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Messy Truth: How to Foster Community Without Sacrificing Conviction

What should we do?


This is a question many Christians are asking as they face shifting societal norms, conflicting opinions, and often inaccurate scriptural interpretations regarding those who identify as LGBTQ+.
I believe there’s a more helpful question:


What am I willing to do to keep and build influence with ______________?
Our love for others is best measured by the lengths we’ll go to help them. 
As a child raised by three activist gay parents, I've experienced firsthand the outrage of some Christians. That’s why I'm committed to creating a sense of belonging for all people.


People find and follow Jesus better in community than in isolation.
True community only happens when Christians are intentional in infusing their attitudes, systems, and values with grace and truth. This hopeful, practical book offers tools for encouraging church involvement, strengthening personal relationships, increasing empathy, and engaging in pivotal conversations about grace and truth with our whole community.
Fostering a culture of belonging is a messy process, but it holds a massive possibility for everyone involved: a growing relationship with Jesus.

What others are saying...


“The way Caleb has taught us to expand our vision for love, to deepen our walks in grace in messy places, to passionately pursue, love, and commit to God’s church leaves me inspired and smarter.”

—Albert Tate, co-founder and lead pastor of Fellowship Church

“Messy Truth is exactly what the church needs in order to navigate to- day’s murky cultural and relational waters with biblical fidelity and love.”

Karen Swallow Prior, PhD, research professor of English, as well as Christianity & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


“As a culture, we refuse to honor people we disagree with, pretend truth doesn’t exist or run screaming back to our echo chambers to find people who agree with us. Messy Truth gives us a framework to have the meaningful dialogue we so desperately need to foster.”

—Carey Nieuwhof, host of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and author of At Your Best

“As our churches and our world become increasingly polarized on the complicated issues of life, Caleb Kaltenbach’s ideas are a welcome voice of warmth and biblical clarity. Without sacrificing principle, he brings the reader a grace-filled lens of viewing the difficulties we face, which also provides practical skills.”

—John Townsend, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of the Boundaries series


“The church desperately needs wise and winsome guides that can equip us to lavishly love LGBTQ people in the context of very real, very messy churches and ministries. Caleb Kaltenbach is one of those guides!”

—Michelle Sanchez, executive minister of Make & Deepen Disciples at Evangelical Covenant Church denominational executive team

“Messy Truth is a timely wake-up call for the church. It offers a road map for staying faithful to Scripture and being empathetic and gracious toward people in the LGBTQ community and beyond.”

—Sean McDowell, PhD, associate professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology


“Messy Truth provides a most practical guide—through stories, conversations, and tips for church leaders and Christians to show mercy over judgment.”

—DJ Chuang, author of MultiAsian.Church

“With the wisdom of personal experience and the kindness of a pastor’s heart, Caleb helps us to love better across the lines of difference while maintaining our convictions. More than this, he helps us see that it is not in spite of our faith that we love in this way, but because of it.”

—Scott Sauls, senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN


“In Messy Truth, you will grow in your compassion for and conversation with those in the LGBTQ community. Caleb Kaltenbach is a leader and pastor who fosters relationships without sacrificing conviction, and he will teach you to do the same.”

—Kyle Idleman, senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church

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