Saturday, October 8, 2011

Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards... and a giveaway

A creative, entertaining approach to resurrecting the undead church.

There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is "supposed to do" but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.

Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today's believers. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize "zombie Christianity," and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.

While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.

My review:
I admit the main reason I decided to review this book was because of the catchy title. Zombie Church...... not something you typically see on the shelf of the local Christian bookstore.

Shallow as it may make me sound, I don't get as excited about non-fiction books as I do about fiction, so I finally picked this book up two days before my review was due and started reading it.

One of my first thoughts on discovering the author was comparing Christians to zombies in zombie movies he watched was "man, not sure Christians should watch those kind of movies" (still not so sure about that, but maybe I am too close-minded) - but after I got past that, I really got into the book.

This book is excellent. There have been many books written about, and much has been said and preached about legalism and dead Christians and churches, but Edwards puts a whole new spin on it with his book. As bizarre as zombies having anything in common with churches and Christians sounds, he really pulls it off. I read this book as if it were the latest Christian suspense novel by one of my favorite authors. And as with one of those type of books, I read it in one evening.

The book aroused a few emotions in me. Guilt. I could see myself in some of what he wrote. Longing. Wishing church could be what he wrote about - full of life, a place I wanted to go. And a longing to do better. And even wishing I could attend his church and sit under his preaching. Yeah - his book impressed me. It is well written and well thought out, and his zombie illustrations and stories have a very unique and colorful way of addressing the lifelessness in our churches and in we Christians.

I would highly recommend this book. It will definitely stir any Christian.

About the author:

Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus-so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor's degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.

Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the Dead, The Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town.

In his own words:
I am not a typical pastor. I love Jesus and I love the church but I don't care for all the "churchy" things churches do. I want to be ever, only, always about Jesus and I often find that many of the "religious" rules and traditions get in the way of that. I am the lead pastor of Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin Missouri and I graduated from Ozark Christian College in 2006. I am married to a wonderful lady named Erica. She is way out of my league but graciously agreed to be my wife, which is pretty awesome.

My love for writing came from my mother who has helped me immensely with my writing. I have been writing since I was in the sixth grade. My first book was a fiction story that had 118 major characters. Then I realized why no one has that many characters: I had 20 pages of notes just keeping track of who was where and doing what. I got totally frustrated so I gathered killed off all but three or four of the characters in a few pages. Then I realized that the book was either going to be terrible or terribly depressing, so I moved on to the next one.

Zombie Church is my first published book and the first book I completed. I have several more I am currently working on. A few of the working titles are:

Unforgiven (it's not a western), The Watered Down Gospel, and Terminal Religion.

Zombie Church is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel and Litfuse for the review copy.

Giveaway:The publisher is giving away a $50 gift card for Amazon to one person through this blog tour.

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using @litfuse) about Zombie Church or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy. (All Litfuse bloggers who post a review are automatically entered and do NOT need to email us.)

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:
TWEET THIS: Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards - a fair-minded & tenderhearted critique of the church @litfuse RT for $50 to @amazon

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Edwards - a fair-minded and tenderhearted critique of the church. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus. Share this for a chance at $50 to


Tyler Edwards said...

It is truly amazing to see the points that people pull out of a book that you didn't think anyone would grab on to. I am glad this book connected with you, as an author that is your hope when you take the time to sit down and write that something you put to paper will impact the life of those reading it. It is encouraging to know that something did.

Grace and Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ

Tyler Edwards

Jubilee Reviews said...

Reading this right now! Thanks for your great review!