Learning to Love Without Sacrificing Conviction


“Messy Grace, written by my friend Caleb Kaltenbach, is a personal story of God’s incredible grace and a call to love people as God loves. The message of this important book combines grace and truth and offers hope to a broken generation. Messy Grace is pure truth spoken in love and will help you relate to every person in a way that pleases God.”
Jack Graham, pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church



“Messy Grace is an important contribution to the conversation about sexual identity for churches and leaders. Caleb’s story is surprising and unique, and he weaves it together compellingly. He states his views clearly, leaves room for disagreement, and champions love no matter where you are in this conversation.”
Jud Wilhite, senior pastor, Central Christian Church



“There is no shortage of books on how Christians can lovingly and meaningfully engage their gay family members and friends. Caleb Kaltenbach has an important message for everyone who shares a commitment to both grace and truth.”
Jim Daly, president, Focus on the Family



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“It’s time for Christians to think differently about the issue of homosexuality. It’s time for Christians to own this issue.” -Caleb Kaltenbach

Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family. But then he surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor. Very few issues in Christianity today are as divisive as the debate over the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Kaltenbach had to face this issue with courage and grace. In Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction (WaterBrook Press, Oct. 20, 2015), Kaltenbach, pastor of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, combines his personal story with biblical teaching and helps readers understand and relate to the LGBT community. He shows that Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay neighbor. “We get trapped in the wrong thinking. We think that we are not supposed to love people who live in a way that is contrary to what God says,” Kaltenbach says. “We should be pursuing relationships with members of the LGBT community the same way God pursues us.”

In his casual and at times humorous writing style, Kaltenbach also:

– shares his own testimony of redemption after he “infiltrated” a Bible study to disprove Christianity

– helps readers overcome hesitancy and fear in reaching out to those who are different

– shows how believers can walk in the tension of grace and truth and share the Gospel with gay neighbors without compromising convictions

– gives practical advice on what to do when someone in a believer’s life comes out as gay

– explains how a “messy church”—where people can be honest and open with their problems—is the healthiest type of church

Messy Grace, which includes discussion questions, is a significant contribution to the current dialogue on sexual identity both in and outside the church. Kaltenbach’s personal journey will inspire and challenge readers to reach out and love with compassion and grace.




About the Author

Caleb Kaltenbach is lead pastor at Discovery Church, Simi Valley, CA. He speaks widely on faith, reconciliation, and sexual diversity to people on all sides of the LGBT issue. Caleb attended Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) and is currently finishing his DMin at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times, Fox News, The Glenn Beck Program and KKLA’s The Frank Sontag Show. He and his wife, Amy, have two young children.

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