Book Review: Not A Fan

Not A Fan by Kyle IdlemanKyle 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.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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