he struggled to control the shallow gasps entering and exiting his body.
"Just ... breathe ... Don't ... p-p-panic," he muttered to himself.
Just seconds earlier, Ben was nonchalantly reading a text message he'd just received. Strange how life can change in a few ticks of a clock. In the time it takes to read this sentence, your perspective on life can be suddenly inverted, forever altering your perception of reality. That's what happened to Ben. And he would never be the same.
That was last night.
Ben is a twenty-four-year-old graphic artist working in downtown Corazon City, a community located in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Nestled in a picturesque valley, the city is virtually surrounded by scenic mountains.
Ben Forman moved back to his hometown six months ago after accepting a job at Sk8X, a magazine devoted to the sport of extreme skateboarding. Ben is making the transition from starving freelance artist to full-time "professional." So his future was starting to ramp up. Or so it seemed.
Ben is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 150 pounds, with piercing blue eyes and uncombed black hair. His clothes are mostly thrift-store finds. He's not much for material possessions, climbing the corporate ladder, athletics, or even skateboards, for that matter. Even so, he dove right into his new job, immersing himself into the subculture of extreme skateboarding, learning along the way. And when he isn't working on a project, he's usually hanging out with girlfriend Crystal.
He's a working man, and though he isn't yet making much money by industry standards, it's enough for him, for now.
Now on to what happened last night. It was Wednesday around ten thirty when Ben finally left Sk8X. The company is located in a converted warehouse on the city's south side, near the old railroad depot. Sk8X rents out the top floor. So after staying late at work, Ben was walking toward his car while reading a text from Crystal. But just after shoving the phone back into his jeans pocket, he hit something slippery on the sidewalk, nearly doing a classic skateboard wipeout. Turning to look at what caused his misstep, Ben noticed under the streetlamp's glow a shiny puddle of red gathering at his feet. Tracking with his eyes, he traced the scarlet flow all the way to its source. And that's when he saw the body.
Or what was left of it.
It was clearly a man, though the top part of his head was missing, and the brain was gone. Skin and other body parts were randomly scattered around the motionless corpse. The man's right hand still clutched a set of car keys. A well-worn backpack lay beside him. His shirt ripped and shredded. His jeans slightly scuffed at the knees. But his skull was grossly disfigured, pressed facedown in a glistening, gory pool of still-oozing crimson.
Upon this gruesome discovery, Ben's first instinct was to yell for help, but nothing came out of his mouth. Not a sound. It took him several tries until his fingers stopped shaking long enough to dial 999.
* * *
Authorities investigating the grizzly crime scene estimated the man was in his early-to-mid-thirties. After gathering evidence, they speculated that he was murdered and mutilated by a minimum of five or six attackers. His brain was removed and then eaten. Eaten! Raw. Episodes like this seem to appear with greater regularity these days, though they don't always end up like this. Or at least it's not reported as much. Ever since the national threat level was raised to level 3, such attacks have been on the rise ... even in places like beautiful Corazon City. You expect this kind of crime somewhere like New York, L.A., or Chicago, but this is the foothills of the Smokies. And it was the second attack downtown in as many months. This poor guy was one of the lucky ones, actually. He was still recognizable. Several past attacks have been so brutal that authorities have had to use dental records to determine the victim's identity. And when all that's left of you is bone and teeth ... well ... let's just say you really don't want to die like that.
