I have followed the Radio Free Babylon page on Facebook for a while now while watching the Coffee with Jesus comics float by, often several times watching numerous friends share and share alike. They are usually four frame doses of reality needed by Christians. Often edgy, never preachy, but always spot on, creator David Wilkie highlights the often hypocritical and uninformed, but well meaning plight of the American Christian.
Wilkie has assembled the best strips, presenting them in 6 chapters along with an appendix of special events, such as Resolutions. They are the comedic outtakes of what we’d expect Jesus to say. I like my Jesus with some sass. Maybe they are a bit snarky, but there is much truth hidden behind the few words we often take as sarcasm. Presented are everyday complaints from Christians we all know. Jesus answers them succinctly and satisfyingly well. What emerges are four-act sermons much more fulfilling than the Jack Chick tracts you find on truck stop bathroom walls. Included as well are character profiles and a conversation starter (a series of questions that may make you feel funny).
American Christians, as a whole, take themselves too seriously. We believe our issues are those Jesus would march for or protest against. We believe our plight is dangerous and we are persecuted. We think we are the sum total of the Christian faith. American Christianity as a whole needs to be hit one good time in the ole kisser and thrown back on our heels. Coffee with Jesus doesn’t quite do that, but it is a start. We know it is coming. Wilkie is a cartoonist, a satirist, a Christian, and a revealer (because prophet sounds cheesy) of our very public flaws. You cannot read this book without laughing and crying at the same time. These characters are us.
A blurb insists the book is the best thing for evangelisation since “Mere Christianity.” I disagree. Coffee with Jesus is the best thing for internal organizing since Saul Alinsky. This book is needed for the insider Christianity, the Kevins, Lisas, and Anns of the Church.