Monday, May 27, 2013

Through with Not A Fan

Our sermon-based lesson series based on the book Not A Fan is finished. We had the last sermon and last lesson yesterday. This went for six weeks. Unfortunately I missed two of them, for trips to Oklahoma City for a grandson's birthday and to see new grand-daughter for the first time.

This was a good study. When I first received the book from the church office I immediately went to Amazon to check the reviews. And, as is my habit, I checked the 1-star reviews first. Out of a couple of hundred reviews less than 10 were 1-star. The concern of these reviewers was that, if the program promoted by the book is take to its logical conclusion, it leads to legalism and exclusivity—that is, if you aren't practicing Christianity the way I'm practicing it then you are saved and going to heaven. This was a concern, but so few were saying that that I felt good about starting the study.

Now that it's done, I have to say that I don't see anything in it as was said in those reviews. I haven't finished the book yet. In fact I'm only 40 percent through it. Who knows what I'll think when I get through it (which I will). But as far as the DVD series that went along with the book, and which we used in the study, there was nothing at all that I could see that came even close to the concerned voiced in those 1-star reviews.

On the contrary, the message of the study was that merely doing ministry does not fulfill the call of Christ. It is rather being sold out and doing all that we do out of love that fulfils the call. I have a hard time seeing this as exclusivity. It is consistent with the general evangelical message. It seems to me to be mainstream Christianity. At least mainstream for those who want to merely exist, and limp into heaven having just barely made it. I have several lessons I take away from this, which I'll get into in future posts.

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