Chad Lester is an extremely successful megachurch pastor who secretly sleeps with as many women as he can (literally) get his hands on. Most of the church leadership knows (or has participated!), but life keeps humming merrily along with all the indiscretions, to quote Alanis Morissette, under rug swept. That is, until Chad gets accused of probably the one thing of which he’s totally blameless–a tryst with an underage male. The accusation is the first snowflake of an ever-growing snowball of revelation in which almost all parties (including the guilty, the victims, the ambulance chasers, and the news media) end up with something unexpected. Wodehouse’s influence is unmistakable.
It’s fitting that Douglas Wilson has written a book on wordsmithing (my review here), because in Evangellyfish he walks the talk. This very short book (I read it in one 24-hour period) adroitly skewers every sacred cow in the evangelical sub-culture–from megachurch pastors whose sexual exploits give entirely new meaning to the term “laypersons,” to the pious and whitewashed tombs of the conjoined church, Christian school, and crisis pregnancy center–yet it stands on its own storytelling merits. Wilson’s writing is at its best–clever, hilarious, hard-hitting and unashamedly true. It avoids being acerbic and remains, ultimately, an edifying work for all the tearing down it does.
This book is written from within the evangelical world to the evangelical world. Non-evangelicals (or those who aren’t familiar with the sub-culture) won’t get half the jokes or grasp how bold Wilson’s skewering is.