The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Cover Art Sending Mixed Signals ... Revival or Zombies???

Every once in a while, you come across a cover that is striking ... but in a way unintended originally. This book speaks to church revival strategies in the 1960s. The illustration is intended to remind people of Ezekiel 37, the vision of God reviving the lost nation of Israel .., as lacking in vitality and strength as a valley of dry bones. It's a good idea, a strong image in words of revival ... but seen in light of today, the image comes across as odd, especially in an age when people are fascinated with zombies. I find the image very striking ... but not quite what I'd like to see happen in my church, thank you very much. This is no aspersion on the author or the author's work. It is amusing that the background color is purple (yes, a long standing royal color) as in one of his works of horror Stephen King tells us that purple is the color that sells more scary books than any other.

However, here's the original text from the book of Ezekiel in the Bible. It is striking imagery that has stuck with me since childhood. Again, I never imagined it looking quite like this book cover!

Ezekiel 37:1-14: The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.

For another zombie related post, see:

For a fiction book where this cover art would be strangely, weirdly appropriate, see:

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