Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards is basically about those people in church – or an entire church – who just go through the motions of a relationship with God, without their heart. It is a slim book so I thought it would be a quick read but it took a lot longer than I thought it would. Maybe the pages are super thin or something. There are a lot of churchy words and cliches in there, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t spent a few years abroad. Trying to explain spiritual concepts with an infant’s vocabulary forces one to ponder one’s spiritual script in order to cull the meaning (which sometimes leads to questions regarading dearly-held doctrinal beliefs…but that’s a different post).

I will say this: the past year has really sucked for my family. But we kept going to church, and our motive was that if we gave up, we would never have gone back. That is a less-than-stellar motive, I know. We went because my mouth needed to sing that God was faithful, even if my heart didn’t believe it. We went to hear the Word, even if our hearts didn’t want it. We went because sometimes you need to do the right thing, even if you don’t feel like it, because that is how you train your heart to respond as it ought. We would absolutely have qualified as Edwards’s zombies – smiling, shaking hands, saying everything was fine even though it wasn’t (I mean, really. It’s not appropriate to inform a total stranger during the “welcome time” that you’re unemployed and homeless and not totally sure you’re going to be able to eat that week). Truth be told, we haven’t fully recovered from that time yet. It’s just that most Sundays it was literally all we could do to just to be there, at least without screaming that everything was sort of falling apart and didn’t anyone care? Just sitting all the way through was the two mites my heart had to offer. It may have looked zombie-like but it’s all I had.

(I don’t mean to imply that our church is awful or one of these zombie churches. Our small group imploded at a critical time and we just fell through the cracks.)

I know this isn’t what Edwards is talking about, or who he’s writing to. But you read a book through the filter of your own background and that’s mine. I just kept thinking that maybe all these people are sitting woodenly in a service because they don’t believe the person next to them genuinely cares, and instead of calling them zombies we should go be their friends. Real friends, the kind who invite you over and feed you and just listen to you and don’t think you’re a heretic because you have some big questions about God.

If you are concerned about the lack of life in your church, the church at large, or in your own life, then this book will have some good stuff for you. Read the other reviews on the blog tour here. There’s also an Amazon giftcard giveaway!

This book was provided for review by the LitFuse Publicity Group.