Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

Imaginary JesusTakeaway:  Imaginary Jesus is a fun romp through some real spiritual issues that could not be done another way with quite the same effect.

I think I received Imaginary Jesus in a Catalyst mailing.  But I am not sure.  Someone might have given it to me.  Regardless I have had it for at least three or four months.  I had a plane ride and I wanted something a light.  So I figured I would pick this one up.  I had no idea I would enjoy it so much.

The basic story line is that Matt Mikalatos (yes the author made himself a character in a fiction book, no it is not supposed to be autobiographical) is having coffee with his friend Jesus when Peter walks past.  Peter sees Matt’s bible and heads over.  When Jesus sees Peter, Jesus takes off running down the street, Peter takes off after him.  Peter explains to Matt that the Jesus sitting with Matt was not the real Jesus, but an Imaginary Jesus.  This starts Matt down the road to find the real Jesus.  He has to find and realize why each of his Imaginary Jesuses are not real before he can find the real one.

Some great examples are Testosterone Jesus that mostly speaks in grunts and likes to quote Braveheart. Beatnik Jesus who is all for peace unless he is fighting Political Jesus, who wants all to come under his power in a Utopian theocracy.  Old standbys like Legalist Jesus, King James Jesus, and 8-Ball Jesus are just a few of the others that Matt has to work his way through.

This is not a straight novel.  Clearly there is a point and a target that the author is trying to bring off.  But it doesn’t feel nearly as much like an evangelistic sermon or propaganda as so much other Christian fiction that I have read.  It is more parable than allegory (think more Pilgrims Progress and less Chronicles of Narnia).  And it is on the verge of slap stick writing (sort of along the lines of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff–without all the sacrilege.)

This is a brief read.  I read on a quick round trip flight.  But it is a good read.  Highly recommend.  I read this in paper.  So if someone wants it, let me know and I will send it to you. Given Away

Purchase Links: PaperbackKindle Audiobook (This is a lendable book on kindle. If you want to borrow it leave a comment below)

Imaginary Jesus is currently free at (Oct 4, 2011) in a DRM epub format that should be readable on Sony Reader, Nook, iPad and other ePub readers.

Related articles


Sounds interesting and unique. I’d be interested.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Shields, Dan W. Boles. Dan W. Boles said: RT @adamrshields Review-Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos | Good parable abt difference bt our imagination & real Jesus […]

[…] that is Jesus, not our own projections (the Dr. Phil Jesus, the Che Guevara Jesus, similar to what Imaginary Jesusis talking about.)  “Jesus wastes no time letting you know he’s not Protestant or an […]

[…] I have read and recommend this book.  My review from November. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: