I wanted to re-read this one, as I was going through some existential thoughts about my own communications with the Creator of the Universe. It was reassuring that the "imaginary Jesuses" portrayed in this book are more caricatures of false beliefs many people have. I especially loved Testosterone Jesus - the guy at youth camps that breaks things with his bare hands to show how powerful Jesus can be.

One part I remember especially is the sequence where Matt deals with a very painful tragedy from his past. Along the way of trying to understand it, he ends up in a crazy downhill snow tube race with three Jesus's battling for the explanation of his pain. Meticulous Providence Jesus comes across as cruel because he just arranges everything in the universe to happen, including tragedy, to ultimately glorify himself. He chose this universe out of all possible universes because it maximized his own glory. Free Will Jesus just puts everything on us, never choosing to interfere with our own "libertarian free will" (which apparently means that in any given situation, you can choose to do anything you want, but given that precise same decision again, you could choose a different choice). And finally, Can't-See-the-Future-Because-It's-Unknowable Jesus created the universe but is just as surprised as we are when bad things happen. He wants things to go a certain way but because we can choose to go against his will, that's just how things happen.

The point is that none of these three alternatives represents the real Jesus, just one particular trait of him that people use to explain things away. Ultimately, the only way to know the real Jesus is through exploring his Creation and Revelation and by talking to him in prayer. And, I guess, ultimately ultimately, dying and meeting him face to face.

The ending was just slightly corny, though... A little like that last sentence of the last paragraph.