Book Review – Not a Fan (17/9)

I’m a fan of a particular football (soccer) club, and a terrible one. I once abandoned the beloved club which I once supported due to their poor form and performance. I felt bad, but hey, I’m just a fan? I can choose which club I want to support any time I want. Likewise far too many approach Christianity with a fan mentality. Kyle Idleman has seen this phenomenon and wants to write something to address this issue.Not a Fan

First he defines the relationships for christians, he compares the differences between fans and followers. Then Idleman slowly goes through various passages in the new testament, examining how and what it meant for the first disciples when they decided that they want to follow after jesus. Intersperse within the book Idleman uses appropriate modern-day illustrations and also at the end of each chapter, there are personal testimonies of different individuals and what it meant for them to be a follower instead of a fan.

I felt that as i was reading this book that this is especially suitable for youths who have grown up in a christian setting, who are merely following jesus as a fan — only the outward but not as a follower — having both an inward and outward change. Since that was the precise point that Idleman was making through the chapters.

Idleman does a very good job in showing this current generation that christianity has been too blunted down and attempts to calls them to be followers, true followers of Jesus. He calls them to read their bibles honestly and ask themselves if what the bible says is true, would they still follow? Or would they still remain as fan, fan who sits at the sidelines but never actually belong to the team?

Idleman finishes the last chapter with a passionate call to follow jesus with the life of William Borden to serve God wherever, whenever, and whatever. No reserves, no retreats, no regrets. I especially like this chapter as it really shows the reader what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

However, one weakness of this book is the alarming lack of this book is the very lack of gospel to motivate the discipleship. Not much was said about what Christ has done for me, and that is why I want to be motivated to follow Jesus and give my all for him, because He has given His all for me on the cross. This is one area that will need to be addressed if further editions of the book is to be published.

Idleman shows very strongly in this book what it means to follow Jesus seriously. This book is similar to John Macauthur’s ‘Gospel According to Jesus’, but shorter, less aggressive and less gospel.

So if you have any Christians who are fans, but no followers you ought to encourage them to read this book.

Rating: 4 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

2 thoughts on “Book Review – Not a Fan (17/9)

  1. I constantly felt like the book didn’t back itself up with scripture. He talked a great game and gave tons of examples but I felt like all of those examples should have been footnoted or had a scripture reference given. Too many times Idleman said “X says” without giving enough reference for my tastes.

    Don’t get me wrong, the book is good but I had issues with its method of presenting the argument.


    • I’m incline to agree with you with that point. My guess is that some of the material were from his sermons, and that is why the examples are are in text.

      But to be fair, I do have to say that though they are times he doesn’t reference to scripture explicitly, there are also times he also points the readers to specific passages and draw out the implications from there. So I think it’s a mixed bag.


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