I recently read an interesting book called Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman. I don’t want to do an in-depth book review here, but I think the book warrants being mentioned here because of every Christian’s sacred mission to spread the gospel.
Idleman has provided us with a provocative book that challenges our conception of being a Christian. He uses a romantic relationship analogy to get us to think about what Jesus means to us. He calls it having the “Define the Relationship” Talk, or DTR. (Maybe you’ve had one of these before?) Idleman asks, are you a fan of Jesus, or a follower? Fans like Jesus, but they don’t really know Jesus nor have they committed themselves to a life of discipleship.
Not a Fan will be great for anyone who is on the fence about being a Christian. It challenges the reader to consider what Jesus says about himself, and come to grips with what a relationship with God truly means.
It is also good for those who want a little shake-up in their own walk. The book got me thinking about what parts of my life are “fan-based” and needed to be reevaluated. Overall, the book’s strength is in solid, Biblical content about committing one’s life wholly to Christ.
There are some vignettes here and there which break from the main theological content. I’m not sure to what extent it adds or detracts from the book. First, Idleman concludes almost every chapter with a story about someone who is truly “not a fan.” Many of these are gripping and I found them to be pretty valuable. The power of the human story is undeniable. Second, he has footnotes in various places where primarily he makes little jokes, usually self-deprecating in some way. I imagine that he intended these to function like little jokes dropped into a sermon periodically, which is not surprising since he is a preacher. However, I didn’t find them to add much to the content.
I would really like to get this into the hands of friends, and see what they think. I imagine I will be giving away my copy before long, and I’ll see what happens…
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