Not A Fan was my first experience with a book from Kyle Idleman. My friend and I were looking for a book to read and study together; this was one of the titles we considered and then decided upon. She had read it before and really enjoyed it, and I had also heard many good things about the book from other people. The concept or “brand” behind the idea of “not a fan” can simply be explained this way – a “fan” of Jesus may sit on the sidelines and cheer on His cause, but a follower of Jesus will join the team and know His heart.
It’s a concept I’m very familiar with. Working in the Gospel Music industry, I’m often with artists at events and this gives me opportunity to interact with people who attend the concerts. Some will come up and share how they’ve followed this certain artist since the 1980’s, how they just love their music, how they see them in concert all the time, they’ve been on Christian cruises with this singer as their host group, they’ve watched their kids grow up, etc. Then, they get to the end of all that and ask, “Are you so-and-so’s daughter?” I’ve never said it out loud, but in my mind I’ve thought, “If you’ve been following this singer since the ‘80’s, shouldn’t you know what their kids look like? Shouldn’t you know that before I started working in this industry, I was a fan, just like you?” That’s the definition of a fan – they can follow someone for a lengthy period of time and still not know the person for who they really are.
Kyle’s book is all about this topic. Are we just “fans” of Jesus, or do we know His heart?
I’ll have to admit, I really loved the concept of the book and the first few chapters were great. I loved Kyle’s writing style – he was funny, but could drive the point home when needed. By the end of the book, I had noticed a few things that I wish were either written more clearly or differently. I do not think that the author intentionally meant to imply that in order to be a “true follower of Jesus,” you have to complete a spiritual check-list or do enough good works to make God like you. However, there were a few examples given that might give you that impression, if taken the wrong way. If you’ve read any of the reviews of Not A Fan on places like Amazon or Goodreads, you’ll quickly find out that people have taken what was written in the book both ways. I’m not here to debate either side, I just want folks to know that if you buy this book there may be some things that make you scratch your head and think, “Wonder what he means by that?” or maybe, those things won’t bother you at all.
Conclusion: At the end of the day, the concept or brand behind the book is well meaning and helpful. I would like to recommend this book to people because the author has a writing style that is engaging and would appeal to people who are not Believers or have been burned by church. But to be objective, the content in this book may make one of those people think that if they don’t go after Jesus enough, He won’t want them anyway. Once again, I’m not saying I think the author meant that at all, but I can certainly see where some folks might be able to twist that out of a chapter or two. With that in mind, if you’re interested in this popular book, don’t be afraid to purchase it, but know that it has caused a stir of controversy among certain Christians. You’ll either love it or hate it! LOL!
From the author at —> City On A Hill