1. Travis Perry says:

    Rick, my current work in progress includes combat and shows death in a way the CBA probably would not approve of. For me, death is one of those subjects that a writer must deal with and at times it is appropriate to show death can be horrific.

    I’m a fan of The Walking Dead but I will be the first to tell you that its view of death is clearly not Christian. The bad part isn’t that death or gore happens, but that it shows meaningless, purposeless death over and over. Whereas many people dealing with real situations where many people die (such as combat) walk away from the experience with a heightened sense of God and His mysterious control over every aspect of both life and death, The Walking Dead takes a much more evolutionary approach–the strong survive and if the weak are allowed to live, it is because of some inherent goodness in humanity that death can’t wash away (or more cynically, because of a survival instinct that prizes not just the individual, but the group). The interplay between good and evil is part of what fascinates me about the show–but a truly Christian take on the same story situation would be fundamentally different.

  2. Joanna says:

    This has always been the strange contradiction in the media world – you can show violent death, only if it’s scripted. If it’s a real body in that body bag, you’d better not run that picture.

    (See this article about a recent example)

    It’s something that’s talked about and argued about in newsrooms and journalism classrooms all across the country.

    It’s almost as if Americans are trying to relegate death and gore and dying into the purely fictional world. It’s not that we have a love affair with death. We have a love affair with fictionalizing death. It’s like we think that the more gore we can pack into the fiction world, the less of it there will be in the real world.

    America will watch and love “The Walking Dead,” then tune into the news, and then switch it right off the moment they start talking about Nigeria or IS, because “it all just makes them depressed” and they ask “why can’t they talk about something positive in the world for once.”

  3. Lyrewulf says:

    The faith built on the physical wounds of the Godman, fearing death and gore? Honestly if that’s not ironic only god knows what is

    • Steve C. says:


      It’s not a matter of fearing death and gore, but celebrating it. The gratuitous, and often times meaningless display of violent death certainly is an evil.

      Or are you saying that since Christ suffered a torturous, violent, bloody death that I should somehow have no problem with and/or approve of  zombie films? Or enjoy looking at photos of fatalities in auto accidents?

  4. Lela Markham says:

    I’m a fan of The Walking Dead myself, but I’d hold off condemning it. The Dead is a metaphor for the fear of societal collapse that pervades our nation today. The government failed to contain it — their efforts made it worse — and every attempt to form another government (i.e. the Governor or Terminus) turns out badly. I think that’s where Z-Nation is headed too. How do we handle life when there’s no authorities in charge, no electricity, no safety and even our fellow living people treat us in truly horrible ways?

    If I were writing a Christian zombie novel, the zombie virus would be a metaphor for sin. We all have it in us and if we die without God, we become zombies. I can see some definite possible story lines if a Christian writer wanted to tackle the subject. Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti have probably already considered them.

    • Joanna says:

      Check out a book by Matt Mikalatos called
      “Night of the Living Dead Christian.”

      It’s a comedy about life as a Christian… and a werewolf. And there are zombies. And a vampire. …. And it packs a surprising punch at the end. I highly recommend it.


    • Travis Perry says:

      For it to be a metaphor for sin, there would be have to be some way to bring zombies back from being zombies, back to being human again–though it might even be better for them to come back as something not quite human, something better…

      I’ve considered writing such a tale. 🙂

    • dmdutcher says:

      I’ve written something like that, for an old nanowrimo project. I should edit it and self-pub, but it’s particularly gruesome. I think I’ve watched far too much horror to make a “cozy” kind of Christian horror like Peretti or Dekker.

  5. Julie D says:

    Death and gore are not necessarily the same. You have shows like Call the Midwife, where there might be an episode focusing on hospice care, but very little gore related to the death, or you can have Walking Dead, with death and gore, but the in-show perspective is very different.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Correct, Julie. I don’t think I was implying they were the same. The gore and death in “The Walking Dead” was merely a launching point to discuss how we avoid looking at death in real life while heartily embracing it in our entertainment. The gore is not a necessary component of it, but seems to have a substantial following of people who enjoy it.


      My main point being a story, whether movie, TV show, or book, can best be evaluated for its “Christianness” by how it treats and deals with death, whether or not gore is involved.


What do you think?