As the frequency of attacks has increased nationally in the past two decades, security has stepped up on every level. Several years back, then governor Johnston earmarked more than $40 million to beef up law enforcement and hire more police officers. He also partnered with neighboring states to help launch the establishment of a permanent training facility in the nearby Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. With North Carolina leading the way, other states were inspired to create their own state-run special forces groups, designed specifically to hunt down and kill any confirmed flesh-eater. The strategy caught on nationwide, and ultimately in 2002 the federal government took over, forming what we now know as the "ZTF" (Zombie Task Force). This mandate from the White House came at the right time, especially in light of the steadily increasing number of murders and mutilations. It became clear that what was needed was an elite, core group of highly trained soldiers, snipers, and intelligence officers to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control to battle these monsters. The CDC was brought in to contain the symptoms associated with what is now known as the Z-38 virus and attacks related to it. If a victim didn't get his head smashed in and brains eaten, he or she could still get bitten or mauled, and thus infected. And getting infected means fever, swelling, tremors, vomiting, disorientation, dementia, insanity, and eventually, death. So far, the CDC has only been able to quarantine infected citizens, observing and treating the symptoms, and has achieved moderate success. Past studies have indicated that some patients initially showed positive signs of recovery; however, leading researchers now believe this so-called success is nothing more than false hope, dismissing it as the effects of heavy sedation. Now experts are saying the virus can go "underground," lying dormant in the body for months, even years, before randomly resurfacing and producing symptoms and behavior associated with full-fledged flesh-eaters. The victim, going about normal daily life, can in just hours undergo a transformation and violently attack and devour a family member, neighbor, coworker, in-law, or friend, for no apparent reason. In extreme cases, the infected will even engage in a bizarre form of "self-mutilation," eating his or her own flesh and brains, until death occurs. Bizarre indeed.
Despite the long history of this phenomenon, it's still hotly debated where it actually came from. Theories of the virus's origin and how it spread are too many to list here. But a simple web search will yield a huge camp of conspiracy theorists. One of these even claims our own government developed and released the virus into our drinking supply.
But most people subscribe to one of three leading theories. The first involves the notion that about six thousand years ago there was some sort of weird, spontaneous chromosomal mutation. This mutation spawned a peculiar race of humans whose DNA genetically predisposed them to an acute appetite for human flesh. There are grandiose mythological tales of human sacrifice in ancient Sumeria (present-day Iraq), where these mutant humans were treated like—even feared as—gods. Local tribes, afraid of being eaten, staged weekly sacrificial ceremonies. In these quasi-religious rites (so the legend goes), six human sacrifices, within six months of their twenty-first birthdays, were bound by horsehair ropes and ceremoniously led to a series of altars. There, each was given a cocktail of wine mixed with poppy plant extract to produce a chemically induced trance. Disoriented, the sacrifices' senses were dulled and their bodies numb. Then they were laid on their backs, and the high priests of this carnivorous cult took a sharpened stone and literally sawed off the top of each victim's skull while he or she was still conscious! The brains were then eaten by the "gods."
These brain-hungry mutants eventually intermarried, ultimately producing a superior race of humanlike creatures whose main diet consisted of flesh and cranial tissue. Expanding in concentric circles out of ancient Sumeria, they continued breeding and infecting humanity—from Egypt to Africa, Palestine to Rome, Rome to Europe, and eastward toward what eventually became China.
As crazy as this theory sounds, archaeological digs around the Tigris-Euphrates river system uncovered what appears to be a temple-like structure with "thrones," accompanied by a series of crude altars, each the length of a human body. Coincidence? There are also stone reliefs in the walls of this temple, depicting scenes in which kings or rulers are eating out of the heads of slaves. While adherents of this theory claim this is solid evidence of the flesh-eaters' true beginnings, skeptics contend that this was nothing more than an ancient cult, confined to the region and with no historical significance.
Another equally peculiar hypothesis suggests that the genesis of last night's murderous rampage can be traced back millions of years to when our planet was actually a substation for a humanlike alien race. The purpose of this pilgrim settlement wasn't to colonize a new world or expand some extraterrestrial kingdom. It wasn't established as a place to escape persecution or engage in intergalactic exploration. In this scenario of origins, those loaded onto spaceships and sent to our world were the absolute undesirables of their native planet. Hardcore criminals. Death-row inmates. "Scum-of-the-earth" types (or whatever their world was called). Though meant as a punishment, being deposited on our pristine, green globe was a merciful sentence, all things considered. Our planet was like a welcoming bus stop where the aliens were dropped off and expected to make it on their own. Which they did without much difficulty. At first.
