I was so excited when I heard that Caleb Kaltenbach was going to be releasing another book on the topic of handling LGBTQ discussions and issues within the church. I was so encouraged and impacted by his first book Messy Grace that I knew I had to read this one. In the end, I found this book to be just as good and is a fantastic companion to Messy Grace. Speaking from his experience of being raised by gay parents, becoming a pastor, maintaining his convictions about the biblical definition of marriage, and still making how to love others and foster community with those who disagree with him, there is a wealth of wisdom to be gained from this book. Besides all this, I have to give him extra brownie points since he graduated from my alma mater, Ozark Christian College. If you read the first book, this one is a must-read. If you haven’t read either book, I highly recommend both of them together ~ Bethel
Living our lives in light of the truth can sometimes be messy. This is because we live in a world that at best undervalues the truth and at worst is dismissive of any form of objective truth. This can make it difficult for those that embrace truth to build community with those that only embrace truth subjectively. This principle is proven true when observing the LGBTQ community and its activists. Finding ways to walk the tightrope of balancing grace and truth for Christians towards these individuals is a journey that too few Christians and churches have embarked upon and those that do are often left with more questions than answers. It makes us ask the question: how do we build influence and an inclusive community without sacrificing our convictions?
In his book Messy Truth, Caleb Kaltenbach walks through ways in which Christians and church leaders can build inclusive communities without sacrificing theological convictions. Speaking from experience of years of pastoral work, Kaltenbach acknowledges the difficulties of balancing grace and truth and concludes that it is necessary to build the community and influence we need to reach those that need Christ’s love. We are reminded that more than our stances on the biblical definition of marriage or any other theological convictions, we need to see everything we meet those the lens of value they have as an image-bearer of God that Christ died to redeem, and that knowing their value should dictate how we treat them. We learn that we need to be willing to surrender all of our convictions and personal views to align with Christ, even if we disagree with Him. With these principles as the foundation, we can start using our influence to make our churches into places where the people we disagree with belong by acknowledging their experiences and learning to empathize with them. This will put you in the best position to walk alongside those who may be walking away from sinful choices or to confront them in a God-honoring way. The principles on how to prepare for and facilitate discussions are insightful and practical, regardless of the type of difficult conversation you are facing. This book needs to become a significant part of the conversation on how to unify churches when people disagree, not just about LGBTQ issues, but about any issue that has the potential to divide us. I was encouraged, impacted, and challenged by this book, and I believe you will be too. Get your copy today!
I was quite excited to hear about the publication of this resource. I became aware of 40 Days for Life and their resources when I first watched the movie Unplanned. After some research, I can to have a lot of respect for this organization and what they do. So when I had the opportunity to read this book through a free trial for Kindle Unlimited, I was excited to read it. This is a great resource addressing many of the flaws in the pro-choice movement. I think this book should be on the shelf of anyone who claims to be pro-life ~ Bethel
Abortion is one of the most controversial topics in American culture. When it comes us in discussion between people that disagree, it has the potential to destroy relationships and reputations. Those that support the pro-life cause struggle with knowing how to engage in discussions with someone pro-choice because of the vigor and repetitiveness of the arguments. Many who believe are pro-life are held back from the discussion by fear, while others don’t hold back and end up doing more harm than good by the methods they use in their discussion. It makes us ask the question: what should I say when someone tries to defend abortion?
In their book What to Say When, author Shawn Carney and Steve Karlen walk pro-life supporters through intentional and grace-filled ways to address many of the most popular arguments in favor of abortion. With years of experience and diligent research, the authors break through the harmful rhetoric of the pro-choice movement and give their readers practical and straightforward tools and insights on how they can bring the discussion about abortion back to the reality of what this procedure does: kill a living baby. You will quickly find that many of pro-choice tactics are become distractions to change the subject, because modern medical knowledge and technology is making it harder and harder for anyone to deny the viability of an unborn child. This book will strengthen any pro-lifer’s resolve by giving them the resources they need to stand on the truth of value of all human life, not matter what way a discussion turns out. This book is well-written and easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how to speak up for the pro-life cause. Get your copy today!
From the moment I heard about this book, I was quite curious about it. Not only because the author was one of my college professors, but also because I was intrigued by the concept behind the book. I was so excited to read it when I got a free trial for Kindle Unlimited and I was not disappointed. Determining which doctrines are essential has been a struggle for me personally, and I was so grateful to have found a framework to determine which ones are essential and which ones are important or preferential. This short but significant book is a resource any Christian should read ~ Bethel
When it comes to what we believe, differences of opinions can become so divisive. This seems to be especially true in the church when it comes to our biblical and doctrinal beliefs. Many of us struggle to prioritize our relationships over standing by our convictions on matters that are not important to our faith. Many of these controversies not only damage individual relationships, but have caused most of the denominational divisions we know today. In truth, the origins of most of these controversies comes down to not knowing which doctrines are essential and which one are essential to our faith. It makes us ask the question: how do we learn how to tell which of our beliefs are essential to our faith?
