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Bad Eagle Journal

The New Horror, The New Poe

by David Yeagley · July 9, 2012 · 37 Comments ·

Twelve years ago, Richard Poe invited me to become a political columnist for It proved to be a fateful turn in my life. More recently, Richard opened a different sort of door to me. He asked me to contribute a Preface to his new book, Perfect Fear: Four Tales of Terror, just released from Heraklid Books on July 5. With Richard’s kind permission, I reprint my entire Preface below.

Cover of Perfect Fear, by Richard Poe

Preface to Perfect Fear
by David Yeagley

A taste for the weird and horrible cannot be cultivated overnight. It takes years of practice and a certain morbid predisposition. Richard Poe clearly has both. And I mean that as a compliment!

When Richard first sent me the stories in Perfect Fear, I did not know what to expect. In the twelve years I have known him, Richard has always been a journalist and a writer of non-fiction books. He was also my editor at FrontPage Magazine, David Horowitz’s popular webzine. There, Richard used to pore over my copy with the diligence of a rabbinical scribe. He devoted long hours of his busy days to instructing me in the craft of op-ed writing. With endless patience, Richard weaned me from my academic style, teaching me to write for a mass audience. I developed great respect for his skills as a teacher and editor, and often marveled at his knowledge of exotic subjects. But there was a side of Richard that I never fully appreciated until now, and that is the side he unveils in his new book, Perfect Fear.

Richard Poe, author of Perfect Fear
With his new book Perfect Fear, Richard Poe is picking up where Edgar Allan left off. (Photo by James J. Kriegsmann Jr.)

The stories in Perfect Fear display gifts of creativity and imagination which never found a proper expression in Richard’s non-fiction writing. More to the point, they reveal a fascination with things frightful, monstrous and appalling — a very special “gift” indeed, which Richard manifests in surprising abundance.

Plainly, my friend Richard has been drinking from Stygian waters for a very long time, but doing it on the sly, concealing his guilty pleasure from the world. He has imbibed very deeply of that brackish tide. The stories in Perfect Fear reveal a longstanding intimacy with the literature of the macabre, with its peculiar conventions and twisted humor. Perfect Fear is not the work of a dabbler, but of a lifelong and passionate connoisseur.

Richard’s sudden emergence as a horror writer will inevitably arouse speculations about his surname. Some will wonder about the possibility of a family connection between Richard and his illustrious namesake Edgar Allan Poe. Richard assures me that no such connection is possible. His grandfather was a Russian Jew, born Rafail Aronovich Pogrebissky, who adopted the name Poe only in 1939. Still, there are other sorts of kinships, beyond the genetic. I sense an eerie affinity between these two Poes, very evident in their writing.

American Gothic

When I speak of an affinity, I do not mean to suggest that Richard attempts, in any way, to emulate the luxuriant prose of Edgar Allan Poe. He does not. Richard’s style is lean and modern, as quick-paced as a Hollywood thriller. Yet the brooding atmosphere of Richard’s stories and the ghastly obsessions of his characters unmistakably evoke the mood and flavor of nineteenth-century American Gothic literature, and of its undisputed master Edgar Allan Poe. Richard is thus a kind of literary conjurer. He has resurrected the spirit of American Gothic, but reincarnated that spirit in a new body. Perfect Fear is classic horror, recreated for the 21st-century.

The End of the World in Poe, by David Yeagley
In my book The End of the World in Poe, I reveal the deeply religious side of the most famous horrorist of all, Edgar Allan Poe.

The Gothic sensibility is most evident in “Scotophobia,” the first story in this collection, and my personal favorite. The narrator informs us that “scotophobia” means fear of darkness, and there is plenty to fear in the gloomy netherworld beneath Manhattan, where most of the action takes place. In the spirit of the nineteenth-century Gothic masters, Richard leads us into a world of darkness, a realm of dank decay, of hideous insects, mysterious holes in walls, descending staircases and deep, dark tunnels. All the trappings of Gothic fiction are there, yet the story takes place in modern times, in New York City, in the full blaze of electricity, subways and Korean-run minimarts.

I don’t wish to spoil anyone’s fun by revealing too much of the plot. Indeed, anyone who hasn’t read the story should probably stop now and read “Scotophobia” before proceeding further down this page. But there is one surprise in “Scotophobia” that so delighted me, I cannot help commenting on it. This is Richard’s use of American Indian folklore.

