Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not a Fan: Teen Edition by Kyle Idleman

Published: April 23rd, 2012 (Zondervan)
Pages: 224
Rating: 5/5
If someone asked, 'Are you a fan of Jesus?', how would you answer? You attend every movie featuring a certain actor, you know the stats of your sports hero, and you can recite lyrics from your favorite songs. In short, you're a huge fan. But are you treating Jesus the same as the other people you admire? The truth is Jesus wants more than the church attendance, occasional prayer, and the ability to recite Scripture---the fan response. He's looking for people who are actually willing to sacrifice in order to follow him. In this teen edition of Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman uses humor, personal stories, and biblical truth as he challenges you to look at what it means to call yourself a Christian and follow the radical call Jesus presents. So, will you be a fan, or a follower? [Description from Goodreads]
I heard about this book a while back but never considered reading it until someone recommended it to me. And I was absolutely blown away. The writing is easy to read and understand while being full of humor (loved Kyle’s hilarious footnotes) and teen lingo. Kyle focuses on the meaning of truly following Jesus by having us define our relationship with Him. He also uses several Biblical examples of aspiring “followers” from the books of Matthew, Luke, and John. He draws the line between follower and fan, diagnosing “symptoms” of both, and outlines the radical relationship and love that a true follower should have.
I suspected the content to be simple information I already knew, but was surprised at the deep, profound message this book contains. The conviction I felt while reading Not a Fan wasn’t something I expected. The truths of this book have been long forgotten (or ignored) by our society and the church, and the line between “comfortable fan” and “radical follower” has been smudged. This book un-smudges that line, clearly spelling out the sacrificial life of a follower compared to the relaxed existence of a fan. I highly recommend it not only to those doubting the solidity of their faith but to anyone who calls themselves a follower. Not a Fan wipes away the false beliefs of this world that often take up residence in our hearts, and replaces them with the raw faith that lies at the core of Christianity. We all need to be reminded of what Jesus really meant when He called us to “take up your cross daily and follow Me.”

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