The following book review is copied from my reading blog, Reading in Southern Maine where I write brief thoughts on the books I am reading.
By Matt Mikalatos
Synopsis: Matt lives in Portland, OR where he hangs out at coffee shops and vegan restaurants. He spends a lot of time with this guy that he thinks is Jesus. One day a guy name Pete beats up Matt’s Jesus friend and informs him that he is the Apostle Peter and that guy was not the real Jesus. From that point on Matt attempts to find the real Jesus but runs into some complications along the way, as his imaginary Jesus is not so eager to be left behind.
My Opinion: I got this book because it was free on my reader. It is also free (or at least it was a couple days ago) for the Amazon Kindle. I didn’t have really high expectations for it since a) it was free and b) it was written by a guy in Portland, OR where all the liberal hippie Christians hang out, and write annoying ’emergent’ type books that generally feel a little too universalist and watery for my taste. Well, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The book is pretty funny and super easy to read and actually has some really important stuff to say, albeit in a silly and irreverent way that may offend some people who are too closely connected with the Legalistic Jesus character from the book. Not only do we learn about Matt’s Imaginary Jesus, but several others as well like Health Nut Jesus who wears running shorts and a sweat band, Testosterone Jesus who has the manners and intelligence of a caveman and is quite popular at men’s retreats, Liberal Jesus, Portland Jesus, King James Jesus, and lots and lots more! If you don’t find a Jesus that you connect with in this book I would be really surprised. Matt helps us to laugh at our misperceptions of Jesus, but at the same time see the danger in following anyone but the real thing. As Matt struggles to understand his wife’s miscarriage we see that no one but the real Jesus has an answer that makes any sense of the suffering in the world. This is a great read.
FYI: Being from Maine I feel it is important to note that Portland, Maine (settled in 1623), while not as popular or populated as Portland, OR (settled 1851), is the original Portland and actually the namesake for the West Coast city. Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine owned a partial claim to the city in Oregon and won a coin toss thus giving him the right to name the city after his home city.