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August 17, 2011

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Great post, today, Adam. Thank you for bringing a somewhat touchy subject to light. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Not a Fan and, though it convicted me of my fan-ness instead of follower-ness on a few occasions, it also helped me more clearly define what I need to do and where I need to grow in my commitment to Christ. A worthy read to say the least. Thanks again for the blog and keep up the good work.

Your fan, His follower,
Matthew

Matt,
I appreciate your feedback, comrade. I'm glad "Not a Fan" helped you identify clear areas for growth. I find this kind of conviction to be way more helpful than the vague guilt trip variety. :-) -Adam

I'm definately a fan(atic) for Jesus. But our churches are full of "moms" which, IMHO is quite troubling. Jesus said that some have said "Lord,Lord" but will not enter Heaven. Matt. 7:21. It causes me to wonder if some of the "moms" have truly accepted the Lord.

If that new flame is quenched, will it ever be rekindled? And why would a true follower of Christ want to put it out or diminish it?

I found this accurate and convicting, because we need to continually desire to be more like Jesus, have His zeal, and encourage others to do the same! Great thoughts today.

Ruth,
Thank you for your feedback! I agree with you that becoming more like Jesus is a continual journey, and we'll benefit from encouraging one another.

To your question "why would a true follower of Christ want to put [the new flame] out or diminish it?" I feel like so often, at least for me, spiritual drift is an awful lot like real drift while swimming in a slow tide. The movement can be so slow and subtle that I think I'm anchored when I'm actually drifting away. All of a sudden when I look in to shore, I see that I've drifted 30 yards down from where I thought I was.

Thanks for your thoughts! -Adam

Hi guys,

There is just one or two things I'm thinking about. He says there is no salvation without sacrifice. Seems a bit to me that he is saying your salvation is determined by your relationship with Christ or by how much you sacrifice. This doesn't make sense to me. Where do you draw the line on what is enough sacrifice to qualify and how good should my relationship be then to qualify for my salvation. This mindset seems to be works righteousness mentality. To be saved and to go to heaven is one thing, but to live the Kingdom of God on earth... well thats a whole different story for me. The more we sacrifice and become less, the more we move into the Kingdom on earth. But if you're saved you are saved. Not based on sacrifice or relationship.

What do you guys think?

Robert, I love your questions. I'll do my best to respond using Idleman’s book.


You ask, "Where do you draw the line on what is enough sacrifice to qualify [as salvation] and how good should my relationship be then to qualify for my salvation. This mindset seems to be works righteousness mentality."


You are astute to mention sacrifice, and you’re right to say that if we focus on sacrificing enough or having a good enough relationship with Christ, that would be a works righteousness mentality. I don’t think this is what Idleman says in “Not a Fan,” though. He doesn’t make amount-based, or quantitative, arguments such as “To become disciples, we need to sacrifice more.” By contrast, Idleman’s arguments are more drastic and qualitative – our solution isn’t to give more, but to give everything and to be transformed.


Idleman talks about transformation by drawing from Scripture. For example, in chapter 10 he writes how Christ’s call to follow him requires that we “give up" whatever we’re serving, and instead become the bondservants of Christ. (This is comparable to what Paul says in Romans 6 about being changed from slaves to sin into slaves to righteousness.) And in chapter 11, Idleman compares following Christ to death(!). Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow him (Luke 14:27) is a call to die to our selfish and sinful desires. Idleman basically says, Jesus didn’t call us to a most-of-the-way death to sin, or a part-of-the-way death. Instead, followers of Christ are called to complete transformation: we must die to our old selves, we must be born again, we must switch masters altogether, we must yield our whole lives to Christ.


I'm not sure I understand your last point: "If you're saved you are saved. Not based on sacrifice or relationship." Can you help me understand this? Do you think salvation is unrelated to relationship with Jesus?


Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Robert. Feel free to respond with other questions and thoughts.


-Adam

Thanks for the response Adam!!

For me, o be saved and to go to heaven is one thing, but to live the Kingdom of God on earth... well that’s a whole different story for me. I see it this way: The more we sacrifice and become less (and grow in God through intimacy with Him), the more we move into the Kingdom on earth. You start living Kingdom on earth. Obviously the more you move in the Kingdom, the more beneficial for yourself, because you will automatically start to move into the destiny that God has for you.

My point is just that if you're born again you are saved and going to Heaven. (But it is obviously a big IF) You will know if you are born again. (Not going into that now) I’m not saying you go to heaven when you just say a quick little sinner’s prayer; that could be very dangerous.

I'm not quite saying salvation is unrelated to relationship with Jesus. I'm just saying that salvation can not be based on your relationship with Jesus, because where will you draw the line and what kind of relationship qualifies you then to go to heaven. You will always fall short, no matter what. That’s why we were saved by grace through faith. It was a gift from God. It's really the grace of God that changes your life and motivates you to pick up your cross.

I should say that this book is really challenging me in a great way! Although I have one or two questions, I still think it's an awesome book. I agree with you. When you surrender totally, then Jesus can use you to the max. A fan limits Jesus....

Robert, thanks for your feedback. I'm happy to hear the book is challenging you! And I love that you're actively engaging with your questions.


I think Idleman would agree with you that it's "the grace of God that changes your life" and also what ultimately "motivates you to pick up your cross."


I think I see what you mean about how salvation can't depend on a perfect relationship with Jesus, because our relationship with Jesus just won't be perfect in this life.


What I find most interesting about "Not a Fan" are Idleman's points about how discipleship will actually look from day to day. His separation of Follower and Fan behavior resonates with me, though in my experience I can behave like both within the same 1 hour period. I like how you say Fan mentality and behavior limits how much we grow in Jesus.


Thanks for your thoughts Robert, -Adam.

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