Indian Ghosts

The hero of “Scotophobia” is an archaeologist, Frank Romain. He descends an enchanted staircase deep into the earth, in a journey that resembles or mimics an archaeological exploration. The deeper he descends, the further he regresses back through time, meeting worse and worse horrors at each level. Finally he hits bottom, where he encounters the ultimate horror. And what is it? My hat goes off to Richard Poe for understanding exactly what sort of abomination must lie in the deepest depths of that underworld beneath Manhattan. It is a horror drawn from American Indian legend. An Indian ghost. The ghost of the American Indian! When I first read that part of the story, it was a completely unexpected breath stopper, not because Richard got it wrong, but because he got it so unexpectedly right.

Montage of Stephen King's Pet Sematary
America is a haunted land. Many popular works of American horror draw on subconscious fears of lingering Indian curses. In Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989), an ancient burial ground of the MicMac Indians (top) brings dead things back to life, both animal and human.

Frank Romain’s journey is a descent through American history. Such a journey can only lead to the Indian. Richard understands, as few other writers do, that the Indian owns horror in America. “Scotophobia” is really about the fear that comes from living on haunted land. It is precisely this fear that marks “Scotophobia” as quintessentially American Gothic. The Gothic writers of early America understood clearly that the land they inhabited had been taken from someone else. In the days when Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe were writing, the land-grab was still in progress. Indian wars were the hot news of the day. The frontier was fresh and alive for these Gothic writers, a dismal realm looming beyond the reach of Christendom, where the physical terror of Indian raids mingled with the dread of Indian witchcraft and heathenism.

Dracula vs. van Helsing, 1931
While I was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer in 1991, I watched my video of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. It was strangely comforting. It made me feel religious.

Ever the literary conjurer, Richard has rekindled the fire under that old cauldron of fears. He reminds us that the construction crews who buried Manhattan in concrete never succeeded in eradicating America’s original frontier. They simply pushed the frontier underground, where it lies buried beneath the pavement to this day. In “Scotophobia,” Richard brings us the unwelcome news that the modern city is a crypt, and the spirits who sleep there do not sleep quietly.

Sacred Horror

Of the many similarities I have observed between the two Poes, their eccentric spirituality bonds them most closely. I have spent thirty-five years studying the lively interaction between religion and horror in Edgar Allan Poe, and I find the same exotic blend in Richard’s writings. For the two Poes, the horrific element cannot be separated from religion, nor can religion be separated from horror.

“Jesus Christ,” from the incomparable art of Luc Freymanc, Gallary 10, No.13.

Perhaps I am predisposed to appreciate this paradox. It was one of my ancestors, the Comanche prophet Ishatai, who attempted to introduce the sun dance to the Comanches in 1874. The experiment failed. The pragmatic Comanches saw no value in the gruesome self-tortures and self-mutilations which distinguish the sun dance among the Cheyenne, the Sioux and other Plains tribes. Nonetheless, Ishatai’s wayward thinking is in my blood. When I became the first American Indian to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, Ishatai’s unsettling legacy cast a long shadow over my studies.

In a homiletics class at Yale, I was once assigned to write a sermon for Halloween (other students had already taken the “good” holidays, like Easter and Christmas). My sermon on “The Horror of Christ” caused a certain unease among my professors and classmates, but my thesis was unimpeachably Biblical. If the Lord viewed horror as intrinsically unwholesome (as some of our more puritanical brethren might contend), why, then, did he give us a Bible so manifestly packed with horrors, including the gruesome death of Jesus himself on the cross? Surely, I argued, there must be some legitimate role, in God’s kingdom, for the grim, the ghastly and the macabre. This should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of the horror industry’s every offering. Horror can be abused and overdone, like anything else. Yet I insist that horror, in the right hands, can be a tool of spiritual instruction. Engendering a fear of evil is a necessary step toward instilling a proper fear of the Lord.

I can certainly testify that, in my own life, horror tends to awaken faith. While I was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer in 1991, some dear friends of mine, a married couple from my Adventist church, took me into their home to look after me. One day, my hostess found me watching my video of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. “Why are you watching this?” she exclaimed, evincing the traditional Adventist repugnance for horror entertainment. “It makes me feel religious,” I explained. This was the plain truth. Throughout that agonizing period of my life, horrific films and literature helped rivet my attention on the spiritual and eternal, in tandem, of course, with my usual, avid study of Scripture.

