This is the hardest review I've had to write. I've been in prayer, not even just with myself but by asking others to pray for me. I wrote this review in prayer. When I began to read Relentless, I was happy and looking forward to an inspiring message. God's been calling me to be relentless, in His power, in my life and to new and great things. Therefore when I came to a few challenging uses of scripture in the first few chapters I thought "interesting". Then I hit chapter five.
It started with a list of professions and how God might use us each in them. In every instance Bevere said the Christian should rise to the top and wow and amaze our non-believing colleagues. God might choose to do this; He also promises that the world will hate us, since it hated Him first. I thought well, no one's perfect, and Bevere was just a little shortsighted, but my guard was now up. Then he talked about how God would prosper us financially. Then he said no Christian would ever be sick. Then he said that God would never let a Christian be in poverty. In both of those instances, he lay the blame on the Christian not living in Christ. In doing so, he ignores Paul's statement "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want." He ignores other scriptural examples of poverty, like the living conditions of prophets, the Macedonian church, and the woman who donated the copper coin. He ignores Jesus' edict on how the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.
At this point I was upset it was just another prosperity gospel book. However, as I read on, I found Bevere to uphold that there will be trial and persecution in a Christian's life. He just thought it would be mental/emotional and that we'd be persecuted by other Christians. While I know Christians have sometimes opposed other Christians who aren't checking with God or are relying on their own understanding, they also get persecution from the world. Any Christian whose sole persecution is from other believers should examine themselves, because Jesus prayed for our unity in John 17, before he was taken to the cross. I am not saying it doesn't happen, it often does, but it snot a sign of holiness, just a sad byproduct of us not living in the unity to which God has called us all.
I do agree with Bevere's lamentations on the church aspiring often to mediocrity. A lot of what Bevere writes about is correct, but where he differs his teachings are yeasty ones that could be major stumbling blocks to love and unity in the church. It grieves me to write that! Bevere does use scripture to back up his claims, and this put me in turmoil until God brought to my mind contradictory scriptures. Throughout my reading, God compelled me to pray fervently for Bevere, who he sincerely loves. I do think Bevere is a Christian, but I think this is an awful, awful book.
I received this book for free from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my unbiased review.