Sunday, March 21, 2010

Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

Book description:

Imaginary Jesus is an hilarious, fast-paced, not-quite-fictional story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. When Matt Mikalatos realizes that his longtime buddy in the robe and sandals isn’t the real Jesus at all, but an imaginary one, he embarks on a mission to find the real thing. On his wild ride through time, space, and Portland, Oregon, he encounters hundreds of other Imaginary Jesuses determined to stand in his way (like Legalistic Jesus, Perpetually Angry Jesus, and Magic 8 Ball Jesus). But Matt won’t stop until he finds the real Jesus—and finally gets an answer to the question that’s haunted him for years. Be warned: Imaginary Jesus may bring you face-to-face with an imposter in your own life.

This was a unique book to read. Told from the first point of view by the author, it is touted as "a not-quite-true story." The story is fiction, and the author has quite an imagination, but by weaving a humorous and at times rather bizarre story, he tackles the issue of people having the wrong view of Jesus, and our making our own version of Jesus to follow and serve.

The book starts out with the author hanging with his own version of Jesus, Imaginary Jesus. He then goes on to meet several other Jesuses. The ones listed above in the book description and others such as King James Jesus, TV Jesus, Testoserone Jesus, and more. Though they may act in some bizarre ways and have amusing names, the author does a great job of showing how easy it is to focus on the wrong things in serving Jesus, and ultimately making our own Jesus to serve, whether it be a legalistic Savior, or one who grants our every wish.

I had two issues with the book: one use of a curse word, the "d-word", being used by none other than the Apostle Peter - and a lot of wine consumption by the same person. Other than that, I think this is an excellent book that can cause the reader to examine his own life to see which Jesus he or her is following.

About the author:

Matt Mikalatos received his BA in writing from the University of California Riverside. Like many future world leaders, he began his career as a clerk at a comic book store. Having discovered that such work caused women to shun him, Matt took control of a high school classroom and taught American literature and drama (although he was best known for his riotous "study halls"). Then Matt, in an unexpected move, joined Campus Crusade for Christ. In a moment of weakness, his best friend Krista agreed to marry him. He and Krista were briefly expatriated by Crusade to East Asia, where they ministered for three years. Now back in the States, Matt provides leadership to the international ministries of Crusade's northwest region. Matt has published articles in Discipleship Journal, The Wittenburg Door, Relief, and Coach's Midnight Diner. Matt and his wife live near Portland, Oregon. They have three beautiful daughters.

Imaginary Jesus is available from Barna Publishing, an imprint of Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for the review copy.


Matt Mikalatos said...


Thank you for your generous review. I'm glad you enjoyed Imaginary Jesus!


Kimmy said...

This sounds interesting! I wish it was a giveaway:-(