Do you ever feel alone? Do you have resentments about the past and regrets about where those bad decisions have taken you? Have you found yourself in the gutter with no idea of how you got there? Are you aware that as much as you have tried, you still do not see how you can live a pure and moral life?
If we are honest, we have all been there and may be there still. Our world is wrecked beyond recognition of those who saw God’s original design for his creation. We all bare the stain of sin and wickedness. But it is no state that God cannot not find us.
In his book Relentless Pursuit, Ken Gire takes us into the raw ugliness that life can bring and shows us that even in these bleak times, God seeks after what is lost with wreckless abandon. He leaves behind the 99 who have been found to search for the one who is lost.
Gire sets this scene in the haunting poem ‘The Hound of Heaven’ by Francis Thompson, who in the late 1800s found himself alone, abandoned, and addicted. Yet in his most desperate condition, he experienced God’s incessant involvement in his life, as a hound that chased him with the goal of his capture. What started as something fearful to escape, Thompson, at the end of the poem, describes his surrender to the only one who could save him.
The first chapters of this book were beautiful, and at times even the prose were poetic as the author shares not only his story, but experiences of others who have described their pursuit by God in so many powerful ways. The appreciation of this book breaks down for me in later chapters as the author begins to deemphasize God’s loving pursuit and begins to turn the light on us as individuals and lays on the burden of self-discovery and self-recovery. I had a difficult time connecting what the author thinks of the pursuit of God and our personal responsibility in the process.
Gire definitely uses an approach to talking about God in terms of relationship and experience rather than theology and exposition of the Bible, which is what gave this book its weakness. No doubt there can be a balance between this author’s gifts of story-telling and creativity with a solid grounding in the truth of Scripture.
I do not know that I would recommend this book, even with the beauty and power of its opening chapters. If you do decide to pick this one up, don’t feel badly about abandoning it early.
Note: a copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. No obligation was given to give the book a positive review; all views expressed are my own and not influenced by the publisher.