Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review - Not a Fan

Are you a fan or a follower?

That's the key question being Kyle Idleman asks in his new book "Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus." Pastor Craig Groeschel comments "Jesus never asked us to sit on the sidelines and cheer for his cause. Not a Fan will challenge you to grow from a fair weather fan to a full-time follower of Christ." In a way that is casual in tone but challenging in content, Idleman calls for us to consider what it really means to be such a follower. He opens up with the following observation in the first chapter on "Define the Relationship".
"The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren't actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them."
The chapter titles give a good idea of what he discusses:
Part one: fan or follower? an honest diagnosis
1. DTR
2. a decision or a commitment?
3. knowledge about him or intimacy with him?
4. one of many ways or your one and only?
5. following Jesus or following the rules?
6. self-improved or spirit-empowered?
7. the relationship details
Part two: an invitation to follow (the unedited version)
8. anyone - an open invitation
9. come after me - a passionate pursuit
10. deny - a total surrender
11. take up your cross daily - an everyday death
Part three: following Jesus. wherever. whenever. whatever.
12. wherever. what about there?
13. whenever. what about now?
14. whatever. what about that?

The book is aimed primarily at the individual, but has some important words for the church as well. In a section on "Snuggie Theology" Kyle reminds us "What you win them with is what you win them too." If we look for conversions based on a watered down gospel, it should be no surprise when we find a church that is not making disciples. One of the things I liked best about this book are the stories at the end of each chapter.

There have been a number of books recently stressing the Lordship of Christ, the need to be a true follower / disciple of Christ and not just a person who says he believes but has doesn't back up his talk with deeds. These include Crazy Love, Radical, and The Christian Atheist. Of these, I think I like "Not a Fan" the best (though all are good, Crazy Love and Radical are a bit dogmatic).

Not a Fan is available from Amazon and other book retailers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from as part of their Amazon Vine™ review 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".

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