Relentless: The Path to Holding On

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Relentless: The Path to Holding On


Taylor Field


New Hope Publishers (an imprint of Iron Stream Media)

Publication Date:

June 1, 2020




144 pages


Plenty of Christians talk about relying on Scripture in hard times, and usually they mean looking up something encouraging like the Psalms. But what if the most helpful passages are the ones about people who felt like giving up? What do we gain when we read stories about people who were at the end of their rope and the things which God did in their lives? Taylor Field takes nineteen of those stories from the Bible, including Isaac wrestling with God and the crippled man being let down through the roof to meet Jesus. In Part 1, he quotes the relevant Scripture passage and then tells the stories from the human character’s perspectives, considering their emotions and how their perspectives on suffering changed after meeting God. Then in Part 2, Field retells seven of those stories from God’s perspective.

Field zeroes in on a topic that often doesn’t get discussed much in church circles, but certainly needs to be talked about more. Knowing that God is still with us in our worst possible moments, and perhaps working something we could never expect in those times, changes how we view suffering and success, giving us the hope to keep going even if things don’t immediately improve. This is perhaps especially true for ministry professionals, who often experience setbacks or personal crises.

In addition, Field’s method of first giving the Scripture passage to read and then telling an imaginative version pushes readers to engage with these stories in new ways. It’s terribly easy, especially for people who grew up in Christian circles, to become so familiar with a Scripture passage that they don’t think much about its context. Reading an imaginative retelling presents a way to re-engage with that passage and note details that the reader missed before.

However, this approach becomes problematic when Field moves into Part 2, where he retells many of the same stories but from God’s perspective. Telling a story from a first-person perspective of a person who is all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful is difficult to do. Having a fictional character who represents God and seeing him the through the eyes of other characters or a narrator can work well (such as Aslan in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia), but a story that gets inside God’s head presents some difficulties. Descriptions of how God’s mind works end up falling short, or create problems the more you think about them. For example, in chapter 21, God reflects on the work he did through Paul and observes, “Sometimes I see Paul really started to understand.” Does “sometimes” imply that God doesn’t always see what’s going on? Doesn’t the fact he is omniscient mean that he always sees what’s going on? These sort of quandaries come up routinely in Part 2, making its stories a bit hard to swallow even though Field has noble intentions.

A mixed bag of a book, but worth reading for the first section.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians looking for something to help them reflect on Scripture passages about suffering and hardship in a new creative way.

Christian Impact

Field helps readers see how God has been with people who had reached their limit, and the surprising ways that God interacts with people in those situations, sometimes challenging them rather than eliminating their problems.

Relentless: The Path to Holding on

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: