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Evangellyfish Hardcover – January 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Canon Press; 1st edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591280982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591280989
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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, Challies.com

"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 dougwils.com.

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 www.dougwils.com.

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.

Customer Reviews

It's a good read, and convicting, so I highly recommend it, especially for evangelicals.
David Henry
I thought it was a great touch, and from a theological angle, one that points up the complexities and effects of sin in the lives of believers and non-believers.
Blake Adams
The use of "Christian-talk" was perfectly done, and created a razor-sharp satire that I enjoyed from cover to cover.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Hurley on March 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 damn...in the middle of your life." (p. 35)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C.L. Mershon on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Grotzke on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Point: The average must not rejoice when the lofty falls.

Path: This is a novel. a very racy, sadly realistic, novel. Through use of irony, satirical characters and often too true circumstances, Wilson warns the reader that all that glitters is not gold, as a contemporary cliche reminds us.

Sources: This story could have been taken from any number of front page articles in the past ten years. It is full of typical Wilson, blazing critiques, witty remarks, underhanded jabs, and painful, thought provoking evaluations.

Agreement: I appreciated that although he painted the mega church in a poor light, he was not without criticism of the small reformed guys. Obviously there was a great difference between the sins of the former and the latter in magnitude and repercussions, but they both are present. The small guys can struggle inwardly with resentment, forgiveness, and jealousy.

Disagreement: I am not sure that the exaggerations helped me to foster the same view as John Mitchell came to in the end. But maybe it was needed for me to see the path.

Personal App: How do I view the mega church, sin, and repentance? Soaring numbers, beautiful buildings, and expert presentations do not always reflect what is inside. And how do I view sin and repentance? The big churches are not the only ones with problems.

Favorite Quote: "Uncertainty was part of the appeal. That was just one problem with ministering to the youth of today - riding the wave of cool and contemporary youth ministry was like surfing the big ones, and with one false move, there you were with sand in your trunks.

Stars: The idea gets a 5. The content around which the story grows (homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, lustful thinking, etc) gets a 2.5.
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