Kyle Idleman is the Pastor at Southeast Christian Church located in Louisville, KY, the 5th largest church in America.
Idleman wrote this book to a very specific audience. He was attempting to reach out to those individuals who are churchgoers and avid “fans” of Christ, but aren’t willing to follow him. The reader he is targeting is the person who has the Jesus shirts, key chains and bumper stickers, but isn’t willing to dedicate his entire life. The person who thinks they are, but truly aren’t selling out for Jesus is the target of this book.
The author says that a fan is an enthusiastic rooter for Christ, but like many fans of sports team, when things aren’t going well they are nowhere to be found. In contrast, the true follower of Christ is someone who is willing to give all for His name, including his or her home, wealth, job and belongings. A true follower of Christ knows that they may be called to give up all, but that the love, grace, mercy and justice of our Lord is worth it.
Idleman asks the reader to define their relationship with Christ. He acknowledges that this is a hard task and may result in hard to swallow findings. Many who call themselves Christians have done nothing to sacrifice for Christ. And, many say they are dedicated to Christ, but downplay their faith when first challenged. To some, Christianity is great, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rest of their life. Many say they would not deny Christ like Peter or sell Him out like Judas. But, in their daily lives they see opportunities to evangelize and don’t, because they are embarrassed or when non-believers push them they respond that they “don’t believe all of that stuff” or “Christianity is a guide.”
The author is not a deep theologian and the book is not targeted at deep theologians. It is a little too populous and about what you’d expect from the fluffy publisher Zondervan. Idleman’s book is biblical and challenging for some, but it is not a deep analysis of scripture. To those it is targeted, the lukewarm Christian, this book may make you angry. But, hopefully it will draw you to a deeper faith in Christ.