Good Fear, Bad Fear

The two Poes, Richard and Edgar Allan, both seem to agree that the work of the horrorist is, in some sense, God’s work. Both approach their task with a conscientiousness bordering on reverence. Edgar Allan often shocked respectable churchgoers with his flippant remarks on religion. Yet, he had an unshakable faith in Biblical prophecy, and a particular fascination with those revelations concerning the end of the world. Edgar Allan’s belief in Biblical prophecy is not widely acknowledged by literary scholars, yet a careful study of his writings yields copious and incontrovertible proof that he held such beliefs, as documented in my book The End of the World in Poe. Edgar Allan Poe was an intuitive believer, a searcher. Richard Poe seems to hold more definite and systematic views on religion, in keeping with his Catholic faith. But, notwithstanding their doctrinal differences, both of these Poes show a proper awe and humility before that wild and ungovernable force which Richard calls “perfect fear.”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” said King David (Psalm 111:10). The first man, Adam, displayed precisely such a fear after eating of the forbidden fruit. The Lord asked him, “Adam, where art thou?” His agonizing reply was, “I was afraid… and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3: 9, 10.) Fear is intimately associated with God. That one should be scared into seeking a restoration of divine favor is actually the basis of all religion. It would follow, then, that the conscious manipulation of fear, through art, is an act highly charged with spiritual purpose.

Dr. David Yeagley, at the University of New
Mexico, after a speaking engagement, in 2002.

Of course, fear can be used for good or evil. I believe the two Poes try to use it for good. Edgar Allan did so intuitively. Richard seems to attempt it in a more deliberate way. Perfect Fear represents an intensely conscious organization of the elements of anxiety and dread, an attempt to elucidate how fear is created, and how it might be transcended, in four different ways, through the four stories in this book. The stories are thrilling and entertaining, as they should be. But there is something in them beyond entertainment, a quality which I find in Richard’s stories and Edgar Allan’s alike, something ineffable and transcendent, mysterious and exalted, something which partakes, however dimly, of the divine.

David Yeagley
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
June, 2012

[Reprinted from Perfect Fear: Four Tales of Terror, by Richard Poe]

Posted by David Yeagley · July 9, 2012 · 11:29 pm CT · ·

Tags: Arts · Bad Eagle Journal · Christianity · Conservatism · Religion

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37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Asaph // Jul 10, 2012 at 5:58 am   

    “Surely, I argued, there must be some legitimate role, in God’s kingdom, for the grim, the ghastly and the macabre. This should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of the horror industry’s every offering. Horror can be abused and overdone, like anything else. Yet I insist that horror, in the right hands, can be a tool of spiritual instruction. Engendering a fear of evil is a necessary step toward instilling a proper fear of the Lord. ”

    Man, that explains a lot.

    You are so weird. LOL.

  • 2 Asaph // Jul 10, 2012 at 6:05 am   

    Seriously, one of the outstanding and unique traits of the Scriptures is the ability the Spirit placed upon writers to place horrors before readers WITHOUT conjuring up unnecessary images, and keeping the mind riveted upon truth.

    Embellishments are man-made, the thoughts of men, for sermons, for books. Much like those who preach about the “horrors” of hell when the place does not even exist, Scripturally speaking. It’s one of the reasons Hollywood can only butcher biblical stories and events. Man adds. The Holy Spirit keeps it perfectly balanced and hidden from typical human additives.

  • 3 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 6:11 am   

    Well, one does grow, or develop, spiritually. What appears vitally important at one stage may not seem so important later. But, if one takes one’s spirituality seriously, if one takes oneself seriously, you can’t really erase the past. If something was spiritual to you then, no future growth abrogates that past experience. Know what I mean?

    I think there is something beyond Freudian, the way the believer regards the horrors of the crucifixion. The intensity of the horror is understood to express the strength of God’s love. This is a most peculiar psychological enormity.

    And is IS early in the morning!

  • 4 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 6:17 am   

    I will admit, my taste for horror was quite refined. I never really indulged in the modernist mayhem styles of blood and guts. I always went for the deep, the dark, and the profound. Anything too obvious was, I think, sick. It involved no search. Does this make sense, I wonder?

