Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
As a fan of the Colorado Rockies, I’ve learned to live with the feast and famine cycle of the team. When things are going well for the team, as they do for varying lengths of time, there’s nothing better than a game on the radio while working in the garden. On the other hand, as the Rox endure one of their all-too-frequent slumps, the ease with which I can go days without a thought about the team makes me wonder why I invested so much time in them in the first place. Fans come and go.
When author Kyle Idleman throws down the challenge-fan or follower-he sets our sights on something much more significant, Jesus Christ. One who defines the relationship with Him as one of being a fan finds that Jesus is great when things are going well. When life turns difficult, the relationship becomes much more tenuous. For the fan, turning to other sources for answers, comfort and guidance is easy. They’ll get back to Him when everything turns around.
For the follower, there is no option.
The follower sees the relationship in a much different way than the fan. Good times or bad, Jesus is their shepherd and all of their trust is vested in Him. Follower, Idleman rightly teaches, is the only correct attitude when it comes to Jesus, though he acknowledges that our churches are filled with fans. Through the pages of Not a Fan, he walks the reader through the nature of a biblical relationship with Christ, one in which He is Lord more than friend, Shepherd more than guidance counselor.
Idleman does an excellent job of providing the necessary reflective tools to enable the reader to judge the nature of their relationship with Christ. In chapters dealing with legalism, lack of personal relationship, commitment or the lack thereof, etc., he brings the reader face to face with the areas which tend to plague modern Christianity. Throughout, you are encouraged to DTR (define the relationship). Only when you have done so can you effectively understand the invitation to become a follower and all that that means that follows.
Not a Fan is a much-needed book in the Church today. Though there is a small-group or Sunday school curriculum associated with the book, I encourage individual believers to approach the book on their own first. Allow the Spirit to illuminate the specifics of your relationship with Christ in the quiet, free from the distraction of how He is influencing others in the group or class.
I’m grateful to Zondervan who provided this copy for review.