Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not a Fan. by Kyle Idleman

"Many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums.  And every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him".

What does it mean to be a completely committed follower of Jesus?  How do you know if you are a follower or a fan?  This book can help all Christians think through and discover what areas of their lives still need to be surrendered to God.

Part 1 contains several chapters designed to help the readers diagnose whether they are followers or fans.  For example, do you have knowledge about Him or intimacy with Him?  Are you following Jesus or just following the rules?  I thought the content was good.  The only thing that irritated me a bit was the use of foot-note humor.  I didn't always find the author's humor to be funny.  It's kind of like that awkward moment when you know you should laugh but all you can muster is a polite smile.  This humor was normally found as a foot-note at the bottom of the page.  You're reading along and find an asterisk in the text, then have to travel down to the bottom of the page to read the unnecessary comment, and then find the place where you had left off.  In my opinion, if the comment is going to be printed it should be put in the text (using italics or parentheses if necessary).  The use of foot-notes distracted my train of thought.  Thankfully, the rest of the book didn't use this style as frequently.

Parts 2 & 3 clearly lay out Jesus's invitation to follow Him and what that means.  The main scriptural focus is Luke 9:23 which states "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."  The author uses examples from Scripture and real life to show what this invitation entails.  He does a great job presenting analogies, including that of a romantic relationship, to help the reader understand what committment really means.

The invitation is for anyone.  "When Jesus invites you to follow he wants you to start right now from your current location.  You don't have to go back to where you started.  You don't need to get a little closer on your own.  He reaches out to you with grace and love and invites you to follow him.  He wants you to start following him from right where you are and he wants you to start right now".  Don't know how?  Grab this book and start reading!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest reivew.

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