  • 5 Asaph // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:48 am   

    Right now I am recording with a guitarist into Poe. He showed me a book of Poe’s short stories containing artists conceptions of Poe’s works. I thought the art creepy looking, but he actually said they captured the stories quite well. My friend assures me that while Poe dealt with horror he did not travel into gore, like typical Hollywood stuff. He claims Poe tried to create scenes that brought fright but within a sphere of imagination that kept it from being too real. Something like that.

  • 6 Thrasymachus // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:55 am   

    My “taste” in horror never went beyond murder mysteries and detective fiction. CBS Radio Mystery Theater of the 1970, etc.

    I refused to go to see “Jaws” when it came out, because I felt that it would bother me.

    I do like traditional Kung Fu action movies, however. Though even here, I do not want to see anything other than the skilled fighting. If the movie contains other, gratuitous graphic horrors and perverse cruelties unrelated to unarmed combat, I will not want to watch it — indeed, I will refuse to.
    Also, Shakespeare’s plays — much like the Bible itself — use violence as a wake-up call AGAINST evil actions. The bloody tyrant is always destroyed by his antecedent wicked deeds. Macbeth is a prime example. King Claudius in Hamlet is another.

  • 7 Asaph // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:56 am   

    I remember speaking one time, explaining crucifixion to the the people in the room while artworks of the crucifixion were displayed behind me on large screens. At one point it became too much for one young woman who got up and left.

    Crucifixion was horrifying, to be sure. Yet the gospels don’t really make a big deal out of it. Were it not for books and some archaeology what would modern man know about it? The Scriptures portray none of the horrifying details. The individual must conjure it up.

    I tend to wonder where the intellectual, emotional line is that it is seen as an act of love versus a blood-thirsty murder a la Sam Peckinpah.

    If God wanted us to ponder all the horrifying details I would think the gospels would contain more information about it.

  • 8 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 10:12 am   

    The Bible is always poetic. Degree or length of expression in ink is no real indication of content. “Meditation” is about filling in the blanks. The Bible is selective and the reduction and selection are, to me, completely inspired.

    Look at the absolute, unabashed, unlimited GORE in the Old Testament. That was history. There are obvious poetic dramatizations of suffering all through the Old Testament.

    How does one devote an hour each day to the closing hours of Christ’s life–without filling in the blanks?

    Asaph, neither you, nor I, nor hardly any Christian wants to admit it, but, the Crucifixion is about GORE. It is the most God-awful thing one can think of. Add to this innocence, betrayal, abandonment, and it all comes out essentially unbearable.

    Now, I refused to see Mel Gibson’s movie. Maybe I do draw lines. I prefer my own imagination. Not a mass production. Just like sex in movies. I prefer my own feelings, not watching someone else pretend to express theirs.

    I don’t think blood and guts are a standard way to express love, unless patriot soldiers can be understood as such an expression. Jesus gives us a new look at American patriot soldiers, no?

    These things should be thought about…

  • 9 Maharishi of Mayhem // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:30 am   

    Do you want to know horror? Have a conversation with a Feminist.

    That will scare the Hell out of anyone.

    Or, when you consider the horrible atrocities that BRObama and his administration are planning for the world, then we should all be horrified.

    BRObama and his Globalists monsters are soon to unleash a program that will make the Holocaust pale in comparison (no disrespect intended).

    BRObama is the true horror story of our lifetimes!

  • 10 Asaph // Jul 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm   

    I grew up in the Catholic Church. I know gore. Crucifixes, busts, statues, paintings. In my youth it scared me to death to go into my grandmother’s room with all her idols. Blood dripping all over the place.

    When I became a Christian, when I began to actually read and study the Bible, I did not see gore. I saw blood, yes. But more, I saw love. I have no desire for gore, and pretending I can “see” what Christ went through, when the gore is not what killed him, separation from the Father is what broke His heart, is, for me, futile.

    I would never go to see a movie about Christ of any kind because sinners cannot possibly portray the sinless Son of God, God manifest in the flesh. It’s utter nonsense and foolhardy for humans to make such pretense.

