John and Gregg discuss Chapter Three of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. As Idleman’s use of the Bible in chapter one and chapter two seemed shaky, they are both pleasantly surprised to find that his use of Luke 7 squares with what they find in the Bible.
Gregg then dives into a discussion of “knowledge” and the different types of knowledge–knowledge of facts / events vs. relational knowledge / intimacy that parallels Idleman’s discussion of whether we simply have knowledge of God or intimacy (relationship) with him.
Gregg comments on how Jesus praises two people (centurion and prostitute) who are despised by society, noting how 1st century readers would be shocked (as Simon the Pharisee was) about Jesus’ interaction with the prostitute. Yet the prostitute responded rightly and, against Kyle’s idea that “Christianity is Jesus interfering with our lives”, Gregg argues that the prostitute’s response was an extravagant, powerful response to Jesus as someone who is in love (there’s knowledge, but it’s about love).
We finish by discussing whether Jesus’ death or Jesus’ healing is a better basis for embracing Christianity and how, if faith in God is born out of something, Christianity is a love relationship not born from duty but from desire–a desire for God that responds to being known and loved by God.
Today we talk about love and being loved by God. Should we think that “Jesus died for me, so the least I can do for Jesus is love and obey him”? Gregg suggests that we compare this view with someone what might be a realistic response if you believed that someone had saved your life or the life of your child: Would you respond by loving and obeying that person? John proposes something different.
The discussion moves on to consider the goodness of God relative to the typical Christian understanding that those who reject God merit eternal punishment. How can we see God as good if we embrace this view?
Next, with reference to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, Gregg focuses on the nature of love. What does it mean to ‘understand’ love? Gregg suggests that love is foremost a relational reality to be experienced versus an idea to be grasped.
We end by considering why John does not experience God’s love.
This episode looks at Chapter Two of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. In light of Kyle Idleman’s view that Christianity must “cost us” and that authentic Christianity is marked by Jesus “interfering” with our lives, John opens the question of what constitutes Christian commitment.
So we explore Idleman’s view that Nicodemus, while being impressed by Jesus’ love, remained only a fan (which cost Nicodemus nothing). Gregg disagrees: Can we remain untouched by love? And how does the notion of “interference” fit within a love relationship—do my children mostly “interfere” with my life, or is there a better way of seeing the matter?
We go on to consider believing in God versus following God, and so discuss the implications for monotheistic Jews “believing” that Jesus was the son of God compared the implications for us believing the same thing today.
Bringing together the question of Christian belief or commitment and the idea that Christianity involves a love relationship with God, Gregg argues that Christianity is not about reward (going to heaven) or punishment (going to hell). We examine this by contrasting love and the experience of love—as a law written upon the heart—with an orientation to God that stems from will and duty.
This episode kicks of our in-depth discussion of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. We start in the Prologue and begin discussing Idleman’s core message–question of whether your are a “Fan” or “Follower” of God. Neither of us is convinced that these are the best categories. We also discuss Idleman’s loose handling and use of the “Feeding of the 5,000” to make a point.
John raises an issue that seems to be missing or presupposed in not a fan which is why someone should or would want to be a follower of God. Looking ahead to chapter one, Idleman appears to be leading in the direction of suggesting that the issue of fan vs. follower is critical towards determining where a person will spend eternity.
We look at this a little deeper and question whether this doesn’t cheapen the whole meaning of love and being in relation with God–the idea that people will simply chose the “right” answer of “being a follower” because they want to go to heaven. Is that really the only and best relationship to be in relationship with God?
Gregg talks about being overwhelmed by God’s love and that being in love is what makes him a follower, not where he is going to spend eternity or duty. He also talks about how when we are in love we respond in different ways and are transformed–we like the people we become. We don’t love God for naught–that isn’t a love relationship.
We also start to talk about the notion of “experience” and what that means and how it plays out in what we believe.
And there’s more too, so listen to the episode and tell us what you think.