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UNDEAD: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn by Clay Morgan

*Leave a comment to win a copy of Undead!

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So, I’ve been talking about that Clay Morgan guy a lot recently; after all, October is UNDEAD month.  Maybe you’re wondering why I’d give a month of my space to Clay or his book.  And that’s a good question; thanks for asking.  Maybe you’re saying, “Why don’t you give up all of your space to someone who knows what they’re doing?”  But that’s not a good question, and I’m just going to pretend you didn’t say that.

Okay, so the short answer is that I believe in them.  I like both Clay and his book, and I believe in what they have to say.

Of course, the long answer is longer.

Here’s where I explain the book…sort of.

I’ve found it difficult to nutshell Undead; when people ask, my thoughts scatter in about ten directions at once.  In my defense, I’ve heard Clay Morgan himself explain the book in about five different ways.  The truth is that Undead covers a lot of territory, like doubt, the emotional tombs we crawl into, giving selflessly and how it’s not that easy to follow in Christ’s footsteps.  Here’s my try at a description:

In the beginning, Clay asks, “What if there isn’t just death and life, but death and undeath?”  From there, he leads us on a journey through a history of the undead, from ancient stories of the dead arising to why we’re still so fascinated with these creatures today.  Primarily, he recounts the six recorded incidents of the dead being brought back to life in the bible and uses those varied scenarios to discuss contemporary Christian life.  Pop culture references are effectively woven throughout the narrative as well, particularly the zombies that Clay employs so well to illustrate a shambling state of existence.

Above all, Undead asks the question, “Why isn’t this working?”  

“This is the thing I always believed was part of the answer to life, as in I just need this  to be happy and fulfilled.  We try all kinds of things in hopes of finding the right this.”  So why isn’t this  working?  Many of us are like spiritual zombies, shuffling through life, “unfulfilled by either pursuing or obtaining the objects of our desire.”  And “what happens when we have everything and still wake up feeling empty?”  Undead’s answer is that “God came to the land of the living dead so that the dead might live.”  We just have to choose life.

What I like about this book is that…

Undead offers me hope that I can be more than the zombie I sometimes act like, but never pretends that choosing life over death, choosing to be reborn, is easy.  Clay is very open and honest about his personal struggles and what he has viewed as his own spiritual shortcomings.  So instead of feeling my particular imperfections sharply contrasted against what I “should be”, I am shown that I’m actually a normal human being.  Yes, I can be more, I can strive to strengthen my relationship with God, to live more fully in my faith.  But questions, doubts and my internal struggling don’t make me a bad Christian.  Let me tell you, there’s something compelling about recognizing yourself on the page, being told that someone gets you, and feeling that they are speaking to you.  And beyond that, being told that you are okay, that you’re not alone – you’re not the only one, alone in this apocalypse.

Undead tells me something about myself. When I read a book like this, I ask, “Can I take a lesson from what I’m reading?  Does it make me ask questions about myself?  Does it challenge my viewpoint, my perspective, and offer me a different vantage from which to see?”  Undead fulfilled all of those needs for me. It reminded me about who I am and who I am striving to be.   It gave me new insight into my religion and my relationship with Christ.

About Clay Morgan…

The thing about Clay is he’s a nice guy.  I believe in the message of the book, and that the nature of the writing will help speak something wonderful into many ears that haven’t been listening.  But I know I wouldn’t put this much effort into promoting Undead if it weren’t for Clay.  I truly feel that his heart is in reaching out to people, particularly the youth community, and that he wants us to find what we’ve been looking for, to fill the emptiness of merely existing with the fullness of truly living.  I’m sure he wants to be successful for so many reasons, but if I thought his primary motivation was self, then you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

A couple of months ago, Clay helped me. I didn’t ask for help, he just offered it, in response to a simple, frustrated tweet.  And then he followed through.  I’m sure he doesn’t even remember it, and I imagine it wasn’t a big deal to him at all.  But it was a big deal to me.  Truthfully, I’m really spoiled.  I know that I can come here and find kindness and encouragement.  But this is my home, and you are my family.  As much as your support and caring are a continual wonder to me, I’m blown away when I find that kindness coming to me from the outside.  And I’m a sucker for people who are nice to me.

So there you go.

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve got a signed copy of Undead that I’d love to give to one of you!  Just include the word Undead  in your comment, and I’ll put you in the drawing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts either way.

Click here to visit Clay Morgan’s site and find out more about Undead:

Something Missing ad

I’d never seen a trailer for a book before, but this is cool, ya’ll:

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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. A spiritual/philosophical book? Hmm, that might make for an interesting read!

    However, this part from your review of Undead (there, I used the word ;)) doesn’t appeal to me: “Primarily, he recounts the six recorded incidents of the dead being brought back to life in the bible and uses those varied scenarios to discuss contemporary Christian life.”
    I don’t believe in the Bible. I think what we read now is a highly derived, interpreted and modified version so I don’t see any truth in it. Nor would I be able to relate to ‘Christian life’. I mean, had it been life in general, irrespective of the religion, it might have been better.

