Relentless by John Bevere
While it can be said that author John Bevere is relentlessly upbeat and nearly breathless in building a case for his premise, ultimately the book falls short of his objective. He says in the first chapter, “how we ‘finish’ is more important than how we ‘begin’” and the proceeds to propose a life in which we are to be in control of all of life’s events such that we arrive at the end of a life “well lived.” The trouble is that throughout the book, the sovereignty of God is abrogated to the will of man.
Bevere is relentless is promoting the idea that if we just have more faith, we won’t sin, we won’t suffer and we won’t do without the riches of this world. Yet we do sin, we do suffer, we do live in poverty, despite our faith. Are we not relentless enough? Or, do we live in the shadow of the Fall, in a corrupted world and corrupted bodies and continue to endure the consequences of the fateful decision in the Garden? Despite our relentless prayer, unending faith and our close abiding in the Lord, loved ones still dies, we continue to get life-changing diagnosis, people still walk into movie theaters and commit unspeakable atrocities.
If the author’s promises were rooted in the sound handling of the Scriptures, my troubles with the book would be muted. When he relates experiences of miraculous healing by claiming a particular verse and having sufficient faith, I think that he does the kingdom a disservice. Claiming Isaiah 53:4-5 as having to do with physical healing reflects an improper handling of the scriptures. This passage has to do with redemption through Christ; to claim it guarantees physical repair is inappropriate and leads believers down a false path driven by their own desires, not those of the Lord.
Casual readers of Relentless will be encouraged. Their faith will be challenged and, when the desired healing, riches, etc. don’t appear, the book will tell them that the faith they have is not strong enough. In the same way, Bevere states that a sinless perfection is possible in this life is one is just relentless in their faith. Worse off is the one who continues to have sin in their life. To them Bevere suggests that their very salvation is in question. At that point, I would have to say that I can’t recommend this book.
I’m grateful to WaterBrook Press who provided this volume for review.