Saturday, March 2, 2013
Review of Halloween, Hallowed Be Thy Name by Rev. Dr. Eddie J. Smith
The author is a Baptist minister who has pastored churches for thirty-two years. In this role, he has developed very successful Halloween outreaches that saw as many as 1,600 Halloween guests during two to four weekend evenings. Dr. Smith now shares his years of Halloween ministry experience with churches that would also like to present more than candy and tracts to their Halloween visitors. Dr. Smith makes his home in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with his wife Sandra. They have two beautiful daughters, two great son-in-laws, and three wonderful grandchildren. Dr. Smith and his wife enjoy traveling, dining out, landscaping and gardening. (Back cover of the book)
Halloween, Hallowed is Thy Name
Rev. Dr. Eddie J. Smith
Review by Patricia A. Guthrie
There are two major Christian holidays on the church calendar, Christmas and Easter, the two bookends of the Christian faith. Or are there?
Rev Eddie J. Smith contends there are three. Christmas, the incarnation and Easter, the ressurection. But, what then of the third? In between these two major holidays there are all the other days. What of them? What will celebrate the life and ministry of Jesus Christ? Referring to Him, he writes, "And, everything He said and did is the gospel of Halloween."
Halloween? The day children and adults go to parties, dress up as evil spirits or celebrities or politicians and presidents? Yes, one and the same. Rev. Smith thinks Halloween "should be considered an integral part of our salvation story . For too long, it has been a sadly neglected as a relic of pagan times."
He feels that too many people dishonor God at Halloween, and it's a shame they do. This is a perfect opportunity to praise God through evangelizing what Halloween is really about. The evening before All Saints Day. The ridding the world of the evil and bringing in the good news about Jesus. He believes that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, "The gates of hell shall not prevail." Satan cannot win over us. The grave cannot rule us. Even though the church and its flock fear and even mourn the holiday, Halloween should be should be a day of praising God and symbolize the victory of light over death. "Halloween, hallowed is thy name."
Halloween, Hallowed is Thy Name is a text book filled with good vs evil. It discusses the origins of the holiday from The Druids to the Feast of Samhain (devil) to All Saints' Day. Why trick or treating? Why the Jack-O'Lanterns, witches, warlocks and ghosts and superstions of all kinds. Where did they come from?
There are the many literary masterpieces of the holiday from The Legend of Sleepy Hallow to the Harry Potter books. He discusses C.S. Lewis, J.R. Tolkien and the magic of Walt Disney and their relationship with God and the Devil. In the Ring, Frodo fights the devil Sauon, while Harry Potter fights Rawlings devil, Lord Voldemort. Does Harry represent Christ?
Smith asks the questions "is Halloween really the Devils Holiday?" How does it relate to Christmas and Easter. Original Pagan holidays all. A way the church converted its nonbelievers to believers of Christ through celebration.
Fascinating is his work on the Nature of Good and Evil, while asking if celebrating Halloween is imitating evil? He contends no. Just the opposite. And, he backs it up with biblical references throughout the books.
Whether you believe Halloween is just a party day, something dark and sinister, or evil wiped out by good, this is a book to read. It's historical references to many holidays and how they became celebrations is interesting reading. The meanings behind Tolkien, C.S Lewis, Harry Potter and other authors is a book unto itself.
The only drawback, was, at times, the text became heavy and redundant. But, not often enough to make you want to put it down. In fact, it's a book to be stored in your reference section of your library, to become dog-eared and well used.
I give this book five stars for its information, dedication and interesting premise. It's obvious Rev. Smith spent many hours researching this book and it has paid off.