Messy Truth: How to Foster Community Without Sacrificing Conviction

Caleb Kaltenbach. WaterBrook, $16.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-65427-8
In this compassionate guide, pastor Kaltenbach (Messy Grace) urges Christians to “make room for people not like them” in order to create a community of acceptance. Raised by three gay parents and accustomed to judgmental reactions from some Christians, Kaltenbach emphasizes that biblical convictions do not have to be sacrificed to foster a sense of belonging. He unravels misconceptions and erroneous interpretations of scriptures pertaining to LGBTQ people and encourages readers to engage in dialogues with those whose beliefs are different than theirs. He shares examples of how to broach difficult topics (as well as what not to do) and emphasizes the role personal connections and open conversation play in directing others toward Jesus, posing the question: “What are you willing to do to build and keep influence with” those you respect? He contrasts people he terms “gatekeepers” of Christian communities (those who use scare tactics and name calling) with those willing to be guides (who lead by example) and concludes that, while conversations about strongly held convictions may seem daunting: “God’s truth is pure, trustworthy, altogether right, and best discerned when lived out with others.” Pastors, teachers, church leaders, and anyone wishing to develop a more welcoming Christian community should take a look. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/04/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Religion
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