Christian Book Review

Living as an Overcomer: Eternal Motivation for Earthly Success

by Tony Evans
Reviewed date: 2024 Apr 18
211 pages
cover art

Living as an Overcomer is my first experience with Tony Evans, and I am disappointed. I'm told Tony Evans is theologically and doctrinally solid, but in Living as an Overcomer I find his interpretation of Scripture to be flawed. I do not recommend this book.

Tony Evans takes the text of Revelation 2 and 3—the letters to the seven churches—and uses it to teach us how and why to persevere in the Christian faith. Tony Evans teaches that we should live godly, transformed, lives of obedience to God in order to earn rewards in heaven.

The idea that people are rewarded differently in heaven is not wrong. There is biblical support for such teaching. However, that is not what is being taught in Revelation 2 and 3.

Tony Evans consistently takes the rewards mentioned for the seven churches (e.g., in verse 2:17, "To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone") and teaches that these rewards are not for all Christians, they are only for Christians who are "overcomers." That is, super-Christians. Those who never waver, whose faith is stronger.

That's not what Revelation 2 and 3 teaches. It just isn't.

Furthermore, the theme woven throughout Living as an Overcomer—and the accompanying workbook and video series—is that we should be faithful and obedient to God in order to earn rewards in heaven. It's a heavenly prosperity gospel. Tony Evans doesn't mention that we should live a life of righteous obedience to God because it is morally good, because we truly desire it, or because God has changed our hearts and made us new creations. He's forgotten to mention the main part of what it means to be a Christian.

Ultimately, what Tony Evans believes and teaches is within the bounds of orthodoxy. Unfortunately his interpretation and handling of Scripture is shoddy and concerning. It's not OK to misuse Scripture even if it's in support of a valid orthodox teaching. And I'm concerned about his failure to talk about the changed heart of a Christian.

The bottom line: shoddy Scripture use and muddled, incomplete teaching.

Living as an Overcomer gets a thumbs down from me.

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