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A Review of
A Second Shot of Coffee With Jesus
Paperback: IVP Books, 2015.
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Reviewed by Kevin Wildman.
In college I became acquainted with the writings of Henri Nouwen, who quickly became one of my favorite authors. The thing about Nouwen is the simplicity with which he writes. Much of Nouwen’s writings are quick to read, and easy to comprehend, yet at the same time he communicates deep truths that will keep one thinking for days.
Like Nouwen, Wilkie is gifted at causing me to think for days, even weeks with a few sort sentences. One can easily pick up A Second Shot of Coffee With Jesus and read through it rather quickly, and unlike more complicated works, reading through this quickly does not hinder comprehension and retention.
I am reminded of an incredible account tucked away in the Old Testament connected to the well known story of David’s affair with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah. Nathan the prophet comes to David and tells him the story of a very rich man with many lambs, there is also a poor man who has only one lamb. One day the rich man is throwing a party, he has steels the one lamb from the poor man and uses it for the party. David is furious and demands justice be served. It is at this point that Nathan has David eating out of his hand, as David pronounces the judgment on the rich man Nathan says, “You are that man.”
In A Second Shot of Coffee With Jesus, David Wilkie provides the penetrating voice of Nathan. Often as I read the comics, I find myself pronouncing some sort of judgment upon the individual having the conversation with Jesus, only to realize that I behave the same way. What is incredible is the way in which Wilkie retains the gentleness that we see in Jesus through the Gospels.
The only way you won’t hear the gentleness of Jesus through Wilkie’s comic is if you are Satan or a curmudgeon. There are plenty of opportunities to see Jesus put Satan in his place in A Second Shot, to see upset curmudgeon’s you’ll have to read the comments on Radio Free Babylon’s Facebook page.
Like most I enjoy the irreverence, snarkiness, and pointedness of the entire Coffee With Jesus franchise, A Second Shot included. While the comics sting and step on my toes more than I’d like to think they would, I appreciate the way in which Wilkie kills some sacred cows, and makes us laugh while doing it.
That being said, what excites me the most about the entire Coffee With Jesus franchise is the doors that have been opened through Wilkie’s work. While it is true there are plenty of curmudgeons to complain on Facebook, Wilkie has in a way had similar reaction to what Jesus had in His earthly ministry. Typically, it is the theologically pompous who have many complaints about the comics, but there have been a number of “non-religious” who are embracing Coffee With Jesus.
I have a friend from high school that I have been praying for regularly for several years now. Recently he has been interacting frequently with Coffee With Jesus. To explain why I am excited, I would like to share what Jared Degado commented on one of the comics.
I can tell you that these are great for non-Christians, also. This, as well as others I’ve seen you post, address many of the issues that non-Christians have with Christian interpretations. I’ve just Liked the Page.
In working to point out and clear up these confusing contradictions and hypocritical self-serving interpretations, more people will look towards Christian teachings positively, thus bringing more people towards a more pure view of Christ. Mind you, my statement comes from an adoring Humanist.