Then something happened. And there's speculation here. Perhaps something about Earth's atmosphere didn't mix well with their immune systems (assuming they had developed them). Could've been something they ingested. Some random chemical malfunction in their biological makeup. No one knows. But instead of working together to build a fresh life in their new world, rival gangs of these extraterrestrials revolted against each other and began slaughtering their alien brothers. But it didn't end with murder. Notwithstanding the abundance of animals and fresh meat in plentiful supply here, these criminals began devouring one another instead. Not as some cannibalistic symbol of tribal domination. But for food. For sustenance. Even for pleasure!
Then they reproduced, making more beings like themselves over the centuries, and, well, here we are. Sounds hard to swallow, sure. But it does remain one of the top three theories. You may be surprised at how many people subscribe to this belief. They claim that proof of more recent "visitations" is soundly documented with eyewitness accounts, geographical land markings, and even photographs (though most believe they're photoshopped). Nonetheless, this theory has never gained traction with the government and the established scientific community. Something about the "lack of sufficient credible evidence."
The last major theory of zombie origins is found in "the Old Way," of which you've surely heard. This one has significant support in virtually every culture, both ancient and modern. The tradition (whose followers are called "Believers") claims that all humanity can be traced back to two common ancestors, created thousands of years ago by a mysterious, invisible deity. This divine being had created a perfect, germ-free, ecologically balanced environment, untouched by darkness or any bad thing. This god designed his creation to be a tribe of worshippers. There was no pain, suffering, or death. No human vices or diseases. And no rotting flesh or the awful, putrid smell that accompanies it. Theirs was a perfect environment.
Not long after this, the created ones sensed there was something better for them. Something more. Something beyond what their creator had provided. And so, without permission, they broke away from the oppressive restrictions placed on them, creating instead their own reality, one in which no supreme being would dictate their lives or presume to know what was best for them. In an instant, they decided that their life-giver would cease to meddle in their affairs and would no longer tell them what to think, feel, or do. No longer would he impede their progress toward self-realization and self-discovery. So they summarily voted their maker off their earth-island paradise in light of a more immediate and pleasurable existence.
"But," the Believers claim, "this move brought devastating consequences to humanity." And this, they say, is the origin of the virus so prevalent in today's flesh-eaters. However, if you think about it, there must have been something already inside them, predisposing them to contracting this virus. Something had to trigger it out of its incubative state, where it slowly spread to the central nervous system and finally to the brain, where it took over.
The virus then manifested itself through things humanity had never experienced before—like shame. Guilt. Sadness. Loneliness. Separation. Disappointment. Bitterness. Depression. Grief. Anger. Hate. Rage. And ultimately ... insatiable flesh-hunger and murder. It didn't take long for earth's tiny population to begin delving into this supreme dark art form. Legend says the first human to kill another did so with a crushing rock-blow to the skull. And it went progressively downhill from there. Through procreation, each successive offspring became more genetically prone to a fleshly passion.
This inherently religio-biological explanation for mankind's beginning has yet to convince everyone of its veracity. What is known, and what seems to harmonize with this particular theory of origins, is that the propensity for zombie-ism crosses every national and international boundary, just as adherents to the Old Way claim. The flesh-eaters are in every culture on the planet. Even in remote tribes. Whatever causes this behavior appears to be no respecter of gender, race, age, nationality, or religious creed. It affects literally every kind of person. Small and great. Rich and poor alike.
An equal-opportunity curse.
It's conceivable that these origin theories could've been formulated by observing mankind's current problem and then simply concocting a theory to accommodate it. A sort of "retroactive genesis of origins." Of course, many reject the Old Way's explanation because, again, there doesn't appear to be hard, reproducible scientific evidence for their ideas. And because it sounds way too religious, of course. In fact, some in the Old Way are ridiculed as "old-fashioned" or dismissed as "nutcases."
Bottom line: no one—religious nutcase or rational scientist—can deny the existence of this murderous, brain-eating behavior. That's something we all agree on. And if you're honest, you'd confess to entertaining the fear that at some point in your life, a fellow human will, without warning, suddenly "go zombie" on you, forcibly escorting you to a violent and painful death. And then gobble up your brain! It's not the type of thing people talk about at dinner parties or in the company break room. Not the conversation you overhear while standing in line at the grocery store or in the school lunchroom.
