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Purple Fish: A Heart for Sharing Jesus (A Review)

In a day before big-box retailers and clothiers, the people of Tyre and Greece would take to the seas in search of the Murex brandaris, a shellfish from which they would extract a rare purple dye––the Greek word kalchaino alluding to the hunt, ‘the search for the purple fish.’

In Purple Fish: A Heart for Sharing Jesus, Mark O. Wilson utilizes the imagery of the purple fish as a metaphor for humanity’s search for ‘something of great value worth seeking that when discovered brings great delight.’ 1 The purple fish ultimately is Jesus, and those who are in a relationship with Jesus––those who have found the Purple Fish––’are sent on a redemptive mission.’2 A redemptive mission commonly referred to as ‘evangelism.’ According to Wilson, however, evangelism is ‘not a program or a project,’ but rather ‘a life.’ In other words, ‘Evangelism is simply how followers of Jesus interact with the world.’3

The book’s thirty-three chapters (don’t worry, they aren’t long chapters––some are only a page or two) hammer home this point again and again utilizing the metaphors of fishing and treasure hunting. Not to worry, however, as Mark won’t bore you with a cold, calculated, clinical unpacking of these metaphors. Instead, he shares stories. Experiences from his life and ministry serve as illustrations––and memorable ones, at that––of what it means to be on mission, fishing and treasure hunting.

As such, the book is less a treatise on how-to evangelize and more about changing the reader’s attitude and perspective. Thus, encouraging Christ-followers to live lives in which they are engaged in treasuring ‘the Treasure through worship (the journey upward), holiness (the journey inward), and mission (the journey outward.’4

To order your copy and be encouraged in your search for the Purple Fish, simple click here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher Purple Fish Book Club program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Mark O. Wilson, Purple Fish, Kindle edition (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2014), loc. 183.
  2. Ibid., loc. 544.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid., loc. 394.