A Book I Read: Imaginary Jesus

This book was weird. Like root beer Jelly Bellies.  Good-weird.

Matt Mikalatos writes in a whimsical way yet can be taken seriously as he lays waste to false views of Jesus.

I liked this portion of a review of his book:

“Jesus and I sometimes grab lunch at the Red and Black Café on Twelve and Oak.” The opening line of Matt Mikalatos’ debut Imaginary Jesus isn’t a figurative “date night with Jesus” way of describing time reading the Bible. No, he begins his madcap adventure with lunch with the Almighty in downtown Portland. Or at least he thought it was Jesus.
When a story involves multiple characters named Jesus, a talking donkey, a brawling apostle Peter plopped into downtown Portland, and characters like Motorcycle Dude and the Hate Club, it is a potential train wreck waiting to happen. Thankfully Mikalatos manages to steer this careening story in and out of the imaginary, the real and the painfully honest.

If I had a criticism of the book, it would be that in attacking stereotypes of Jesus, he defines little or nothing of what is the “Real Jesus.”  It is dangerous to say what Jesus is not, but then not say what He IS.   Furthermore, in describing imaginary Jesus’ — like Angry Jesus, Hippie Jesus, Free Will Jesus, Testosterone Jesus, Magic 8 ball Jesus, etc. — Mikalatos identifies many attributes of Jesus that ARE accurate and biblical. Sure, if I only think of Jesus in that one singular way, it would be an Unbiblical view, but taken as a part of the Whole, the attribute would be both accurate and Biblically based.

I would recommend it though. It was free for Kindle on Amazon last time I checked.


2 thoughts on “A Book I Read: Imaginary Jesus

  1. Hey Shaun!I'm glad you liked Imaginary Jesus!You're exactly right about the attributes in the book… if someone takes even something that is actually true of Jesus (i.e. Jesus is loving and compassionate) and makes it definitional in a sense that doesn't take into account the whole of Christ's person (i.e. Jesus would never make a whip and chase moneychangers out of the temple, because he was loving and passionate) you've suddenly ceased to be talking about the real Jesus and are now dealing with an imaginary one.Matt

  2. Shaun says:

    Matt M, first of all thanks for being willing to even take the time to comment on this little blog.Second, I'm glad you agree with my caution. I felt like the place where this was most evident in the book was the slide down the mountain as the Jesus' debated the sovereignty of God.

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