Excerpted from THE CHRISTIAN ZOMBIE KILLER'S HANDBOOK by JEFF KINLEY Copyright © 2011 by Jeffery Bruce Kinley A.K.A. Jeff Kinley. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted December 25, 2012
Posted April 18, 2012
The thing I can’t wait to say about this book: it rocked my socks off!
When I was choosing a book to get from BookSneeze, I had several options and rating-wise, CZKH was not the top choice. However, for some reason, when I had another book option open and was about to click “Request,” I suddenly changed my mind and clicked on Christian Zombie Killers Handbook. I guess I am attracted to oddly-named theology books (the other theology book that I love is written by a guy with a great last name of Stoner and it’s called God Who Smokes.)
I didn’t regret the choice – even considering that I am not into zombies and used to consider them only as an annoying topic of mass hysteria.
But, back to the book.
There are two “plots” – one fictional story and the other one – the non-fictional meat for the mind (forgive me the pun on zombie food). The fiction part deals with a story of one family who had to deal with walking dead in different situations. The non-fiction reminded me of the letter to Romans Paul wrote. Using the language that is understandable for the people of our age, Jeff Kinley discusses sin, sinful nature of the man (and woman), and grace. I was blown away by this book! I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted so many quotes in my iPod (except Harry Potter, but that’s a different story).
The best part about it – it was theologically sound – and not one of the “touchy-feely” stuff the only aim of which is to make you feel good. It’s the real deal.
All in all, I highly recommend this book to those who want to understand the sinful nature and how it affects our lives… and how to overcome it.
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Posted September 3, 2012
This book is divided into two part. First you get the fiction part about Ben and the Zombie infested world. On the second part, is the part that explain about religion and about the zombie in our "body".
What I like about this books is that the fiction part of the book was very exciting and fast paced. It's gripping and was a page turner for me. The author certainly knows how to spin the tale and have a vivid imagination.
What I don't like is the second part. In the beginning it was interesting on how Adam and Eve was conned to have the fruit from the forbidden tree and hence where the "zombie" virus invaded their body and from there their to their children and thereof. However, I feel it was to preachy for me in the subsequent chapters after being bombard again and again on the Zombie within us.
I have to be honest and say that I end up skipping the rest of the chapters in part two and concentrated on the story about Ben.
I am giving this book two stars as I liked part one of the book and not the rest of it. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Posted August 1, 2012
I really like this book. I was atracted to it by it’s title the first time, and it’s a good read.
I like how this book is a way to atract the youth of the churc by looking at the Esciptures in a new way. I like his comparison of the zombie to how we feel without God. How he tell us that we can be “Chrisitians” but not really Christians at all.
I like the fast-paced stories and that after each episode there’s an explanation (with a Christian view of point). This book also include Discussion Guide which is perfect for book club, or group discussion.
I really like how he made and incredible explanation in Chapter 1 about Adam and Eve, and how the man and woman were created, not righteous, but rather innocent. I really like all the explanation because they were really easy to understand.
This has been a review for the book The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the living dead within by Jeff Kinley. I received this book free from BookSneeze as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted July 3, 2012
The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook- Jeff Kinley
The theme of Zombie’s doesn’t really grab me but this book was so well written and the parallel drawn between “the living dead” and our sinful nature is so well drawn that I finished the book in two days (you really have to give thought to the Biblical principles outlined in the book).
Written as a fictional story as well as a commentary on relevant Christian principles, drawing only from the Word of God to make his point, Kinley really does the youth a great service in this book. The book is aimed at our young adults who are bombarded with “living dead” imagery, literature etc. He does so well drawing the conclusion that unless we learn to live and walk by the Spirit, we too allow ourselves to fall into the old patterns of our old man – the living dead within each of us.
Its relevant, its truth and it really is practical for young people wanting to understand how to walk in the Spirit and succeed and be victorious on that day when He comes to collect those who truly have overcome. A great read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
Posted June 13, 2012
Zombies abound in fiction today, and I knew it was only a matter of time before this culture makes it way to the Christian bookshelves. This was a rather disturbing, and yet somewhat enlightening approach to the whole undead craze and its influence can be used to aim for a better, God-filled life.
