Kyle Idleman is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, which is the fifth largest church in America. After attending Ozark Christian College, he did an internship at Southeast Christian, planted Real Life Church in Southern California, and then returned to Southeast Christian in 2002. Idleman is the author and presenter of the award winning video curriculum H2O: A Journey of Faith and The Easter Experience. His first book, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, was published in May 2011.
As one with responsibility for adult discipleship in a large theologically diverse congregation and someone who has written extensively about the centrality of Jesus in my own journey of faith (see my series “Who is Jesus?“), I was intrigued to read a book with the subtitle: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus. Unfortunately, I am simply not a fan of Idleman’s Not a Fan. Instead of providing substantive suggestions for living the way of Jesus, Idleman emphasizes the need for a faith that leads people to act irrationally: “Followers should have some crazy come after Jesus stories that make people say, That’s crazy” (p.132). Idleman’s stories of fanaticism are a poor substitute for spiritual disciplines and engagement in the Christian community that serve followers well on the lifelong journey of faith.
Idleman divides those who are interested in Jesus into two categories: fans and followers. Alternatively, one might opt for labels like curious and committed or religious consumer and faithful disciple.
- Do you understand think that those who are interested in Jesus fall into one of these two categories or do you understand these as points on a continuum of engagement? In which category or at what point on the continuum do you find yourself today?
- How has your faith been enriched by radical decisions you have made in response to your understanding of Christian discipleship? by the regular practice of spiritual disciplines and engagement in a local Christian community/congregation?
Kyle Idleman. Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus (Zondervan, 2011). ISBN: 9780310331933.Tweet