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Evangellyfish [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $21.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $11.01 (52%)


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Book Description

Evangellyfish is a ruthless, grimly amused, and above all honest look at one of the darkest corners in the western world. Douglas Wilson, a pastor of more than thirty years, paints a vivid and painful picture of evangelical boomchurch leadership. . . in bed.
Chad Lester's kingdom is found in the Midwest. His voice crawls over the airwaves, his books are read by millions (before he reads them), and thousands ride the escalators into the sanctuary every Sunday. And Saturday. And Wednesday, too. He is the head pastor of Camel Creek -- a CEO of Soul. And souls come cheap, so he has no overhead.

When Lester is (falsely) accused of molesting a young male counselee, his universe begins to crumble. He is a sexual predator, yes. But strictly straight (and deeply offended that anyone would suggest otherwise). Detectives, reporters, assistant pastors, and old lovers and pay-offs all come out to play.

John Mitchell is also a pastor, but he has no kingdom to speak of -- only smalltime choir feuds. He is thrilled at the great man's fall, but his joy quickly fades when the imploding Lester calls him -- and a lover or two -- for help. How low can grace go? Whores, thieves, and junkies, sure. But pastors?

Editorial Reviews


"Before I dipped into this novel, I was told it was a satire. What satire? Reading this made me squirm." --Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor, Christianity Today

"Scathing....Insightful....Hilarious...." --Tim Challies, Author and Book Reviewer,

"Wilson's almost medical precision with the human soul makes Evangellyfish a fantastic read." --The American Conservative (May 2012)

About the Author

Douglas Wilson is pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, ID, editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine, former newspaper columnist, and author of over thirty books on a variety of subjects. He has written for The Huffington Post, World, Books & Culture, Christianity Today, and more. He blogs regularly at

Product Details

  • File Size: 234 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591280982
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Canon Press; 1st Edition edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007L889I4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly convicting March 25, 2012
Evangellyfish is a satirical novel about, as the title suggests, evangelical hypocrisy, particularly regarding sex. Being a novel, it reminded me more of Persuasions than Wilson's purely theological works. It read like a combination of P.G. Wodehouse, Flannery O'Connor, and Patrick McManus. Wodehouse on the plot and development front, O'Connor because the characters are orchestrated train wrecks in need of grace, and McManus in the comedy and exuberance department.

Wilson's own pastoral experience, and subsequent knowledge of human nature, enable him to craft characters who accurately and damningly model the psychology of sin. Certain parts were definitely close to home and uncomfortable; I know some of these people, and on occasion *am* some of these people. But while the characters are sinful and self-destructing, the story doesn't end with their need for grace, but continues to the hope of restoration. After the train wreck, there is reconstruction.

Evangellyfish's style is fresh and riotous; not just a few strained, obvious witticisms, but sustained hilarity. Wilson employs a great vocabulary, with Lord of the Rings references, phrases like "a sad, pastoral smile," and words like "foofyness."

Recommended for anyone (especially evangelicals) who would benefit from an example of how Christians can expose their own weaknesses with devastating wit, and offer a practical doctrine of grace as the solution.

Sample quote: "God was supposed to judge you for things you did, not for things you didn't. And he was supposed to do it at the end of the world, not in the middle of your the middle of your life." (p. 35)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and Insightful January 2, 2013
Is it satire or is it parody? Whatever it is, Douglas Wilson's Evangellyfish must be unique in the Christian market. This is a book, a novel, first serialized online but now re-edited and formally published, that provides a scathing indictment of evangelicalism. It does it well.

Of course if you know evangelicalism you know that it isn't all that difficult to satirize. What you dream up as a hilarious punchline is the kind of thing you'll see next month on the shelves of the local Christian bookstore or in the advertisements for the nearby megachurch. It makes me wonder, why haven't more people written books like this?

Evangellyfish revolves around Chad Lester, a massively successful megachurch pastor who makes Bill Clinton look positively chaste. He is loved and adored by his legions of devoted fans and by the millions who read his hopelessly shallow books. He drives a flashy sports car and has a massive home and a girlfriends all across the city. He suddenly finds himself embroiled in a sex scandal which is shocking only because this time his accuser is a man.

