Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review [Not a Fan]

not a fan.
Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Kyle Ildeman

[rear cover]
Are you a fan or a follower?

The dictionary defines a fan as "an enthusiastic admirer."  Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice.  Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers.  But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants?

Jesus was never interested in having admirers.  It's not fans He is looking for.

Not a Fan challenges you to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian.  With a direct frankness that you're not likely to hear in Sunday School class, Kyle invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with Jesus.  His call to follow may seem radical to us, but Jesus desires it for every believer.

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Oh, dear.  Behind, I am, in my reviews.  Said I would post about these books before Christmas, I did.  Well, that didn't happen. . .

So, here I am, at last.  

The cold hard fact regarding this book is:  you will either love it, or hate it.  I have found that the people who read this and come away genuinely changed are the ones who read with an open mind and heart.  They are willing to listen to the blunt truth that Christians in this world no longer act like Christ.  Maybe on the outside they seem to follow His ways, but most are just going through the motions.  This book has been an eye-opener for them and they take the road to become true followers.

On the other hand, those who come away with a hatred for this particular book and end up posting negative reviews, do NOT like change and are happy to stay the "lukewarm" Christians they have always been.  These are the fans.

Not a Fan addresses both types of Christians.  In the first chapter, you take an honest diagnosis.  The dreaded D.T.R.  

Define the Relationship.

This is the test to discover your level of commitment.  (And Kyle Idleman makes it clear this is a commitment, not just a decision.)  He uses the illustration of a couple in a dating relationship.  Eventually, the time comes to decide if the relationship between boy and girl should continue to the next level (toward marriage) or cease and, hopefully, part as friends.  

As a follower of Christ, there will come a time when He asks you to define the relationship.  In other words, are you all in?

Mr. Idleman says, "I think Jesus has a lot of fans these days.  Fans who cheer for Him when things are going well, but who walk away when it's a difficult season.  Fans who sit safely in the stands cheering, but they know nothing of the sacrifice and pain of the field.  Fans of Jesus who know all about Him, but they don't know Him..."

Be warned, this is not for the faint at heart.  You must be willing to face the harsh truths.  Jesus says, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24)

"Following Jesus will cost you something.  Following Jesus always costs something." (pgs 30)

Has following Jesus cost you anything?

My notes:  "Well, nothing tragic, maybe.  When I listen to Him, it may cost me to not get to do what I wanted to do."

We may be required to give up time or a special hobby.  Or we may have to sacrifice tickets to this awesome concert we had saved up for to stay with a family member in the hospital.  

"Most of us don't mind Jesus making some minor change in our lives, but Jesus wants to turn our lives upside down.  Fans don't mind Him doing a little touch-up work, but Jesus is thinking over-haul.  Fans think a little make-up is fine, but Jesus is thinking makeover.  Fans think a little decorating is required, but Jesus wants a complete remodel.  Fans want Jesus to inspire them, but Jesus wants to interfere with their lives." (pgs. 31)

That is usually what scares the followers.  If you decide to follow Him, He requires your all.

I am afraid this isn't much of a review, but all in all I really enjoyed this book.  It is terribly thought-provoking and requires a good deal prayer.  Most of us do not realize that we are living as fans.  I guess I was one of them.  This book is a great wake-up call and I would definitely recommend it to any Christian.  My church did this as a church-wide study, but I would encourage it as an individual as well.  (If possible, find the video series!  It's a good tie-in.)


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Recommended ages:  16+



My name is Sarah, and I am not a fan.

 photo sarahsignature_zps5172c7cd.png

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Katie and I have really been wanting to read this book. It looks good!

-Morgan