    It IS an individual thing. When I fill in the blanks, I guess my “filler” is not the same as yours, or others. I see no need. My thoughtful hour each day contemplating the closing scenes of Christ’s life takes in more than the crucifixion. Indeed, the betrayal, of leaders, disciples, a nation. The lies and manipulation, the conniving, the gross planning and execution of precise plans to remove the Lamb from the earth … but then there is Simon, the centurion, His mother and John, the final words. Blood and gore is not part of any of that in my mind.

    As far as horror to begin with, I always found it odd people would go out of their way to get scared, horrified, terrorized by books and movies. Just does not seem like proper use of the mind God gave us. Especially when the blood pressure rises from something totally fake.

  • 11 Sioux // Jul 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm   

    Asaph: “but then there is Simon, the centurion, His mother and John, the final words.”

    I am becoming a pariah in every church I have tried to go because I do not believe in the undocumented notion that it was John with Mary at the Cross. I have put out challenges to show me just how anyone can come to that conclusion. None of the Apostles were at the crucifixion – they were all in hiding forthe very valid fear of meeting the same fate as Jesus.

    So who was it at the Cross with Mary? Why does it matter in this particular blog???? I think it is very relevant because of the numerous stories/themes of Poe about being buried alive.

    That is why I offer Lazarus as the Beloved Disciple – the evidence is all over the Gospel of John for anyone with an ounce of open-mindedness. Lazarus – the eternally grateful one to Jesus who brought him out of the sealed cave of doom after four days of death.His sister, Martha, referring to Lazarus as the “one Jesus loves.” No mention of this event in any of the other Gospels.

  • 12 Sioux // Jul 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm   

    Dontcha just love Bela Lugosi

  • 13 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm   

    I’ve been gone nearly all day (driving back and forth from an Indian clinic in the western part of the state). Let me re-focus.

    The “trick” has something to do with seeing gore as love. That’s what I tried to mention

    The intensity of the horror is understood to express the strength of God’s love. This is a most peculiar psychological enormity.

    I don’ know how there could be anything physically or emotionally pleasant or pleasing about the last day of Christ’s life. It is the most horrible experience imaginable. We are simply to understand this as the price He was willing to pay for our salvation–even the possibility that we might choose Him.

    A price. A sacrifice. Pain. Horror. Aacchh! You know? Aacchh!!

    The PRICE is the PAIN. To appreciate the price, we have to appreciate the pain. Drink ye all of it.

  • 14 Sioux // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm   

    So no love without pain….would have to agree with that conclusion.

  • 15 The New Horror, The New Poe – endtimesprophecyblogs // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm   

    […] FROM End Times Prophecy source #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic […]

  • 16 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm   

    Hmm. Did I mean to say that? Maybe I did. It certainly seems to be the case, though I would never want to say that it was all planned.

    I think evil is an unwanted interruption of the plan of God. An emergency, connected with the abuse of free will…

    Not that God really needs a defense, but, I really want to be careful not to make Him responsible for what has happened. That is the fundamental temptation. That is the spirit of the Adversary.

  • 17 David Yeagley // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm   

    By the way, that Lugosi Dracula video was newly acquired, at the time. Sony had bought out all those old masters, and was just beginning to re-release them on VHS. I looked all over Connecticut for a copy, had stores try to order it, etc. Very difficult to get, but, I must have been one of the first people to own the new release when it did come out. It was part of the “classic” series, which would later included Frankenstein, Wolf Man, The Mummy, etc. I never purchased any of those. Only Dracula

  • 18 Asaph // Jul 11, 2012 at 5:49 am   

    You are so weird.

  • 19 Asaph // Jul 11, 2012 at 6:09 am   

    John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
    John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

    John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
    John 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

    I know of no standard commentary, of any denomination, which places Lazarus, rather than John, next to Christ. John, with Peter and James, by their own consistent choice, were always closest to Messiah. John being youngest of the three, and most likely the twelve, drew the tender affection of brotherly love from Christ, and so it is marked in Scripture.