Laboring near Lester is John Mitchell, also a pastor, but of a small, conservative church. He has no real following and drives an old, beat-up car that is shedding parts. Though he may be a little bit of a legalist at times, he is a genuine and caring pastor who toils in obscurity. He is representative of any number of really normal pastors. The lives of these two men, and so many others, are thrown together as the details of the scandal unfold and explode. As is the case with such scandals, the facts mean nothing when compared to the lurid details.

Allow me to make a few observations about the book.

First, I found that the book was more about "them" than "us.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Irritable, Revealing and Pointed February 27, 2012
"Back in Arkansas, we were all good Christians until we got our drivers' licenses. After that we were good pagans. It is the mixing of categories that I find so troublesome" Pg. 102

Evangellyfish is a hilarious (in the true Doug Wilson tongue-in-cheek fashion) look at the modern evangelical church. The book tells the story of the pastor of a megachurch who is caught up in a sex scandal which may or may not actually be true. Parallel to this and providing his commentary is a pastor of a small country church who fits the bill nicely for a modern day Pharisee. The following exchange between the megachurch pastor (Chad) and the Pharisee (John) highlights their interplay perfectly.

Chad was grinning at him with his puffy cheeks and bloodshot eyes. "I knew you'd come," he said, "Guys like you have to come. The better-than-you boys always come. Like the ambulance." Pg. 200

This story by itself, these types of exchanges and Wilson's sense humor make the book a worthy read, however it is the issues that the author is exploring on a deeper level that help this novel to stand out from the rest. This book is written in such a way that whether you are the Pharisee or the Immoral Deist you will squirm as it forces both types too look deeper into the consequences of and reasoning behind their actions.

"After they were seated, Michelle folded her hands together and said, "Girls, we need to talk through these issues concerning your father because we really need each other. I know we have the inner resources to get through this." Her facial expressions and cadences were just like Oprah..." Pg. 105

My recommendation, pick it up today it will no doubt have you chuckling and squirming from the start.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute story
This is an interesting story about forgiveness, but it is a little heavy handed on trying to be clever with words. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer W. Shullih
5.0 out of 5 stars A good start
There's not enough good satire about Evangelicalism going around, at least, not that I'm aware of. This is the best kind. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Garrett M Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
Well written on how we respond as Christians. Number of twist and turns that causes me to not put the book down.
Published 5 months ago by Mark Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars Great point lost in the heavy handedness of the author
I was so looking forward to reading this book. I heard about it, read the jacket and the recommendations and checked it out from my library. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Diana
4.0 out of 5 stars a much needed finger in the eye of the modern evangelical church
Moliere said "the duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them." Apparently, if quote sites are to be trusted, he went on to say, "as the purpose of comedy is to correct the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by D Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not as fictitious as it should be
I am not a fan of fiction. I rarely read it, and in general rarely read for just the entertainment factor. Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Mccormack
5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY!
The characters in this book were spot on! Reading it makes you wonder if he was writing about the people in your own church. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Josh
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining (but slightly stereotyping)
The book is well written and the story is exiting and entertaining. It offers a lot of theological insight that demonstrates the dangers of the often not so well defined theology... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Svein Kjetil Haugset
5.0 out of 5 stars Satire at its best
For anyone who has attended a megachurch, this story is spot on. The only missed opportunity was that the "Reformed" pastor was presented as a reserved, mature patriarch. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hopeless
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!
After reading this novel, I truly wonder how it is possible that it received the Christianity Today 2012 Award! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Colombo Paolo
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More About the Author

Douglas Wilson is the minister of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, which is a member of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC). After his stint in the submarine service of the U.S. Navy, he attended the University of Idaho, where he obtained an MA in philosophy.

As one of its founders, he has served on the board of Logos School, a classical and Christian school (K-12), since its inception. He is also a Senior Fellow of theology at New St. Andrews College. He is the author of numerous books, including Reforming Marriage, The Case for Classical Christian Education, Letter from a Christian Citizen, and Blackthorn Winter. He is also the general editor for the Omnibus textbook series. His blog can be found at

All his favorite authors begin their names with initials--C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, H.L. Mencken, J.R.R. Tolkien, N.D. Wilson, and P.G. Wodehouse. The one exception is Nancy Wilson, a favorite author to whom he has been married for over thirty-four years. They have three children and fifteen grandchildren.

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