After a long journey we’ve finally arrived: Chapter 14 of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, the book’s end. This is perhaps our most important episode on this book as it gets to heart of what we find wrong in Idleman’s “reward and punishment” approach to Christianity.
So in the place of Idleman’s view that following Jesus means obeying (i.e., “letting go” of what is keeping us from following Jesus), Gregg proposes three interrelated steps that necessarily precede and prepare for obedience (and explain why obedience may not be possible or even intelligible, depending upon someone’s current circumstances).
First comes belief: whether the notion of a divine being seems plausible for a given person. Second is understanding: rightly conceiving of who God is and what the human / divine relationship is supposed to be. Third is trust: having both the basic belief in the divine and a firm understanding of the specifics of who God is and what the divine / human relationship is about, obedience requires a certain degree of trust based on our past experiences that indicate that God is indeed trustworthy! Without these components it’s unrealistic to think people can blindly obey God as a lasting behavior.