Fall to Grace
A Revolution of God, Self and Society
by Jay Bakker
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'Fall to Grace' is a timely true story and the antidote to the false gospel of deserved prosperity. From a world focused on earned success, Jay Bakker's account of a troubled past and a transformed future, gives you the experience and the know-how to show everyone what grace really means.
Jay Bakker is one of the innocents caught up in the public scandal and collapse of his parents' PLT (Praise The Lord) media evangelism empire of the 1970s-80s. Now the winner of the 2012 PFLAG 'Straight for Equality' Award, Jay Bakker, reveals the amazing wonders of the fall from/to grace everyone must experience. Filled with anger over his family's tearing apart at the age of 11 through a high-profile fraud scandal, affair, and subsequent divorce, his release from the pain couldn't be healed by religion, so he turned to drugs and alcohol... but it was here that he discovered the true nature of grace.
Now a well-respected pastor in New York, working within the Emergent Church Movement, Jay Bakker has dedicated his life to the gospel. This honest account of real life will disarm even the most hardened non-Christian and give them a handle on Christian faiths unique offering to the world - grace.
Fall to Grace by Jay Bakker was published by Hodder & Stoughton in September 2012 and is our 31505th best seller. The ISBN for Fall to Grace is 9780446539494.
If anyone ever had a reason to leave the faith, Jay Bakker did. When he was only 11 years old, his parents' PTL ministry was caught in a high-profile accounting fraud scandal, and his family was devastated by his father's affair and his parents' subsequent divorce. A disillusioned Bakker turned to drugs and alcohol and left his childhood beliefs behind. But along the way, an interesting thing happened: Bakker came to understand, through all his pain, what God's grace was really all about.
In this book Bakker will explore the true nature of grace and what it means in everyday life. With disarming humility, poignant observations,and spot-on theology, Bakker both challenges Christians to reassess their understanding of salvation and entices non-Christians to give Jesus a chance.
Grace is such a beautiful topic, one we hear far too little of in our American pulpits. I was incredibly blessed by this book, and I will recommend it to any and every Christian or non Christian who wants to learn more about how to better love ourselves and each other. - Tiffany Harkleroads, Reviewer.
Bakker, the Outlaw Preacher, is oft accused of overstating how grace accepts us where we are without calling Jesus followers to a more fruitful life in the Spirit. Not so in this volume. Be challenged by this re-counting of what a “fall to grace” might mean for human beings often bent to wallow in un-grace. - The Ooze, Evolving Spirituality.
The author honestly describes his own journey through rebellion and his most recent heartbreak as his marriage fell apart. Taking to no glory to himself, Jay indicates we are all fallible. As God's children, we will fall. As God's children, we are still offered Grace. Again and again and again. He simply asks that we love one another. - A Musing Reviews.
The truth is that when it comes down to it, Christians find grace a tough subject. Not only do we find it hard to accept for ourselves, we often show ourselves incapable - or at least very reluctant, to give it out to others. The hard – and consistently amazing thing about grace is that it’s undeserved, unlimited and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is what baffles Christians brought up on creeds, theology and doctrine. And despite almost universal acceptance of salvation by faith and not works, we have to confess our belief that good things happen to good people, and our satisfaction when people who aren’t get ‘their just deserts’.
So when ‘Praise The Lord’ (PTL) TV, the media empire of evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, came crashing down amid a sex scandal and fraud conviction, grace were far from the minds of the faithful and the secular. But whatever the guilt and ‘just deserts’ of Jim and Tammy, there were innocents, caught in the debris of the collapse whose lives would never be the same again. As movie companies vied for the rights to dramatise the widely publicised scandal, the children struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Victims of their parents’ success, they had been held up as model children to a twice-weekly audience of more than 13 million. Now they were held up as evidence that God metes out rewards and punishment based on behaviour. The very opposite of grace.
Author of ‘Fall into Grace’, Jay Bakker is the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. When, in 1987, his parents’ were so thoroughly and publicly humiliated Jay Bakker’s life began to unravel. He got caught up in drugs, extreme anti social behaviour and a wildly destructive punk rock band called Revolution Ministries. Yet in 1994, Jay co-founded Revolution Church with the aim of building a Christian environment and witness that is everything his parents empire was not. For one thing, Revolution Church meets in a Brooklyn bar in New York. A typical service includes a coming together, a 45 minute preaching talk followed by ‘hanging out’. The church’s preacher too is out of the ordinary. Jay Bakker is about 5’8” with arms and hands covered in tattoos naming Marlon Brando as one of his fashion icons.
One of those tattoos states that ‘religion destroys’, Questioned, Jay explains that he’s trying to get away from the view of Christianity as a religion of rules, made by man and often played as a game that really hurts people. Instead he wants to emphasise Christianity as a relationship with God and a way of following Jesus without being ‘religious’ about it. Jay Bakker summarises his experience of grace as God’s unconditional acceptance; his love for us and the free gift of a God who’s just saying ‘I love you and I love you just the way you are.’ Accused of ‘cafeteria Christianity’ – where you can pick and choose the faith you want, Jay says that the more you study the Bible , the more things change. Which is why, on his Facebook page, he lists his religion simply as ‘changing’.
Jay Bakker’s approach is completely at odds with the doctrine expounded by his parents and by many evangelists even today. In their hey-day, his parents apparently proved their own teaching. As Jay recalls, “Dad preached a soft version of the prosperity gospel. One that said: ‘Do good and you'll do well — then give some back’. The appeal is that it puts us in control of ourselves and in control of God. The evidence was all there. Jim Bakker became a global figure; a businessman and a friend to presidents and movie stars. But he was constantly having to raise money – up to $500,000 per day, just to keep PTL and the family-friendly ‘Heritage’ theme park, in the black.
What happened next is all in the book, ‘Fall to Grace’ – a rework of the title for the film about the Bakker empire collapse, ‘Fall from Grace’. The book is a timely reminder for all of us who think we’re in control of God and deserving of his favour. It’s also a reminder that grace is not only ours to receive; it’s also ours to give. And to really appreciate the undeserved, unlimited, there’s nothing you can do about it nature of grace, we have to do just that. Generously and freely, no matter what we think about the people we give it to. – Les Ellison
In 224 pages, Jay Bakker writes a book that completes three main tasks.
Firstly, it is an autobiography - Jay charts his comfortable lifestyle prior to the scandal that would turn his family upside down. His father Jim’s convictions on counts of fraud, amid rumours of rape, led to five years in prison and divorce from Jay’s mother Tammy Faye. Jay honestly records the spiral of self-destruction that this led to, and his subsequent realisation of God’s grace.
Secondly, this book is a sermon. Jay’s life has taught him numerous lessons, and he shares these with his readers. Personally, I find Jay’s perspectives on God’s character, the nature of salvation and his attitude towards homosexuality controversial to say the least. However, it is clear that Jay desires an inclusive Church that makes every effort to display God’s love to the world - on this, I couldn’t agree more with him.
Thirdly, (and finally) ‘Fall to Grace’ is a commentary on the wider Christian scene. The relationship between the Church and wider society is examined in context of views and stances that Christians choose to take.
In summary, Jay Bakker’s ‘Fall to Grace’ is an interesting read that concerns the life of someone rejected by the Church, before finding God. It will challenge your perspectives and give insight into the darker side of modern Christianity and its apparent departure from God’s grace.
|Page last updated||6th November 2012|
|Author / Artist||Jay Bakker|
|Publisher||Hodder & Stoughton (September 2012)|
|Number of Pages||224|