Book Review: Messy Grace {by Caleb Kaltenbach}

I could NOT recommend this book enough for ANYONE looking to love people in different lifestyles than themselves. -- see more on sydneyelizabeth.blogMessy Grace Book Review

If churches are going to have conversations concerning the LGBT community (and they should), this book should be required reading. Coming from an extremely uncommon perspective, Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach describes what it was like to be raised by two gay parents and his personal experience of finding Jesus.

What Not to Expect From This Book

Just because I recommend this being required reading doesn’t mean it should be the only thing read. Definitely not. Don’t expect this book to cover every single aspect of LGBT lifestyles that possibly could be touched on. Don’t expect the author to analyze multiple interpretations of Biblical text on sexual immorality and just “let the cards fall where they may.” He regularly brings us back to Scripture and makes it abundantly clear where he stands.

What to Expect From This Book

Prepare to be challenged. Prepare to be uncomfortable. Prepare to be humbled (if you’re honest). And prepare to be transformed. Whether you’re a Christ follower or not, this book will be enlightening as you read such a unique story from someone who obviously has the delicate ability to write a book on such a sensitive topic. This book is going to rock your boat.

Love Your Neighbor

Christians have made an extremely awful name for themselves with their treatment to those living lifestyles with which they don’t agree. Kaltenbach describes heartbreaking situations he personally witnessed growing up in the LGBT community. It is clear that we, Christ followers, have not been loving our neighbors as Jesus would.

Did you just breeze by that last sentence? Think it doesn’t apply to you?

Think again.

“Followers of Jesus have got to learn how to treat people in the LGBT community with love that has no limits and makes no compromises. We have to love people as Jesus does.” — Caleb Kaltenbach

The Tension

The common theme throughout is the tension between grace and truth. So many of us fall on one side or the other. It’s easy to be 100% grace and just let friends and family live their lives. Who are we to say anything? It also can be easy to be 100% truth by so strongly declaring Biblical truths to friends and family and subsequently destroying any relationship you could possibly have.

But how do you balance the two? That’s where the tension happens. And it’s messy because anytime you’re dealing with humanity (sinners), it’s messy. There’s always going to be tension as you hold fast to what you believe but also express love and give grace. Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach eloquently describes scenarios and gives tangible encouragement to his readers for managing this tension.

“There are times when Christians can be so concerned about holiness that they end up keeping away those who are less than perfect.” — Caleb Kaltenbach

The Bigger Picture

If I may be so bold, I’d like to say this is not just a book about loving people who choose a different sexual preference or lifestyle than I do. This is a book about loving anyone who is different from me. Kaltenbach draws examples and tells stories from his own experience, which happens to be heavily influenced by the LGBT community, but the lessons he teaches and the Scripture proof he bases them on absolutely compel the reader to become a better lover in Jesus’ name.

It’s entirely possibly to live graciously and lovingly while also holding fast to the truth God declares concerning sexuality. Use this book as a tool to equip you for these conversations and these relationships.

“The gospel isn’t about who God is against. It’s about who God is for.” — Caleb Kaltenbach

I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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