Thursday, May 3, 2012

Imaginary Jesus

Title:  My Imaginary Jesus

Author:  Matt Mikalatos

Pages:  288

Year:  2012

Publisher:  Barna Books

Note:  I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

                How would you describe your own spiritual journey to find the real Jesus?  What words would you use to describe those other images or descriptions of Jesus that aren’t real or true?  Have you ever suspected that what you believe about Jesus may not be real or true?  In some ways, this is exactly what Matt has done and tried to convey on the pages of his book.  In other ways, it was hard to follow until I continued reading.

                Matt does an excellent job of exposing the imaginary Jesus’ we possibly learned from pictures, Sunday school lessons or perhaps in church.  We don’t realize what pictures or ideas of who we think Jesus is until something calls it to the forefront.  Sometimes it might be a crisis of faith or living daily.  At other times it is in reading books.

                In a mix of fiction and non-fiction, Matt shares his own journey of shedding the false for the true.  It is truly an enjoyable book to read.   Like Elijah, Matt shares how to hear God’s voice not in the big ways, but mainly in the quiet moments.  The book in a way exhorts us to face our own journey in walking with God and learning to hear the true voice of God so we can be obedient.  There is no room in our heart for the false Jesus’, just the One and Only Jesus.  In a fictional way, Matt shares how hard it can be to shed the fake images and thoughts in order to grasp the real and true.

                It is not a hard book to read; it is very easy to read as the chapters are short in length.  Also, the book is written with adventure and action.  It is set in real time and done is such a way of how life really happens so we can see how Jesus is not far from us, but right here through thick and thin.  There is a challenge for the church as a whole to truly come together.  The Body of Christ needs to open its’ doors and learn to interact with other members of the Body.  Whatever the race, nationality, language, or theological differences might be, we all can learn from each other.  Nowhere in the book do I see Matt place before us the idea that we should allow that which is unbiblical to enter in.

                With unequaled transparency, Matt shares his heartaches, faults, and failures as well as trials with triumphs.  He shares his journey with us, including his wife and family and how they are affected.  At the conclusion, we see what life in the Body might look like if we allow Jesus to fill us and use us and learn to dwell with those who are “different” than ourselves.  This reader learned some ideas of value and some that aren’t.  Overall, it is a good book to read, enjoy and share with others.  The rating I personally give this book is 3 ½ stars.

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