Nostalgia can be good and bad. The nostalgia one feels reading this book is a bit of both. Will I Be Fat in Heaven? takes me back to the 90s – a simpler time in many ways, when there was a desperate need for good communicators to articulate our faith in a way that was winsome, reasonable and moderately amusing. The great thing about this book is that it has all these qualities in spades. The less great thing is that it’s now 2022.

The sense of ‘retro apologetics’ in this book is not helped by the unfortunately junior illustration style, which Christian publishing seems incapable of killing. The combination of ‘comic’ visuals and (mostly) tied up-in-a-bow answers makes it hard to imagine an unchurched person steeped in today’s deconstructed zeitgeist being persuaded by this. But not everyone is an edgy TikTok existentialist. The question is whether, by trying to be accessible to all ages and levels of faith maturity, this book may effectively resonate with none.

Liberal and progressive Christians will find J.John’s seeming inability to imagine a form of Christianity other than his own (as shown in his pronouncements about ‘what Christians believe’) irritating. Hardline conservatives will be alarmed at some of the nuance in this book, and middle of the road evangelicals will find nothing to worry about, because they will find nothing new.

Our generation has been blessed with many books laying out a simple, coherent Christian understanding of life. Does it need another? This book certainly isn’t bad, heretical or irredeemably tone deaf. Neither is it overly academic, hyper-spiritual or faintly embarrassed by the term ‘Christian’. In this day and age, that isn’t nothing. But is it enough?