Saturday, December 4, 2010

book review: "fall to grace" by jay bakker

Though Jay grew up in the church, he reached a point in his life when he was through with faith and God. He couldn’t understand why everyone who had once rallied around him and his family were turning their backs on them in 1987 when scandal erupted in the Bakker home. Jay dealt with the upheaval by taking up smoking, drinking and doing drugs. It wasn’t until years later that Jay would return to the message of grace. “Paul’s message wasn’t about guilt and punishment. It was about acceptance; it was about forgiveness; and it applied to me! What I felt instinctively about God – that He must be loving and understanding of human frailty – was right after all.” He had thought he was too far gone for God to still love him. He had messed up one time too many for God to want to take him back. “Grace taught me that I don’t have to run from failure, that God hasn’t abandoned me even when things get tough. I don’t think you ever arrive, fully, at grace. You have to keep it front and center in your mind. You have to remind yourself every day that God’s love for us is complete, irrational and unrelenting.”

I was disappointed in Jay’s message. While grace is key to understanding salvation, I disagree with Jay’s views on a few things, homosexuality being the main one. Jay’s theme is that God loves everyone, regardless of lifestyle, the color of your skin or economic status. I agree with that. Where I have a problem is that since God loves everyone, he’s basically saying it doesn’t matter how you live your life as long as you love God and accept His grace. What he seems to be missing is the point of leaving your old life behind you when you begin a journey with God. He also talks about the apostle Paul a lot, quoting from Galatians over and over. Paul seems to be his basis for Biblical references. What also bothered me was the mild use of language by Jay. Overall, I didn’t care too much for the book.

I received a free copy of this book from FaithWords Publishing group and all opinions are my own.

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