This book has two parts: one is the fictional story of brothers stuck in a world overrun with the undead. And just as zombie stories hardly ever go well, so did this story show the very graphic and gory sides of a zombie invasion.
The second part attempts to shed some theological light on the idea of zombies and how we can overcome our own version of the undead within ourselves.
The language was easy to understand, the truths narrated about our sinful natures were disturbingly true, and the possibility of salvation and return to grace was made more tempting and desirable endeavors to aim for.
But if I were to be asked, I really liked the first part better. Perhaps I would have a better appreciation for the second part if I studied it with a group.
Posted March 5, 2012
I was a little unsure of what this book would be, and it seems like the book was equally confused. The premise is sound, and promising – Our sinful nature is like an undead Zombie which will devour us if we don’t learn to kill it.
It is written as a parallel text; with each chapter of the fictional story being followed by a chapter of theology from the author about our sinful nature. The writing style was bad, but I will deal with that elsewhere.
The fictional account of the Zombie hunting is interspersed with theology that is obviously supposed to explain what is going on in the fiction. The link is tenuous on occasion, and downright confusing at times. There is a section where the fiction talks about the creation of the ZTF (Zombie Task Force) and how they are committed to working in teams and eradicating the last trace of infection. This is fine and well, especially where he says in the theology section how we are all “part of the ZTF”. But I don’t know what that means when he goes on to tell us how if one of the ZTF agents is bitten, his partner’s job is to shoot him in the head before he can turn into a zombie. I think we might be taking Christian Accountability Partners a little too seriously here?
The theology was bland, and I found myself wanting to skip it to get to the action. Unfortunately there was very little of that either.
It tried to be too many things, and ended up doing neither particularly well.
Like a Zomie, it was neither truly alive, nor truly dead - It just stank.
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Posted March 1, 2012
I received this book to review from the american website Booksneeze, and of course it follows the fashion of the zombies, that has long been spreading first through the video games, and now countless books,films and TV series The Walking Dead, aired in the U.S. by AMC's channel. This series, by the way is based on the comic of the same name I've rewied in here.
Ben Forman is a pretty normal guy, starting a new job and passionate about his girlfriend, but of course all the normality changes when the world is swept by a mysterious illness that turns everyone into the living dead, and despite getting close to your home soon this epidemic spreads around the world, changing the way all people think and their priorities, making them doubt their faith and their beliefs far.
The author's aim was clearly to use the history of zombies to show a more religious view of a wind catastrophic as the zombie apocalypse, for example, as all people should maintain their integrity and continue to do the right thing even if the world is going crazy around him. I just thought the part about the zombie story even a little short, maybe Kinley could have explored this part of a different and more elaborate way, but overall it's a fun book.
Posted December 2, 2011
This is a world where a virus infects people and makes them mad with rage. After they die, they come back as zombies. Part of the book follows Ben Forman. A couple years prior, his father was attacked by a zombie and killed so he couldn¿t rage and return as a zombie himself. We start as Ben stumbles upon a zombie kill. The story follows Ben as he tries to get on with his life but seems to have interactions with zombies every time he turns around.
The other part of the book explains how there are zombies in all of us. Through our love for the Lord and following his word, we can over come the selfishness and inner rot. There are many references and a good correlation between zombie and our regular lives.
When I first got this book, I was under the impression that intertwined in the story would be the religious aspect, like the Left Behind series. I was completely wrong. There are two sections to each chapter. The first is the story about Ben then you have the preaching about how we can better ourselves.
I¿m sorry to say this but I was a little put off with all the preaching. I understand what was being said, and if you want to say that my zombie was taking charge I will agree. I ended up skipping the preaching sections.
This is a good story, but be warned that it does get very heavy. If this is something that you don¿t mind, I think you will really like this book. If you are like me, you might want to think twice about reading this book. Like I said, the story about Ben is great, but you might be skipping through half of the book.
