Apologist Jeremiah Johnston Discusses Paranormal Entertainment and the Christian

(PHOTOS: REUTERS/DAVID W. CERNY) A child looks at a reveler dressed as a devil at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on December 5, 2013.
(PHOTOS: REUTERS/DAVID W. CERNY)
A child looks at a reveler dressed as a devil at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on December 5, 2013.

Pop culture has a growing fascination with the occult. From zombies and vampires, to Hogwarts and horoscopes, and even witches and Ouija boards — the mystical, unknown and undead seem to dominate TV and movie screens.

While many celebrate this phenomenon, is it appropriate for Christians to get caught up in the zombie zeitgeist?

Apologist and New Testament scholar Jeremiah Johnston discusses paranormal entertainment, conjuring the dead, and “ordained” mediums in a section of his new book Unanswered, a volume intended to shed light on several hot-button topics that loom large within the Church.

By and large, a majority of Americans say they’ve had a personal connection to the paranormal. According to Johnston’s book, 71 percent say they’ve had paranormal experiences, and 37 percent believe in ghosts, while 56 percent believe those ghosts are spirits of the dead.

So is watching paranormal-themed TV shows and movies simply a normal extension of those experiences? After all, the mainstream hit show “The Walking Dead” resonated with more than 22 million viewers during its fifth season premiere alone, and it’s probably safe to say that plenty of those viewers were Christian. Is there any harm in a little paranormal entertainment?

While apologist Johnston doesn’t condemn shows like “The Walking Dead,” he does caution Christians to find a healthy balance when it comes to their consumption of paranormal content.

“It’s important to balance. … This is one of these difficult issues, like alcohol in the Church and others,” Johnston told The Christian Post earlier this month. “It really comes down to one’s spiritual maturity, it comes down to the priesthood of the believer.”

The theologian warned, however, “Anything that takes away from your love for God, anything that detracts you from all the joys that we have in Jesus Christ — [you] should be very careful [about].”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Kevin Porter