In his book Christian Convictions, Chad Ragsdale walks his readers through the difference between beliefs that are essential, important, and preferential, to help them better understand the nature of our own beliefs. Through carefully examination, you discover that there are not as many doctrines that are essential as most of us think and that many of us have a tendency to prioritize our belief into the wrong category, which can negatively impact our relationships with people we disagree with. With this short but impactful book, you will be given the tools needed to discern the importance of your doctrines and beliefs and the ability to bridge the gap between other Christians’ personal preferences. This book is one that I highly recommend. Get your copy today.
When I heard about this book, I was excited. Although I hadn’t read a book by Sara yet, I had read some endorsements from other authors I respect and appreciated her work to help teens live passionately for Christ. So I jumped at the opportunity to join the launch team for this book. In the end, I was not disappointed. This book is a great apologetics resource for teens as well as anyone who works with them. I love Sara's courage to stand for the truth but also the compassion she clearly has for those who have struggled or suffered because of the fallen world we live in. I look forward to utilizing this resource for youth ministry and looking into more resources by Sara in the future. If you work with teens, I recommend you do the same ~ Bethel
When it comes to peer pressure, teens in today’s culture deal with more than any generation before them. The culture around them tries to force them to accept the most mainstream views of hot-button topics with the goal of convincing them to believe their version of the story. They are taught that truth is subjective to each person and that they can believe or do whatever they want with absolutely no consequences for themselves or those around them. Christian teens have a more difficult time than ever before trying to figure out how to live in a way that honors the Lord in a culture that tries to convince them that they should honor themselves. It makes us ask the question: is there a way to learn how to stand strong for Christ in today’s culture?
In her book Stand Up, Stand Strong, author Sara Barratt walks Christian teens through how to rethink popular issues in our culture today through a Christian worldview in hopes that they will learn how to stand strong in their convictions. After explaining the concept of a worldview and the consequences of living in a “post-truth” world, Barratt breaks down many areas where the post-truth mentality has taken hold, and explains how the mainstream perspectives hold up against a biblical worldview. With a voice of strength and courage, teens that read this book will be inspired to not only understand why they believe what they believe, but also how to defend it with grace-filled truth. Barratt speaks with both conviction and compassion on many important issues in our culture today, from sexual identity and orientation to injustice and abortion. With discussion questions and recommended readings for each topic addressed, this book is a great resource for high school students who want to build a biblical worldview or adults who want to help youth do the same. Get your copy today!
* I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Teen Friendly Rating. This book is an excellent resource for teens on apologetics and developing a biblical worldview. But there are some sensitive issues discussed, including specific types of sexual sin, abortion, suicide, and assisted suicide. Based on the sensitivity of these topics and some of the abstract concepts related to understanding worldviews, I would recommend this book for teens 15 or older. If your child is younger, I strongly recommend you review the book to make sure your child is mature enough to handle the content.
When I first heard about this book, I was both excited and curious. I really enjoyed the concept of the 5 Love Languages, so I figured that this would also be a great concept. In the end, I was not disappointed. The idea of there being 5 types of apologies, and 5 ways to accept them is revolutionary when it comes to our relationships with others, no matter your age or phase of life you are in. Although I disagree with one of the chapters, I still believe this is a solid resource. I hope they adapt this book to include other phases of life like they did with the books about the love languages. I would recommend it to almost anyone ~ Bethel
Apologizing is one of the hardest things we have to do. Whether it be for small offenses or life-altering mistakes, we all know how hard it is to apologize when we have done something wrong. Sometimes, it’s because we have a hard time admitting that we’ve done something wrong. Other times, we’re afraid that our apology won’t be accepted and the relationship will be stranded. Many of us have experienced the devastation of apologizing, only for that apology to fall on deaf ears and be ignored, even though you apologized the best way you know how. It makes us ask the question: what is the best to apologize to someone I’ve offended?
In the book The Five Apology Languages, authors Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas help their readers understand the nature of apologies and forgiveness by breaking down what they call the “five languages of apology”. In a similar way that Gary Chapman explains the five languages of love in his best-selling book series, this author duo brings awareness to the fact that there are several different ways that someone apologizes. These five apology languages are expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, planned change, and requesting forgiveness. Through an engaging and easy-to-understand presentation, Chapman and Thomas help us see that understanding your apology languages as well as the apology languages of your loved ones will change the dynamic of practically every relationship in your life. Using many biblical principles, his exploration of apology and forgiveness is revolutionary and timely. Including a quiz to help you determine your apology languages as well as tools to help you determine your loved ones’ languages, this is a tool that everyone young and old needs to have at their disposal.
My only criticism of the book is the contents of chapter 11, in which the authors encourage the idea of self-forgiveness. I strongly disagree with this idea. This is because I believe that when a Christian is unable to forgive themselves, they are basically saying that they messed up so bad that they can’t accept Christ’s forgiveness. That is a lie that Satan desperately wants us to believe. Instead of addressing apologies to yourself, you need to address them to God and then fully believe that He has forgiven you. While spending a whole chapter talking about apologizing to yourself, they spend hardly any time discussing apologizing to God when we’ve sinned against Him. I understand that they presented this idea from the perspective of counselors, but to me, this idea is not grounded in good theology.
Aside from my disagreements about self-forgiveness, I still think this is a great book and would recommend it to practically anyone. Get your copy today!
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
If you want to read my review of Gary Chapman's book, The 5 Love Languages (Singles Edition), click here
To read reviews of some other book on the topic of forgiveness, click here
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Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
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