So here's the thing. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to blog about today regarding Mike Duran's The Resurrection. That Easter-related post I mentioned on Monday? Yeah, I pretty much made it up. I got nothing along those lines.
At best, what I have is a gut-level reaction to Duran's afterword regarding the existence of ghosts. He acknowledges that most Christians don't believe in ghosts, but then raises the possibility that they could exist. Maybe. Duran even cites some Biblical evidence for the potential existence of ghosts.
His three examples? The appearance of a post-mortem Samuel to Saul and the witch at Endor, Moses and Elijah chatting with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and the fact that, when the disciples think Jesus is a ghost, He corrects them but doesn't tell them to stop thinking ghosts are real.
After reading the afterword (after the afterword?), I was less than impressed with these examples. Sure, Samuel and Moses show up after they died, but who's to say that God didn't grant them a temporary release from their heavenly rest? As for Elijah, he didn't exactly die, now did he? Unless "taken up into heaven by a fiery chariot" is some weird Hebrew euphemism I'm unaware of.
As for his final example, I don't buy it. Here's the passage in question:
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:36-39, New International Version, ©2011)
On the surface, it might seem like Jesus is allowing the possibility of ghosts. After all, if ghosts didn't they exist, why wouldn't Jesus say, "It is I myself! Touch me and see. Oh, and while we're on the subject, ghosts don't exist, so get over it."
Except . . .
Except this isn't exactly what you would call a teachable moment. The disciples have just received a pretty major shock. Seeing dead people come back to life can do that to people (i.e. Chapter 4 of this month's book). This isn't exactly the time to confront faulty beliefs regarding life after death. Instead, the point of Luke 24 is that Jesus is simply, really, completely alive. The point isn't that He's not a ghost. That's only secondary. The point is resurrection.
Duran's evidence of a maybe is sketchy, and that's a best-case assessment. I realize that's not the point, but this was sort of the cherry on the top of a less-than-impressive book.
Now does that mean that I'm against ghosts in Christian fiction? Believe it or not, I'm not. It didn't faze me at all when . . . well, what prompted Duran's afterword to come after the story. Sorry. Spoilers and all that. Anyway, speculative fiction is all about dancing on the end of a tree branch. If someone can skillfully jig without losing a step, I'm all for it, especially if it can provoke some thoughts in the old theological corners of my brain.
Go and see what the rest of the tourists have to say:
Book Reviews By Molly
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller