Secular vs. biblical horror


While discussing movies at the World Journalism Institute, I admitted to liking just about every film genre but one: Slasher films (also known as horror porn or gore-nography) that graphically depict miserable and violent deaths. Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and their many sequels and epigones don't turn me on-but they seem to appeal to many others.

Societal horror films that describe the end of civilization also have little appeal to me but lots to others. Sometimes the reason for collapse is global warming, sometimes war, sometimes big banks rather than big bombs, sometimes nothing specified … it happens. Cormac McCarthy's The Road is probably the best literary example. Why apocalypse turns on some Americans is a mystery to me. (Of course, I was also unimpressed by the Left Behind series.)

The Bible has its nightmare scenarios. Look at chapter 32 of Isaiah:

"Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. In little more than a year you will shudder, you complacent women; for the grape harvest fails, the fruit harvest will not come. …The palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks. …"

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But biblical horror stories end with hope (as the whole Bible ends with hope). Chapter 32 describes the change that will come when:

"… the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever."


Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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