I’m a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Part of it could that dystopian literature and/or drama is popular right now. Movies like World War Z, Hunger Games, TV like Jericho, Revolution, and The Walking Dead are all examples.
A dystopian society is a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
Someone has written that dystopian themes are popular when people feel helpless or hopeless. Perhaps there’s something to that, with confidence in our government waining, terrorism on the rise and now ebola threatening to imitate art.1
In Ephesians 2:1–3, Paul wrote:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
How does this relate to zombies and The Walking Dead? John Gerstner, former professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary compared
Paul’s description of our sinful state to what horror stories call a zombie. A zombie is a person who has died but who is still up on his feet walking around. It is a gruesome concept, which is why it appears in horror stories. But it gets worse. This upright, walking human corpse is putrefying. It is rotting away, which is probably the most disgusting thing most people can imagine. But this is a fair description of what Paul is saying about human nature in its lost condition. Apart from Jesus Christ, these sinning human corpses are “the living dead.”2
If you think about our sinful nature, we are decaying, spiritually. Left to our own devices, without the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we don’t “improve.” Sure, we do good things, but our sinful nature, apart from Christ, decays.
In The Walking Dead, if one is bit or scratched by a zombie, you “die” and become a zombie yourself. Nothing new under the sun—Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us of this, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'”
1 Some have remarked, when the ebola patients were brought to Atlanta, “that’s where the zombie outbreak began.”
2 Excerpt From: James Montgomery Boice & Philip Graham Ryken. “The Doctrines of Grace.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/qGiqy.l