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Messy Grace

How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction

Author Caleb Kaltenbach
Narrator Caleb Kaltenbach
Runtime 6.05 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date November 11, 2015
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)
The issue of sexual identity and Christianity is one of the biggest hot buttons for today's culture. Questions surface such as "what does the Bible have to say about same-sex issues" and "how can we balance grace and truth." In Messy Grace, Caleb tells his story of being raised in the LGBT community by his parents, accepting Christ, becoming a pastor, and looking at what the Bible has to say about sexual identity. Through biblical teaching, Caleb helps his readers understand how they can love others without sacrificing biblical convictions. In addition, he shows evangelicals how to treat people well and nurture healthy, respectful, and biblically informed relationships with people in the LGBT community. This is a must-read for everyone no matter what position you take on the topic of sexuality and Christianity.
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Description
The issue of sexual identity and Christianity is one of the biggest hot buttons for today's culture. Questions surface such as "what does the Bible have to say about same-sex issues" and "how can we balance grace and truth." In Messy Grace, Caleb tells his story of being raised in the LGBT community by his parents, accepting Christ, becoming a pastor, and looking at what the Bible has to say about sexual identity. Through biblical teaching, Caleb helps his readers understand how they can love others without sacrificing biblical convictions. In addition, he shows evangelicals how to treat people well and nurture healthy, respectful, and biblically informed relationships with people in the LGBT community. This is a must-read for everyone no matter what position you take on the topic of sexuality and Christianity.

Customer Reviews

10 Reviews Add Review
Great book
Excellent after listening to it I went out and bought many to give a way.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 1/11/2017)
Very good story and message. Wished for a bit more.
It's a great book. The reader (the author) is great and the message is great. So the negative first. I have just two things that bothered me about the book:
1) A choppy story. I was hoping to hear about how this preacher grew up, how he found Jesus, what he loved about Jesus, why he decided to be baptized, how he held his beliefs while keeping his family relationships, how his choice affected his family's perspectives. I heard all of that, but not in one continuous story. It was out-of-order with the author's philosophies and perspectives sprinkled in. This bothered me, but I also appreciated it at the same time. There was a book I listened to by Rosaria Champagne Butterfeild on the same topic and she had the chronological story. Turns out, looks like Messy Grace made the better call on this format because hers had an engaging story, but all her philosophy was tacked onto the end and it made for drudgery after the "falling action" of the story. Sounded like a long epilogue. This author did it better, more like a preacher in fact, structuring the story around the message so that there's a nice mix and you're engaged the whole time. Still...as someone who likes stories, it annoys me to jump back and forth and hear "you'll hear more about this in a later chapter" five or six times. In fact, if he'd just drop that phrase, it would probably help. I feel like all the good stuff is being put-off when I keep hearing that phrase.
2) Applications aren't explicit. Just as in issue one though, I think this turns out to be a strength. If he told us exactly what we should do in situations, only a small percentage of us would agree and think he made a good call. This book tells us the basic ideas: show grace & hold to the truth. Then it asks questions of how you witness that in your church and what should change in your church/perspective so that you'll be abiding by that.

I was afraid this book would have a concessionary perspective. Saying that if we pull these strings and make these interpretations, that we could conclude that a gay/lesbian lifestyle is approved by the Bible. I was relieved to see that it didn't. I could already judge by reviews it probably wouldn't but, I just knew if it stretched the truth it would be a waste of money and I'd have donated my funds to support a lie. This is all truth and it's committed to a biblical perspective. I appreciate that. Sadly though, I feel like many may not be open-minded enough to accept this message. As I was listening, I was thinking of a friend I'd love to share this with, but started to wonder if I should jump past the first couple of chapters because of the strong emphasis on grace and the delay of discussion about truth. Biases would get in the way of the message so that they'd be turned off before they caught the whole theme. On the other hand, if "truth" came first, then LGBT people likely would be put off and both sides should gain from this message.

My struggle is that I know scripture says if there's a believer among you who is sinning, you should address that with a small group, then with the whole church, then put them out of the congregation if they refuse to repent. So at what point do you do this with those you're drawing into the church? I feel like many act too quickly and basically make it an expectation that you appear sinless on your first visit to the congregation. Does the distinction come when people are baptized? If so, is there not a chance that a big population stays as guests to a congregation (avoiding baptism) so that they can hang onto their life-styles but still have the social gains? When do we address truth? When it happens to spontaneously come up as a topic? When it sounds like decisions are heading south? On the day a person announces they want to be baptized? The book doesn't answer these questions directly, but it shifted my perspective a bit in these areas. I was hoping with the author's personal experiences, he could shed more of a visible light on the answers. It does suggest your church and it's members consider and discuss these things so they'll have a good perspective when these questions come up, and I certainly hope that all do.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 12/5/2016)
One of the best books I've read on Christianity and Homosexuality.
So good when a writer can talk about a subject from their own experience and not just from head knowledge. I've listened or read at least 11 books on the subject of homosexuality and this is one of the best along with "Is God Anti-Gay" by Sam Allberry. We have to remember that Gay people are not our enemies and they need Jesus. It is not about throwing away truth but about presenting the truth with love and treating everyone as we ourselves would like to be treated. I highly recommend this book for anyone is struggling with how to love and minister to their gay friend or family member, without compromising the Gospel.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 9/1/2016)
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