Redeeming Horror Stories at Easter

Redeeming Horror Stories at Easter

Rev. Dr Jason John’s latest book explores some of the Bible’s horrific stories in the lead up to Easter.  

“It works through the lectionary readings for Lent this year, looking at the stories of salvation in them: who gets included, and who is left out,” he said. 

“We start with Noah and his lads being saved, at the expense of all the animals, then the Jews at the expense of the Aboriginal people in Canaan, then obedient Jews at the expense of those who dared complain about starving, and so on.  In parallel, I look at the gospel readings and wonder what Jesus would have made of those stories, and what we should do about them.” 

“Because these stories are featured in the lectionary, in churches all around the world we will be reading them, often leaving out the horrific bits. But we can’t just hide from them, we need to confront the picture they paint of God, including for example as a perpetrator of domestic abuse. Then I look at other Old Testament stories that see God differently and notice that Jesus seems to side with them.” 

Rev. Dr John said the initial feedback had been positive.  

“I had the very strange experience of being part of an adult study group discussing the book, where people found it brought various ideas they had had over the years into sharp focus and helped them think through the application of their beliefs. It has been much more topical than I’d anticipated, given its sustained criticism of the claim that God insisted that the Israelites murder every Aboriginal person in Canaan to take their ‘promised land.’” 

“It’s a quick read in straightforward language, which I hope will take longer to discuss and think about than it did to read. I kept feeling naughty writing it, but the point wasn’t just to criticise some Old Testament stories, but as it says, to rescue Jesus’ Good News, and to challenge us all to think about who we exclude, and what we are willing to compromise to be safe here on “Ark Australia” while the world drowns.” 
“I’d love it if people bought it and posted a review on Amazon or GoodReads, of course, but they can read a nearly identical version for free if they go to and look it up under ‘books.’”  

Easter Horror Stories is available now for purchase.  


1 thought on “Redeeming Horror Stories at Easter”

  1. Thanks for helping get the word out there Jonathan! it took 24 years from when I wrote the first talks that became the book, I hope it’s a stimulating Lenten read and would love ot hear what people think.

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