Book Review: Evangellyfish

Evangellyfish by Douglas Wilson is satire, but not the kind of satire that ends up on the bargain shelves at your local Christian Bookstore in a matter of months. There is some not so subtle critique of the evangelical world, but this is also a good story with enough timeless truth to make it enjoyable far after the problems Wilson addresses are no longer problems (please, quickly God?). Also, Wilson is simply a good and enjoyable writer. The P.G. Wodehouse and G.K. Chesterton influences are obvious here, but that is a good thing and may we have more of it.

The book follows the lives of two pastors from a Mid-West metropolis. Chad Lester is is the CEO and MegaChurch pastor of Camel Creek Community Church while John Mitchell is the pastor of a smaller, Reformed Baptist Church in town. Lester gets tangled up in controversy when he is accused of a homosexual affair. Lester knew the affair part was coming (he had taken part in many) but the homosexual part was the shocker since he had honestly never done that. Mitchell gets tangled up in things when Lester calls him out of the blue.The rest is a tangle of relationships and cover ups that the church tries to handle with different degrees of integrity or dishonesty and a healthy dose of naivete.

This is an average story made exceptional by the characters who inhabit it and the perfect tone Wilson achieves for his satire. Never heavy-handed or gratuitous, the humor is light and airy with honest respect and empathy for the people involved. This is a great, quick read. If you are expecting to laugh at the expense of others, be careful with this one because you are likely to find the cross hairs on yourself at some point.

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