The Magic Eightball Test: A Christian Defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky
eBook (PDF), 112 Pages
What happens when a pumpkin carving, trick or treating, late night monster movie watching monster fan becomes a Christian? Is Halloween now off-limits? Is the whole thing pagan, occult, satanic? Is a love for spooky things and Gothic detail just plain sick? Lint Hatcher, past editor of Wonder magazine and all-purpose pop culture maven, doesn’t take such questions lightly. In The Magic Eightball Test, Hatcher grits his teeth and runs full tilt through the anti-Halloween gauntlet – putting his mania for the monsteriffic to the test. The result? A spirited and thoroughly Christian defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky.
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Mar 28, 2011I found this book to be thuroughly entertaining and informative. I've been a Christian for most of my life, and I'm not at all "threatened" by such "pagan" things as Halloween. But I really wanted to read this book in an attempt to arm myself with arguements against the craziness that says you can't be a Christian and have a little fun around the holidays as well. This book is a wonderful, easy read that will help anyone out who wants, like me, to be able to stand up and say that you can stand up for your religious beliefs and enjoy a good scare at the same time!
Oct 15, 2009"The Magic Eightball Test by Lint Hatcher" On the cover of Lint Hatcher’s The Magic Eightball Test: A Christian Defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky, the reader is greeted by a ghost wandering through a graveyard carrying a Frankenstein trick-or-treat bag and a large black orb, to which it asks the question: “Is it OK for a Christian to love Halloween?” I get the feeling that this won’t be heavy theology – Hatcher doesn’t seem averse to applying a sense of humor to his subject. The chapter titles evoke classic Halloween kitsch (“Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House”) and wry twists on pagan propaganda (“The Ancient Art of Pop-O-Matic”). I sense I won’t be drenched with a firehose stream of Biblical prooftexts and platitudes that sound like they were uttered by a talking head with horn-rimmed glasses and a blonde bouffant hairdo. I plunge in. Hatcher begins by describing the attraction that the season has for him: Just as “the heavens proclaim the glory... More > of God” in a manner that is aesthetic, almost musical, rather than prosaic, the coming of autumn says something romantic and pure to me. It sings about Nighttime, and Winter, and the liveliness of Death, about truths too difficult and painful to accept any other way – except, perhaps, through the words of some great poet. And because autumn is a kind of music, Halloween is a kind of dance. He discusses various aspects of Halloween as Americans experience it: 1) the autumn festival, 2) a night of make-believe, and 3) a celebration of all things spooky. He gives a brief history of its origins, being careful to distinguish between the Celts’ worship of nature and the celebration of creation that harvest time brings. He is careful to draw a bright line between the occultism practiced by serious believers and the “pop” occult trappings of our modern Halloween celebration. The means of distinguishing the two is, natch, The Magic Eightball Test. He contrasts the Magic Eightball with the Ouija board and asks: When people place their trembling fingertips on the triangular planchette of a Ouija board and ask a question, to whom are they speaking? “The spirits.” Whether a person believes or not… they formally address their questions to the spirit world. Thus, some creature may answer... When a person asks a question of the Magic Eightball, who are they talking to? Who do they know darn well that they are addressing? That round piece of plastic there. The one with the number eight painted on it. …[W]e ply it for answers… like a Pop-O-Matic dice roller. If we don’t get the answer we want, we shake it up again. This is the heart of Hatcher’s defense of Halloween and its spooky accoutrements: Dracula costumes, trick-or-treating, and decorating one’s house with black cats are simply responses to the idea of the spirit world - cultural echoes of real encounters, perhaps, but not conveying the reality of what they signify. They are “make-believe”, like a father playing with his children by growling like a lion and chasing them around the living room. They acknowledge evil and the “spooky aesthetic” that hangs about certain creatures, but is not an actual participation. English poet G.K. Chesterton provides “Deep Background” for Hatcher's worldview. He reprints Chesterton’s On Holidays, The Spice of Life, and The Nightmare, all of which explore ideas of culture and experience, lending solid support to his position. Also reprinted here is Wunderkind, a fictional diary of a young man rediscovering his childlike sense of wonder. An engaging autobiographical note closes the slim volume. Lint Hatcher “gets” Halloween – whatever it may be to some, it’s definitely wonderful fun.< Less
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- by Joseph L. Hatcher III (Standard Copyright License)
- Lint Hatcher
- October 2, 2011
- File Format
- File Size
- 2.45 MB
- Product ID
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