    Anyhow, spiritual books. They interest me only because I like to read what people might have to say about it.

    In other news, zombie-killing games have suddenly become my favourite games. Mostly because Windows Phone’s app store doesn’t have much to offer by way of free apps. And everytime I play one, I am reminded of you 😛

    October 11, 2012
    • Well, you used the word, so you might just win it! Actually, I was thinking about you when I wrote this last night, because I had just “talked” to you about faith again. Honestly, the bible question dogged me for so long, for the exact reasons you say. But I finally – like this year – started thinking differently, that if I believe in God, that he can do anything, then I should have faith (there’s that word again) that he can guide the hands that wrote what is supposed to be his word. I mean, that would be pretty important to him.

      This came up in the book too. I read the first miracle and had those same doubts, like maybe that guy was in a coma or something. Not many pages later, Clay hit me between the eyes with it – if you believe in God like that, then why wouldn’t you believe he can do this thing? Ok, busted. And those accounts were what made me want to read the book in the first place, haha.

      Of course, you know what I believe already. I’m glad you read through the whole thing, even though you don’t believe the same as me. That means a lot to me. And you commented, too! You know how I like talking these things out with you.

      Ok, please kill a zombie for me next time you play. It’s so awesome that I’ve crossed your mind outside of this space at all – I’m shocked to ever hear that from someone! But thinking of me when you play a zombie game makes me doubly smile 🙂

      October 11, 2012
      • bekkie04 #

        hi there 🙂 you could also look into the dead sea scrolls and the translation process of the king james bible. they might soothe any questions you have about the origin of the bible and its translation into english. i thought i’d add that the world’s fascination with the undead [:)] might have something to do with the end of the world. zombies dont have to be dead to be dangerous
        ill check this book out. thanks

        October 13, 2012
        • Hi Bekkie! Thanks for commenting and for the advice! For me, it usually came down to the question of scribes. I have this thing about words and how changing one word (or word order) can change the entire meaning of what’s being said. I had a hard time thinking about all the people that The Word came through.

          About the end of the world aspect – good point! – Clay says in the book, “Zombies have always been apocalyptic figures. We’re drawn to these stories even more when the world seems to be falling apart.” I think you’re already in tune with the book, haha. I’ll do the drawing next week, maybe you’ll get a free copy!

          October 15, 2012
      • “But I finally – like this year – started thinking differently, that if I believe in God, that he can do anything, then I should have faith (there’s that word again) that he can guide the hands that wrote what is supposed to be his word.”

        Yeah, I’ve thought about that and it always stymies me. Whenever I rationalize from the point of view of an atheist/agnostic, one half of my head is always taking the side of religious believers. And destiny is one thing I’ve thought of quite a bit. To what extent is god supposed (you know, supposed as in, according to believers) to control us? Are we just puppets? If we are, why should we be punished if we do something wrong? Wouldn’t we be doing only what was destined? Or what god guided us to do?

        What are your views on the above questions?

        My stance is a matter of convenience. If I were to truly believe that someone is ‘guiding’ us, or ‘controlling our destinies’, then I would probably give up in life 😛

        You know, it’s a nice change to be talking about all of this with an actual person rather than one half of my head 😉

        There, I killed five! Just for you (and for those zombie souls that allow me to buy power-ups in exchange for them, but you know, mostly for you ;))

        October 15, 2012
        • I’m not a great person to ask theological questions, because my knowledge of the bible is pretty darn tiny at this point. I can only share what I believe, and I don’t always even know what that is! I also had questions about destiny versus free will. I don’t at all believe that we are God’s puppets. I do believe that God has a plan for my life – an end destination point (a destiny), but I don’t always have an idea of what that looks like. Maybe it’s very broad, like going to heaven. Maybe it’s really super specific, like I will do this job at this time and meet this person at this moment. I just am not sure what I believe about that.

          As far as reaching that point, I believe that we have free will to turn away completely, or to follow completely, or to sort of follow but take our own path. That last one is the one I mostly find myself on – and it’s a winding, uphill, harder, longer, more frustrating path most of the time. That’s one thing with that faith post I did that I’m focusing on, is to do my best and leave the rest to God, in other words to take the shortest path. I’ve tested the long way (a lot!) and I’m darn tired. I’m gonna see what the short cut looks like for a while.

          But that still leaves me a question: if I have free will, but God has the map (so to speak), then doesn’t that kind of mean that God is directing me? I’m thinking that once I gave my life to him, then that was like saying, “you tell me where to go.” Like turning on the navigation system. I’ve got the map, I’ve got turn by turn directions, but I can still alter the route. Sometimes God says, “Rerouting” and sometimes he says, “Make a U-turn at the next intersection”. Eventually I get to where I’m supposed to go, but maybe I made it a little harder on myself – or made some pit stops along the way.

