In this episode we discuss Chapter One of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Idleman asserts that Jesus pushes us to “define the relationship” (DTR) that we have with him. Idleman argues that a core distinction of being either a fan or follower of Jesus, is the need properly to resolve this crucial question:
What if all of life comes down to this one question? What if there really is a heaven and there really is a hell, and where I spend eternity comes down to how you answer this question?” (Not a Fan, page 21).
In response, Gregg argues that rather than pushing us to ‘define the relationship’ God instead seeks and woos us, and that Christianity is not essentially about punishment (hell) or reward (heaven) but about whether God really loves us and how we would know this.
Also, Gregg argues that a binary distinction (where being a ‘fan’ is bad and a ‘follower’ is good) is neither relevant nor warranted, because where we stand in a relationship is a deeply complex matter based on our experiences and history as an individual.
John sees as an ongoing theme of drama, doubt and sowing seeds of “never enough.” He also wonders how often we see examples in the bible of Jesus forcing people to define their relationship with him and if this cornerstone idea from Not A Fan squares with the Bible.
Idleman’s assertion in this chapter about making a decision about eternity comes up frequently in future discussions, hereafter known as “page twenty one.”