Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Review: Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
When Jesus walked the earth people came from everywhere to experience the things he could do and hear the controversial and hope-inducing things he would say. Thousands of people would follow him from town to town. Until Jesus began to make statements that caused his "followers" to come to a point where they needed to define the relationship. Were they following Jesus simply for what he could do for them, or because they genuinely wanted to know him and experience the reconnection with God he came to offer. For many, "fan" would be a more accurate description of their relationship to Jesus than "follower." Fans of Jesus loved what he could do much like fans today love what a football star or a famous actor can do. But fans don't have a relationship with the person they're a fan of, and they're likely to turn their backs when their hero doesn't do something they like.
In his book NOT A FAN, Kyle Idleman takes us on a journey through Jesus' life as revealed in the Gospels and the encounters he had to draw peoples' true motivations out into the light. Many of the people who interacted with Jesus were fans, but he wanted them to be followers because a relationship that will satisfy us to the core of our being is what Christ came to offer.
I love the author's heart that was poured into each chapter and the little doses of humor throughout. Jesus takes center stage as he relates how the experiences of people like Nicodemus and the rich young ruler look similar to our experiences today. There's also inspiring stories of people who have grown from fan to follower at the end of each chapter.
NOT A FAN will be a challenge to the core motivations of many who call themselves Christ followers, especially those who find themselves deeply dissatisfied with the way their connection to God has been going. It's a call to relentlessly pursue the heart of Jesus instead of what Jesus can do for us.
I received this book for free for review from Zondervan through NetGalley.com