Perhaps we can all relate to the feeling of being an outsider at some point in our lives – whether it is rejection from a job opportunity or being squeezed out by “friends”. Growing up as an introverted, invisible-feeling girl, I’m familiar with the feeling of often feeling like I was on the edge of things but rarely part of the inside. I see the people who are uncomfortable in the crowd or overlooked by others. I feel God’s love for them, for us, so I was excited to read Ken Gire’s book Relentless Pursuit: God’s Love of Outsiders.
Ken Gire writes this book under the inspiration of Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven”. God pursues us with his relentless love with the desire to lavish His love on us and to restore us. Nine chapters are organized by the pursuit, the pursuer, the nature of the pursuit, the lost part of us, God’s passion and provision for the outsider, Jesus mission to the outsider, and God’s mandate to the insider. He uses personal stories of his life along with biblical examples and his thoughts inspired from various movies and pieces of literature in an easy-to-read manner. Each chapter ends with a list of questions that can be used in a small group or pondered for individual thought.
Ken Gire is seminary-educated and has published 24 books, but this is the first of his that I have read. My favorite chapters were chapter 7, where Gire provides biblical examples of Jesus’ mission to the outsider, and chapter 9, a summary with ideas that provoked me to stop and think about my life and God’s pursuit of me.
While I loved the idea of the book, I had difficulty tracking with the author’s thoughts. He provides vivid physical details when he shares his personal story but leaves his thoughts vague when I wanted to understand them more concretely. I’m not sure that I agree with his theology - that it is solely up to the individual to determine if they will have faith or not, like God has no part in the awakening of the soul to His grace at all. This book didn’t live up to my expectations.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.