CSFF Blog Tour — Day 3

20 Apr

From the folks at Wikipedia— 

Goyas "Here Comes The Bogey-Man"

bogeyman (also spelled bogiemanboogeyman or boogieman) is an amorphous imaginary being used by adults to frighten children into behaving. The monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of a child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave the bogeyman will get them. Bogeymen may target a specific mischief – for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs – or general misbehaviour, whichever need serves the adult’s purpose best.

The name originates from Indonesia where you had a tribe called the Boogy, they were known to attack early western exploration ships with such ferocity they were called the Boogyman (later turned into the Boogeyman) and were avoided at all costs, even during the western colonization of Indonesia they continued to attack well armed trading vessels without hesitation making them even more feared among sailors.

Bogeyman tales vary by region. In some places, the bogeyman is male; in others, female, and in others, both.

In some Midwestern states of the United States, the bogeyman scratches at the window. In the Pacific Northwest, he may manifest in “green fog” (emphasis added).  In other places, he hides or appears from under the bed or in the closet and tickles children when they go to sleep at night. It is said that a wart can be transmitted to someone by the bogeyman.

Really?  Do parents actually need to invent terrifying creatures to get their kids to behave?  Isn’t real life scary enough without making a child afraid to go to bed?  I thought it was a parent’s job to help their children feel safe and secure.   And what about a parent’s role in teaching children about God?

As I read Greg Mitchell’s The Strange Man, there were a number of Bible verses that swirled around in my head.   In particular, Deuteronomy 6:6-9 —

These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates.   

What are these words we are supposed to teach our children? —

Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.  (Deut. 6:4-5)

The town of Greensboro, as presented by the novel, is in a state of decay.  The highway has moved and businesses and factories have closed.  The youth of the city spend their nights escaping reality by drinking and dancing at the Rave Scene. For many, their days are spent doing — nothing.  Adult children are being supported by their parents — allowed to continue their adolescence on their parents’ payroll.  And while I don’t blame the parent’s of the town for all the excesses of their grown children, you have to wonder how good a job was done instilling in them the love for God.

The main character, Dras Weldon, is the epitome of wasted talents and opportunity.  He is a classic prodigal.  His parents were consistent in sharing their faith with their sons, as evidenced by their oldest, Pastor Jeff.  But what about the other young women and men in town?  Their parents seem to have abdicated any spiritual training to the church, with less than glowing success.  And is that because their parents did the same?

The Strange Man is pure horror — not reality — or is it?  How many of those in the 18-30 age group are part of a Lost Generation?  As noted by others on the tour, Satan is a roaring lion, seeking who he would destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Christians are called to resist and stand strong in their faith.  But if we neglect these words of Deuteronomy 6, what faith can we cling to?

What are others saying about The Strange Man?  Check out the links below.

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Kathy Brasby
Grace Bridges
CSFF Blog Tour
Amber French
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Inae Kyo
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Gavin Patchett
Andrea Schultz
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler

(I received a free copy of The Strange Man in return for a review and my participation in the CSFF Blog Tour.  All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “CSFF Blog Tour — Day 3”

  1. Rebecca LuElla Miller April 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Excellent commentary. Really like how you homed in on the lost generation issue. That was a significant issue in the story but a little under the surface. I’m glad you brought it to the forefront.



  1. CSFF Blog Tour – The Strange Man, Day 1 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - April 20, 2011

    […] √ Noah Arsenault √ Red Bissell Kathy Brasby √ Grace Bridges √ √ √ Beckie Burnham CSFF Blog Tour √ Amber French √ Tori Greene Katie Hart √ √ √ Bruce […]

  2. The Strange Man Tour Wrap « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - April 21, 2011

    […] individuals and the links to their articles are as follows: √ √ √ Noah Arsenault √ √ √ Beckie Burnham √ √ √ Bruce Hennigan √ √ √ Timothy Hicks √ √ √ Jason Joyner […]

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