Imaginary Jesus is a fast-paced, off-the-wall, not-quite-so-true story of Matt Mikalatos’ search for the real Jesus. The author goes to extreme and amusing lengths to show how believers today can easily create their own idea of what Jesus should be, based on their own need and desires. This can be seen in a need for his Imaginary Jesus to get him out of a parking ticket. Along the way, he exposes imaginary Jesuses such as Legalist Jesus, Magic 8 Ball Jesus, Free Will Jesus, Bargain Jesus, Testosterone Jesus and Televangelist Jesus (by far the funniest of all) in his pursuit to find the authentic Jesus. Although these Jesuses have bizarre names and act strangely at times, Mikalatos does a great, through them, to show how easy it is to focus on the wrong thing and miss the joy of following the real Jesus.
The reader should know something up front. Imaginary Jesus is not a theological treatise on the person of Jesus Christ. It was not intended to be. It is however a light-hearted, fun and dizzying journey of one man looking for the real Jesus. This story takes the reader from a coffee shop in Portland to ancient Judea and a talking donkey. In places, this book is laugh-out-loud funny. In other places you can feel the pain of the author as he struggles with God’s goodness and will in the midst of a personal struggle. I highly recommend this book. As the reader, you have to make a decision up front to stay with it and keep reading. If you do, you will not be disappointed. Imaginary Jesus will challenge you to seek the true Jesus and refuse to settle for the imitation.