    The good Dr. Yeagley is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as you probably know, and while I am not, I do hold the ‘Testimony of Jesus,’ commonly called the Spirit of Prophecy by SDAs, partly to be writings guided by inspiration. In the book Desire of Ages, on the life of Christ, based on visions and/ or dreams, and the reading of Ellen White of other volumes from which she took and presented truthful matter, we read this:

    “As the eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude about Him, one figure arrested His attention. At the foot of the cross stood His mother, supported by the disciple John. She could not endure to remain away from her Son; and John, knowing that the end was near, had brought her again to the cross. In His dying hour, Christ remembered His mother. Looking into her grief-stricken face and then upon John, He said to her, “Woman, behold thy son!” then to John, “Behold thy mother!” John understood Christ’s words, and accepted the trust. He at once took Mary to his home, and from that hour cared for her tenderly. O pitiful, loving Saviour; amid all His physical pain and mental anguish, He had a thoughtful care for His mother! He had no money with which to provide for her comfort; but He was enshrined in the heart of John, and He gave His mother to him as a precious legacy. Thus He provided for her that which she most needed,–the tender sympathy of one who loved her because she loved Jesus. And in receiving her as a sacred trust, John was receiving a great blessing. She was a constant reminder of his beloved Master. {DA 752.2}

    I believe it was John at the cross, and not Lazarus.

  • 20 Thrasymachus // Jul 11, 2012 at 6:55 am   

    The late Peter Cushing made some interesting horror films — without the gore — including a Dracula movie Peter Cushing and “Dracula” (1958) tribute.

    And for those interested, here’s an old-time radio production of a story written by, as I believe, a Jewish author, which I enjoyed when I was a child:

    Sherlock Holmes versus Dracula — radio adaptation of Loren Estleman’s 1978 novel

  • 21 David Yeagley // Jul 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm   

    I must say, there are more articles coming on this Poe-Poe venture. Look for wondrous revelations! I appreciate your patience.

    I know there’s a lot of exciting political business going on–but it’s all about Obama trying to destroy America. Perhaps it is good that I don’t spend to much time on that. I’ve considered Obama an enemy from the day he took office, and even before. The thought is hackneyed.

    Anyway, look for more Poe business very soon. Thanks you all.

  • 22 Sioux // Jul 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm   

    Asaph, I have heard before all that you wrote – thanks for going to all that trouble, however. I am not aware of the SDA writings about John being the beloved disciple. All I know is that Jesus referred to John and James as the Sons of Thunder. John and James had a mother who was close to Mary. Mary had at least three other sons (which is obvious unless you are a Catholic). There is nothing in any of the Gospels that indicates any more special consideration of John than Peter or James, John’s brother. John was a chosen Apostle who was the only one to die a natural death, so I think that is why people think he is the one. Again, I say that John wouldn’t have been at the cross due to all the Roman soldiers and angry Jews who would have turned him in to the soldiers in a heart beat. The compelling case for Lazarus is made here:

    Lazarus’ life was saved by Jesus just days before the crucifixion. He is the one who owed everything to his beloved friend and savior.

  • 23 Sioux // Jul 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm   

    buried alive in a tomb – very Poe-ish

  • 24 Asaph // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:34 am   

    Ultimately it comes down to positions which have no salvific importance. I choose to believe it was John at the cross, you have reasons for believing it was Lazarus. I do not believe it has any role in leading someone astray from sanctifying truth.

    I am curious about your statement that Jesus only called John a son of thunder. In John’s gospel, in the upper room, which disciple was it then who is referred to as the one Jesus loved? Of the 12 who would you say it was, based on the rest of the gospels and their treatment of the 12?

    Saying John was the only one to die a natural death is as much supposition as anyone claiming they can biblically prove who was at the cross with Mary. It is all conjecture. There is no totally accurate history of all the lives and deaths of the eleven who traveled the earth after Acts closed. Most is all legend, stories, traditions, anecdotal information, and/or biased history.

    We know Peter, James and John chose to be closer to Christ than the others and Christ brought them into a more intimate experience in His life, like the transformation on the mount.

    We know Peter had his problems that kept him from the cross. We know they all ran in the garden. But there is no record of where they were after that. Considering the Roman centurion’s testimony at the cross, it is just as easy to conjecture if John was there, and recognized, the centurion could have held soldiers back from taking him. Of course, there was no ‘warrant’ for the arrest of the disciples. This was all about Jesus, not the 12. They ran in fear when they really had nothing to run from. They could have as easily followed Christ throughout the night and just been sneered-at bystanders and witnesses to the corruption which took place that night. They fled from fear of the Jews, not the Romans. Same thing happens today, I reckon.

