Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[Book Review] My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

Political Jesus, Social Justice Jesus, CEO Jesus, Hippie Jesus, Gay Jesus, Hipster Jesus, and so the imaginary Jesuses go on. Matt Mikalatos writes with humor and wit, while cutting to the core of what's going on inside us as Christians. What does your picture of Jesus look like?  Some of us have made a Jesus that caters only to our needs, such as the one that Mikalatos starts off with. His is an iPod-listening, occasionally-caring Jesus. I can see a little bit of who I think Jesus is at times in some of the different Jesuses presented by Mikalatos. The point is that Jesus is some of those, but not any of those.

Christians and even non-Christians have imagined different types of Jesus, but never the Jesus in the Bible. The homosexuals want to imagine a Jesus that overlooks sin and simply loves everyone. Many Christians imagine a Jesus that is condemning sin at every turn. Jesus is neither of those. Jesus says to "Go and sin no more," changing hearts. Jesus says to trust in Him and cast all our burdens on Him. This is the heart of what Mikalatos is getting at in his excellent book. We must stop imagining our own Jesus in our likeness and start looking to the Jesus of the Bible. Our Jesus overlooks certain sins and behaviors. The Jesus of the Bible tells us to go and sin no more.

Matt Mikalatos has been compared to C. S. Lewis in his satire and I would say the comparison fits. This book is somewhat comparable to what the Screwtape Letters is as far as satire goes. Mikalatos also wrote Night of the Living Dead Christian: One Man's Ferociously Funny Quest to Discover What It Means to Be Truly Transformed, another excellent book on what it means to truly be transformed by Christ. Matt Mikalatos has become a new favorite author me, while wrapping simple theology up into a truly engaging read. Once you pick up one of his books, you will not want to put it down until it's finished. I read this one in about 4 hours total over a weekend. It's a fun book, but it's also quite sobering.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of this review.
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