Coffe with...Coffee With Jesus will make you laugh, it will make you think, it will sometimes take you by surprise – but it's consistently brilliant.

Coffee With Jesus
David Wilkie
120 pages, soft cover
IVP Books
ISBN-10: 0830836624
ISBN-13: 978-0830836628

Imagine being given the task of creating a series of comic strips using a small selection of clip art images and limiting the location of the action to a coffee table? Oh, and make it funny. And meaningful – even profound. By the way, your main character...? Well, Jesus. Not an easy task, unless you're inspired and/or brilliant. Apparently, David Wilkie, the artist behind Coffee With Jesus is both – having developed the single-panel 'cartoon' from his blog into an ongoing series of vignettes that are as funny as they are wise.

Separated into sections ("Do To Others," "Seasons and Special Events" etc.), the format of the square-bound, soft-cover book allows for about three strips per page, all in black and white, usually consisting of four panels per strip. While the Jesus "character" is in every strip, there's also a small rotating cast of everyman (and every-woman) stereotypical church-types – well meaning but often self-absorbed parishioners who usually think they've got it right until they encounter The Truth over coffee.

A clip art Satan also makes his presence known from time to time. Looking like a debonaire insurance salesman from 1956, he'll show up nursing his own cup of java, boasting to the "Boy King" ( as he derisively addresses Jesus) about how he sets believers at one another's throats by using their theological differences to cause division. "I divide, then I subtract. It's quite simple, really," he says, to which Jesus replies, "And I will continue to add and multiply. Do the math, loser." Wilkie's Jesus is the guy with the answer you wish you could have thought of – a "cool" Jesus, if I can say that ...but why not?


It's this depiction of Jesus the man – dealing with contemporary believers in a contemporary mode (including that one who believes and trembles). The casual mode of dialog makes these truths about our insecurities, our misplaced self-confidence, and our simple wrong-thinking strike the mark with that much more accuracy. We can easily find ourselves in these pages. The main difference between us and the characters that sit across from The Lord drinking coffee is that they seem to regard Jesus as a friend that they don't have to put on a special mask for. The conversation is unfiltered and often confessional in the purest and most casual way. Going through the various scenarios in the book I often felt like what I was seeing was prayer in its essence.

Without a doubt, Coffee With Jesus is funny – it will make you laugh, it will make you think, it will sometimes take you by surprise – but it's consistently brilliant. Think of it as Space Ghost Coast to Coast for the spiritually aware.

This is just plain cool stuff and I couldn't recommend it more highly.

Bert Saraco

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