    Aside from my beliefs regarding inspiration and the ministry of Ellen White, my position on John’s presence at the cross is conjecture. Just as yours is about Lazarus.

    The thing we certainly do not want to conjecture about is sanctifying truth.

  • 25 Asaph // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:41 am   

    I just look a look at some of your link. Nay. Placing Lazarus in that position is theological folly, imho. And I would not even bother to get into it. Much ado about nothing.

  • 26 David Yeagley // Jul 12, 2012 at 8:40 am   

    Fantasy often leads to horror.

    I believe young John’s real mother (or some immediate relative) was priestly, of the Cohen line, likely. I think she married a Zebedee, who had a lucrative business on the lake up north (Galilee). This is why John was known, recognized by the female door keeper at Annas home, and let in to the trial of Jesus. On his word, even Peter was let in. This bespeaks serious family ties!

    Also, Judas Iscariot was the son of Simon the Pharisee (the one healed of leprosy). It was in Simon’s home that Mary washed the feet of Jesus. Lazarus was there, as a guest, along with his two sisters (one of whom served the dinner).

    This all bespeaks familial relations of a depth we usually don’t sound carefully.

    It becomes too “horrible.” Poor Mary.

  • 27 johnnymac // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:45 am   

    I agree with you Doctor. The ”blood and guts” genre is much the same as eroticism vs pornography, the ”sacred and the profane”, if you will. I’ve always been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, though as a high school student I used to find his Victorian English sometimes tedious but my point is that it’s what isn’t revealed graphically and what is made suspenseful that makes a true Gothic horror story an enduring classic.

  • 28 David Yeagley // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm   

    You remind me of a couple of great books:

    Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane (1957), and curious work by Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred

    Actually, beginning with the Fall of Man, violence was associated with the basic religious act–sacrifice. I take it the “coats of skins” the Lord made for man’s clothing imply the death or “sacrifice” of animals.

    Sin causes death. That’s the story.

  • 29 Thrasymachus // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm   

    “Sin causes death. That’s the story.” — David Yeagley

    And death is more of a process than a single event. At least that is how I see it.

  • 30 David Yeagley // Jul 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm   

    Well, as long as you don’t see some version of the Serpent’s lie, “Ye shall not surly die.” This is a dramatic point, actually. The history of the world hangs on it.

    In my next article (which I had hoped to have posted today), I talk about Edgar Allan Poe’s use of death. Very artistic, employing all possibilities of meaning (of death). I think this is perhaps instructive. Even the artistic employment must have clear understanding of the possibilities…

  • 31 Sioux // Jul 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm   

    Asaph – totally agree with you that none of this conjecture is a dealbreaker on salvation. Hopefully we will get all our questions answered in the Great Hereafter.

  • 32 Sioux // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm   

    But, Asaph – do you really believe that only the 12 were at the Last Supper?

  • 33 David Yeagley // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm   

    Folks, the Poe plans are going to take longer than expected. I hoping to post three more, and I will preserve them in a separate file. However, I cannot know when exactly they will be completed. It will take time. I appreciate your patience.

    In the mean time, new blog tomorrow! Sometime. On who knows what!

  • 34 Sioux // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm   

    Good Shabbis!

  • 35 Asaph // Jul 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm   

    Sioux, Indeed, I do certainly believe the 12 were gathered around that table. While I have never done any serious study if furniture for that time, I have a hard time believing 120 were gathered around that table. I see no reason to believe Lazarus would be there.

    Mat 26:20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

    Mar 14:17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

    Luk 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

    Joh 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
    Joh 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

    I see the gospel writers being quite specific that the 12 were with Christ that evening. Lazarus, according to John 12, already had his special time with Messiah. I see no reason to include him as sitting next to Christ at the last supper.

  • 36 REVIEW: The New Horror, The New Poe : // Sep 10, 2012 at 11:19 am   

    […] July 5, 2012). Dr. Yeagley’s review was re-published on the Internet, under the title, “The New Horror, The New Poe,” on July 9, […]

  • 37 David Yeagley, 1951-2014 : // Mar 16, 2014 at 6:58 am   

    […] was a man of great faith and learning, the first Native American to receive a Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University. No matter the topic, he was always ready with an apt quotation from the King James […]

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