I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.
Posted November 23, 2011
If I ever needed any further proof that everyone is marketing using zombies these days, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook is it. Then again, take a trip to your local big box store on Black Friday, and you'll see them shuffling through the store: zombies. They really are amongst us - folks so glued into the day to day consumerism life that they have become essentially what a zombie is when you break it down: barely functioning shells of bodies. (George A. Romero was right!) The end of the book has a discussion guide for groups to use. For parents, the book does have a warning on the back that it's not suitable for younger audiences, so take that into consideration if you are purchasing this as a gift for 'tween or teen this holiday season. Note that I received a copy of this book in exchange for my opinion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2011
The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook by Jeff Kinley is a book like none I've ever read. It is half a zombie novel and half a Christian living discussion. Every other chapter follows a storyline about a world with a zombie outbreak and the other chapters are Kinley talking to you (the reader) about living a Christian life by "Slaying the Living Dead Within". Lets start with the storyline aspect of the novel.
Ben Foreman is a man living in a world where zombies are a constant threat. Each person has a dormant zombie gene that could break out at any time. Ben and others are forced to live their lives with their eyes constantly in the back of their heads. This story was compelling and interesting. As a horror fan, I appreciated the zombie element. There was enough creepy imagery to keep my attention, while at the same time I could imagine living in this world so different from my own. Or is it different? The other chapters explain how we are living with zombies in a figurative sense. By following God's commandments and expectations we can live lives unblemished by evil (zombies).
There was a lot of information in these chapters and Kinley's style of writing was very difficult for me to follow. I admit to only being able to absorb a small amount of what he was telling me because of his readability level of writing. The points he was making are relevant and very thought provoking. He used many examples and cultural references that are interesting for today's young people to think about. However, I believe that his language and cadence were too difficult to keep my attention. To reclaim Kinley's points (which I want to do) I will have to reread these chapters.
I recommend this book to young adults who struggle with understanding God. Kinley does an excellent job of breaking God's demands down into levels that are easier to understand and follow.
I received this book free from BookSneeze® for my review.
Posted October 20, 2011
Happy Halloween! (a little early, I know) anyway, I decided to review the latest book by Jeff Kinley, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook! Jeff is your typical author, speaker, pastor and headman of Main Thing Ministries. Jeff's latest Zombie tome is a novel approach to writing (wow, did you see those puns?). Any way - the book is segregated into "Episodes" of a fictional Zombie tale and "Chapters" that break down the basic idea behind "sin" and our "flesh."
Let me start by saying, as a forty-something pastor, I am not the target audience for this book. The fiction sections are written with a lot of slang and scenery that are much more attractive to a High school student. That said, even the fiction sections are a tad "flat." And you might argue that I am not that familiar with Horror fiction or Zombie lore, but that isn't the case. In my own youth I have read a lot of Joe R. Lansdale, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Jack Ketchum, Craig Spector, John Skipp and a handful of others not to mention the master himself, Stephen King. But Kinley's writing (at least in this book) feels a little more like a Sweet Valley High novel that suddenly went wrong.
I wasn't actually too excited about the theology either. Don't get me wrong, it's not heretical or unorthodox, and in many circles it's probably considered very "spot on." It's just that in trying to write something contemporary and relevant that would speak to teenagers, Kinley's theology is a little outdated.. no, that's the wrong word. Um. "old school."
Here is what I did like, Kinley writes..
"Deny if it you dare. Try to ignore it if you can. But this thing inside you is as real as the page you are looking at. It exists for one reason - to haunt you. It loves to hurt you. It desires to rule over you. To master your every moment. It hates anything and everything that is pure and honorable about you. And more than anything it detests God." (page 10)
I think that is a fantastic explanation of our sinful flesh, the idea of it being a "living dead" thing that lives inside you - that is not actually you is spot on theology and a perfect illustration.
I think this book could be a wonderful tool to reach that loner kid who hangs out in his room all day, or that girl who won't talk to anyone but who spends all day reading. This book certainly has a market and a target and I can see this book being a useful tool in that area. My high rating is for my recommendation that this book could be adequate to speak to teens in a relevant way about sin and why Christians continue to be tempted.