          If you don’t believe in God, then it’s like not turning on the navigation system. He wants you to do that, he wants to help you find the best route, but he can’t do that if you don’t turn on the power.

          As for being punished, I’ve never felt that I ever was. I have suffered many a consequence for my own actions, but I have never felt punished. At the same time, I have felt more than my share of God’s grace. Someone recently explained grace to me as “gift love” – love that is freely given, without being earned or bought or bartered for. Unconditional love. I have gotten so much gift love from God it’s not even funny – goodness and love that I haven’t probably “deserved”, because I don’t show that to other people like I should.

          Okay, this is so long, I know, but I guess it’s not a short subject to talk about. Thank you so much for whacking some zombies in my name! More power-ups to you!!!

          October 15, 2012
          • thebirdieflies #

            Hmm, that was interesting.

            I posed a similar question to my friends on Facebook once, and most of them (who believe in destiny) gave me a very similar answer. Some said they believe in god, but not in the fact that he controls their destinies. Some said what you said, that the end point is fixed but how you get there is upto you. One girl told me about Calvinistic philosophy. Someone said that destiny is just determining what outcome comes with what action, and it doesn’t determine what action you take.

            I like that everyone has a different interpretation of what they believe. Mostly, I like that people have a strong reason for believing what they do. That means that it’s not blind faith, and it means that they have given thought to what they’re doing 🙂

            October 16, 2012
          • I’m sorry, I overlooked answering your comment before! I agree with you about not having blind faith, but having strong reasons. Sometimes I think I have great reasons, only to have someone or something else really open my eyes, or point out an angle that I hadn’t thought of before. I think we need to stay open minded and flexible in a lot of ways, and not too narrow in our thinking, because what if we’re really strongly tied to an idea that is not actually right? Doing the Queries has made me see how often I have opinions just because I’ve always thought that way. Or because I decided something long ago and never re-evaluated my thought process on that topic. But it’s also important, like you said, to think things through so that you can have a strong backing to what you believe. Great talk!!

            October 22, 2012
  2. Nicely said, M. And that trailer rocks. And I don’t have a signed copy. Hmm. 😉

    October 11, 2012
    • The trailer totally rocks.

      I stole the give-away idea from you 🙂 But did I say “have”? I was using that term very loosely, haha! I’m counting on “that Clay guy” to come through again. But I’ll put your name in anyway.

      October 11, 2012
  3. John Szabo #

    I’m pretty stoked to read UNDEAD. Hopefully I’m chosen to receive the copy. Before today I’ve never heard of Clay Morgan. I was scrolling through Matt Mikalatos’s blog and came across a very interesting post regarding a OT/NT Zombie fighting team. Matt’s works make you think, and I am assuming that Clay’s will do that as well.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a (free & signed) copy of UNDEAD!!! (Do I get to be entered twice since i used UNDED twice?)

    October 11, 2012
    • I’m glad your stoked, John! And hi, by the way! Okay, so that’s actually three, three times you used Undead in your comment (“ah-ah-ah-ah,” to quote Count von Count, who makes an appearance in the the book, as well). There’s not much competition so far, so your chances are good! I hope you went over to check out Clays site, claywrites.com. He always gives me something to think about over there, too. I’m going to have to take your advice and go see what Matt Mikalatos is all about.

      October 11, 2012
      • John Szabo #

        You’ll LOVE Matt’s work. Funny and thought proviking. And there is even a talking donkey in My Imaginary Jesus. And watch out for hte were-squirrel in Night of the Living Dead Christians.

        October 11, 2012
        • Yeah, I heard about both of those books through Clay’s blog and wanted to check them out. I figure if Clay likes it and I like his writing, then it only follows… So now two recommendations. Thanks!

          October 11, 2012
  4. I’m so thrilled to come out of my cave to find that Clay’s Undead has been released! I didn’t know anything about the content prior to this post, so thanks for the review. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

    October 14, 2012
    • I’m certainly thrilled you’ve come out of your cave! I have to admit that there are way better reviews out there, but I’m glad you read mine, haha! Definitely check out the book, though, it’s good. Maybe you’ll win a copy 🙂

      October 15, 2012
  5. I had never heard of Clay Morgan until I read your recent posts and went to check out his site. His posts are thought provoking and insightful and I’m hooked. I’m too far out for that signed copy of his book but I’m happy to have found his site through you 😀

    October 14, 2012
    • Oh yes, that would be quite the shipping job! But it’s on Kindle too, if you’re interested. I’m so glad you like his site! I hope you’ll comment over there – I’d definitely like to see what you think. You always have great comments, and I’d talk to you over there, too!! It would be like hanging out at someone else’s house with you, haha.

      October 15, 2012

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