“Night of the Living Dead Christian”, the Awful Truth. Day 2 Review

The Interludes, Part 1 (Part 2 of the Book Review)

As humorous and hilarious as the chapters were in “Night of the Living Dead Christian” the Interludes were powerful and moving. It is in the Interludes that Matt Mikalatos brings home the goods. Here is an excerpt from one of the first interludes with the “werewolf” Luther Martin about his father, a pastor.


“My father’s inflexibility, his unpleasable nature, and the paucity of sincere affection all haunted my youth. But as Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote, “A man knows when he is growing old because he beings to look like his father.” I can look back now, and insights about my father’s nature and intention become clear to me. He did not intend to teach me theology at the expense of a relationship with himself, or for that matter, with God, though that is what he did. He did not meant to drive my brother out of the house or out of the church, but that is what he did. He did not mean to take his anger and grief about my brother’s prodigal lifestyle and use them to turn the screws on my own theological education, but that is what he did.”

Further on Luther says, “My entire life reflected on him, it seemed, and when I first learned the story of my poor brother, Marty, standing up in the middle of a service and declaring himself an atheist before walking out the door, never to return, I immediately envied him, understood him, and pitied him for his flamboyant dramatic streak.”

Matt goes on to uncover one of the most powerful truths about those who have chosen to be atheists in this revelation from Luther:

 “You ask me why I hate my father. I can only say that hate, loathing, disgust, all these words would be too strong to explain my feelings for my father. I have felt these things and moved beyond them to a sincere and placid lack of thought about him.”

Recently I had the opportunity to hear Frank Turek speak on his apologetic ministry. I was stunned when he said that when a person rejects God so many times and crosses that threshold into an area where God removes His forgiveness, then to that person God no longer exists. It’s not like God is still there hovering hoping for the person to change their mind. No, God removes His presence. God leaves the person alone which is exactly what that person wants! The person truly becomes an atheist because for him, God no longer exists!

I never thought of it that way but this idea comports itself with Romans 1. And, here, in this ditzy, crazy, monster filled book, Matt Mikalatos nails it! Dinesh D’Souza in his latest book, “Godforsaken”, says that atheists are really “wounded theists” hurt by someone, most likely their father. They look at God through the lens of the pain that was dealt to them in the name of God by their fathers.

Some readers may find the humor and rapid fire story of “Night of the Living Dead Christian” too much. But, it is worth the roller coaster ride just to pause and soak up the Interludes. Here, Matt reveals a powerful truth by “showing” not “telling”. The truth that we are often hurt by those who love us the most and in that hurt, we look at a loving God through fractured, splintered lenses. We see God as we see our flawed fathers and mothers and brothers and pastors and friends and sisters. We see God as someone we would just as soon have a “sincere and placid lack of thought about him.” Read those quotes again and then read the book.

Do you know someone who has walked out the door and away from God? If so, why not extend to them a loving hand; a helpful heart; an understanding that Matt extends to a lonely, hurt werewolf whose idea of God is that of a hateful, disgusting father. Sometimes when these questions arise, it’s not answers they seek. It’s understanding and connection and empathy. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the ending of this book, not in detail to spoil it, but in substance to understand the most powerful Interlude.

About Bruce Hennigan

Published novelist, dramatist, apologist, and physician.

Posted on March 27, 2012, in Apologetics, Breaking News, Speculative Fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Excellent and scary point. I heard a sermon on hell earlier this year and that was the point the pastor made: hell, in the end, is getting what you always wanted on earth: God completely out of your life. Permanently.


    • I am working on an upcoming presentation to an online apologetics conference in April and I’m using “The Great Divorce” by C. S. Lewis as an example of speculative fiction used in an apologetic setting. So, I was thinking about heaven and hell when I read “Night of the Living Christian Dead” and that is why that interlude resonated with me. Thanks for the kind words.


  2. It’s so interesting to see the different things others catch that I didn’t…I just read those parts on their surface (probably because Luther’s father kind of was a jerk) but you’re absolutely right about the double meaning there. Thanks for pointing it out!


  3. Bruce, great thoughts. I enjoy where you are going with this. I like the way you think.

    I enjoyed writing the interludes a great deal. One interviewer asked me if it was difficult, learning to “think that way” and I was shocked by the question. I told him that it was dismayingly simple to think that way, and that in many ways it was easier to write than the theology with which I agree.

    I’m glad you enjoyed them, as well, and found them thought provoking.


    • The juxtaposition of writing styles between your interludes and the main story was so abrupt and I really liked that. It made me slow down, put on my thinking cap and really mull over the words. It may sound strange, but I actually read the interludes out loud. They were so well written and so full of wisdom. I really loved that part of your book. I guess the interludes were the C. S. Lewis and the rest was Monty Python. And I’m a big Monty Python fan. I’ve seen Spamalot like 8 times. I can’t wait for your next book. Thank you for visiting my blog!


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