Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fallen By Matthew Raley

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Fallen (Kregel Publications February 29, 2008) by Matthew Raley


Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book.


Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you engaged to the last page.

Fallen is the story about Jim’s relationship with Dave—how Jim tries to do the right thing to keep Dave accountable, but finds the situation getting worse and worse. It’s also about Jim’s other relationships. Just as he discovers hypocrisy in Dave, Jim discovers his own sins against his wife and daughter.

1 comment:

G.Wiens said...

Matthew Raley has written a courageous, timely novel about a church chairman who discovers his popular pastor may be involved in an adulterous relationship, only to find the truth is that and worse.

At once a compelling read, a lesson on husbandry, a study of church leadership, and a gospel primer, this novel will be valuable for pastors, church leaders, and laypersons. Anyone involved with biblical counseling in these matters should add it to their homework assignment list.

This is not a perfect novel, as Jim's introspections are a little overdone at points. But Raley is an excellent writer, and his gift with language even make these passages easy to read.

As for the matter of "closure" that some reviewers see as missing: this work is excellent fodder for discussions among church leadership and in adult fellowship groups. For this novel to be most useful, the closure issues need to be raised and addressed by its readers. I recommend that group leaders assign this book, then develop a list of questions and observations that can help guide their study and application.