Posted October 12, 2011
Posted October 9, 2011
Summary: Sin is like a virus that festers within us, ready to take over and turn us into full zombies. So goes the premise of Jeff Kinley's book, "The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook." Alternating between a fictional story and nonfiction commentary, Kinley explores what it means to have a zombie monster within us, hungry for sin (or brains, as the case may be) and battling the Holy Spirit within us.
Kinley writes that, when we become Christians, we are freed from sin. Sin is evicted from our house, but waits for its chance to move back in. It's a constant battle that can only be won if we renew the way we think and give everything up to God.
The fictional part of Kinley's book follows Ben, who lives in a zombie infested version of our world. Each person has the virus within them, but when infected by a full zombie, the infection spreads and eventually leads a person to become a full zombie hungry for flesh. Ben goes through several encounters with various zombies, leading up to the end times of this fictional world.
Review: Although it can be a bit graphic, "The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook" is an addicting read because the fictional story is very suspenseful and emotional, and the nonfictional chapters are great food for thought. Kinley goes in depth, explaining why we have a battle within ourselves, why we sin, and how we can "kill" our inner "zombies." On the journey, he covers all the usual grounds. Don't be a pharisee. You can't change on your own. But Kinley also comes out with new, enlightening thoughts, like the fact that you can't replace a bad habit with a good habit. You have to look to God. It is a choice, and it's a hard choice. You may fall several times. But what baby doesn't fall while learning to walk?
My only complaint is that the book felt incomplete. The fictional story came to an end too quickly, and left me wanting to know more - left me asking, "That's it? What happens next? You can't leave it there!" To feel like the nonfiction parts lack nothing, you must read all the nonfiction chapters and make the connections between them. Personally, I would have liked Kinley to expand more on the sinner who know's he's sinful and stuck in something like an addiction, who doesn't try to cover it up with good works, and who feels like he lacks the will power to say no to sin. While Kinley is correct when he writes that it is a choice, he's also correct when he says it isn't an easy choice. Many people will be left wondering, "If I can never seem to make the right choice, am I still a Christian?" This is something that I've been exploring myself a lot lately, and that I hope to write a book on eventually, as it seems that there are no books out there that fully answer this question.
All in all, Kinley delivers big time. His zombie analogy really brings his points home.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Posted October 5, 2011
"Zombies are real. And they are among us." Cryptic sentence, is it not? That's the tagline on the back of this book, and it's the real reason I requested this book, to be quite honest. I mean, "The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook"? You have got to be kidding me, right? No, this book is every bit as real as the problem it presents. Many people that we come in contact with are actually zombies in disguise- alive on the outside but dead as a doornail on the inside. So what are we to do about it? In this beautifully blended part fiction, part challenge book, author Jeff Kinley answers: in order to get rid of death, we need to share Life. As in, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus. That's where the zombie "killing" comes in. Because Jesus doesn't just want to room with you like a silent cat. He wants a real, deep, connecting relationship with you. He loves you so much. And if there's one thing that I got from this book, it was this: Life is more powerful than death. Jesus is stronger than sin. Love wins. Love wins.
By the way, before I forget, I received this book for free from the publisher and I am under no obligation to give this book a good review. Anything that I have said is completely my own opinion.
