the weblog of Alan Knox

Three Views on Christians and Horror: Introduction

Posted by on Jul 25, 2011 in discipleship | 3 comments

Three Views on Christians and Horror: Introduction

(This post in the introduction to a series called “Three Views on Christians and Horror.” I introduced the concept of this series previously in a post called “Four Views: Christians Participating in Horror Genres.” No one wanted to write an essay defending one of the four views, so we changed the series to “Three Views.”)

Psycho, Nosferatu, Alien, Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, The Thing, The Exorcist, Dawn of the Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

What do these movies have in common? Beyond being considered some of the best horror movies ever made, they’re also often included in lists of the best movies ever made of any genre.

One look at the upcoming novels, movies, and television shows will tell you that our culture’s love of the various horror genres has not waned in recent years… perhaps it is even growing.

So, what does that mean for Christians? Should Christians stay completely away from the horror genres? Can Christians participate in the horror genres but only in a peripheral sense? Are Christians free to participate in the horror genres however they desire?

As a reminder, I previously defined Christians “participating” in horror genres as follows: “We’re defining ‘participating in horror genres’ as reading/writing articles/stories/novels, watching shows/movies, viewing/creating websites, participating in forums, viewing/buying/creating art related to horror genres.”

Over the next three days, I will publish one post per day answering the question, “Should Christians participate in horror genres?” The posts will follow the same order that I originally listed them in the concept post (link above):

  1. Christians are free to participate in horror genres.
  2. Christians can participate in horror genres with some limitations (defined by the author, but not evangelism as a limitation – see below).
  3. Christians should never participate in horror genres.

As with all of my posts and “guest blogger” posts, I encourage discussion and dialog. However, I do ask that you be considerate of the other people who are reading and interacting on this series. Obviously, there will be disagreement. But, we must keep our disagreement civil. Always treat the other person with the same respect and dignity with which you would desire to be treated. (For the most part, I do not think this warning is necessary for the people who read my blog.)

Also, remember that there will be both Christians and nonChristians reading these posts. We encourage interaction from both groups as well as from Christians with differing viewpoints.

For those who are Christians, remember that we remain part of the same family in Christ in spite of our disagreements.

Finally, I want to thank the authors who wrote the three essays for us. They are presenting their views on a debated issue. I appreciate their hard work and their concern for other Christians and for those who are not Christians.

I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have.

(This post and the other posts in the series will also be published at “Zombie Theology.”)

Christians and Horror


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-25-2011

    This just isn’t a question I care about at all. I hate horror movies, I never, ever watch them (not even that terrifying Wizard of Oz)

    I say that to say there are many issues that aren’t on our radar at all. Usually, we have a settled position on them that took little thought but we hold that position adamantly–until something pushes it into our life. Then we are faced with really examining the issues because now this really matters and our view has consequences that are troubling.

    Like when an unwed daughter comes home pregnant at 16 (should you throw her out of your house to protect and set a good example for your other children/for children of other parents or should you celebrate?). Or a white teenage son tells you he is going to marry a black girl (in my lifetime that was once quite a concern over what is right and wrong and had serious future consequences for the couple that would make their marriage and family difficult at best? –or, a mixed race couple starts attending your church–how do you respond to the questions?). Or a family member is healed of blindness that was incurable (does God heal today?).

    Be careful about giving easy answers to people who find themselves in the midst of those kind of issues that have come into their lives. You still might be right, but more likely, you haven’t really thought the issue through and sometimes we live in a marred world where grace is more helpful as a guide to action than justice or judgement.

    But, seriously, Zombies and horror flicks? *yawn*

  2. 7-25-2011

    I don’t watch horror movies, not because I think they’re wrong, it’s because they scare me and I don’t like to be scared! I would put this under the category of Christian liberty (which seems to be getting smaller each day) and if you’re around someone who believes it’s sinful, pray for their Christian growth and don’t flaunt it in front of them.

  3. 7-25-2011


    Thanks for commenting even though you “don’t have a dog in this fight.” I hope you take part in the dialog/discussion that I’m hoping take place in the next few posts on this subject.


    I appreciate the comment. My wife doesn’t like to be scared either. You bring up some good points, and I hope you’ll stay in this conversation.