Posted September 30, 2011
I love horror and my favorite sub-genre of horror is when it's about Zombies, among a few other things. When my eyes caught the title, The Christian Zombies Killers Handbook: Slaying The Living Dead Within by Jeff Kinley I became interested but also indecisive. I wanted to quickly check it out but on the other hand I was reluctant because I was worry that it would be one of those preachy books, that would focus too much on Christianity in the world filled with Zombies and not much on the undead. It turns out that the book alternates between fictional, zombie-filled "Episodes" and "Chapters" in which he elaborates on human depravity and the hope found in Jesus. He basically explains the sins in human souls and encourages readers to surrender to Christ's cleansing power and allow Him to kill the zombie within. As interesting as the book is, I had a difficult time in getting the hang of the "Episodes" and "Chapters". As soon as I get interested in an "Episode" I get interrupted by a "Chapter" and so on. I felt that maybe this should have been a two part book.one that has the zombie story and attach to it would be the handbook/guide that brakes it down. So for some people the switching of story to about it can become annoying and/or hard to get into. But otherwise I did enjoy what this book has to offer because it's unique and gives an nice view of Christianity dealing with zombies. I enjoy it despite having a hard time getting into it. But this book is not for everyone. Not for those that don't like heavy religious undertone and not for those that expect to read only a zombie story. I received this book free from BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 29, 2011
OK, I got this book, only because I LOVED the title, and it had me very intrigued on what it was. FINALLY I thought a Christian book with some creativity. And BOY did it not disappoint! The book takes on 2 forms, episodes and chapters. The episodes are a fiction book about how zombies have entered our modern day life, as seen through the eyes of Ben Forman, a mid twenties graphic designer for a skateboarding magazine. He has a girlfriend, Crystal, his mom Patrica, and an older brother Daniel. Daniel is a member of the elite ZTF (aka Zombie Task Force). Zombies show up sporadically in the beginning, and there are protocols in place for dealing with it. Later in the episodes we find out there are even communities designed to withstand zombie hordes. The chapters deal with how we can kill zombies in our lives, also know as our sin self, or flesh. How they lurk within us all the time, ready to pounce. They feed off brains, or temptations. And how Jesus will eventually be the ultimate zombie killer.
I really enjoyed this book, as it was a creative way to tell and equate our old self to 0ur new life in Christ. The old self is subdued, but not destroyed. It is always there lurking like a predator, waiting to strike. How we need to renew our minds daily to hold them off, to not feed it with temptations from TV, Movies, or the Internet. How we can have idols that replace God. Using the fiction story of how zombies interact with society was a great way to illustrate it. The book begins with an episode, then a chapter and follows this form thorough out. One negative I did find though that the fiction part was so good, engaging and thought out that I kind of wanted to skim through the practical parts to get back to the story. But over all it is a creative, well thought out book that helps make a tough subject easier to relate to. I give it 5 tank shells! GO GET IT!
Thanks to Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson publishing for letting me have this great book to review! I understand this in no way requires me to write a positive review, but I did because it deserved it!
Posted September 27, 2011
A Book by Jeff Kinley, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook, slaying the living dead within -
No doubt the best book Ive read in a long time, and an incredible work of fiction!
I have never been a great fan of fiction, perfering instead to read the truth, instead of something made up in someones imagination...but this book had a lot of potential for me because ilove a good zombie movie.
Just like the author, I think we are the living dead and we fail to realize it! Think zombies understand what they are? Not a chance and even with the Bible, we still fail to see what we are!
If you want to give a great gift to a sci-fi reader or fiction lover or even dare I say, horror reader this is the book you want.
Most people leave the truth behind in pursuit of money and fame; the book will entertain the reader and return their focus on God.
Its one of those books iwill keep on my permanent book case. I read at least 25 to 40 books a year and have for over 20 years. My permanent collection is less that 50 books and this book has earned a spot at the top.
Posted September 21, 2011
In light of the popularity of the themes of the undead and zombies, this timely book, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within by Jeff Kinley is sure to capture the interest of young people- both Christians and even non Christians. So many movies such as 28 days later and popular video games are centered around the concept of the the vampire and the zombie- the human entity that is alive- yet dead. In contrast to the vampire, there is no asthetic appeal to the distgusting and horrific zombie. Yet it would suprise the reader to know that essentially many of us are no different than zombies. Ironically, the bible says that many of us are the living dead- or more specifically, the spiritually dead. When we are no born again, we are in essense the same as a zombie- hence the premise of this book.
This book makes use of an interesting analogy, employing popular culture to introduce Christian concepts of spirituality and life in contrast to spiritual death and Christian lukewarmness. As a blogger I recieve books to review without cost and am not required to write a positive review.
Posted April 18, 2011
No text was provided for this review.