Book Review: “The Embrace of Grace” (Caleb D. Thompson)

I first learned about “The Embrace of Grace” by Caleb D. Thompson from a lady that was teaching one of the ladies’ groups at my church’s Reformers Unanimous chapter. She used a portion of the book as her devotional for that evening, and I was struck with a sense of wonder and humility when I heard a brief summary of what the author was going through during this period (when the book was written, and even now) and how he responded to it.

Caleb is a pastor’s son, worked at his church’s Christian school, and is currently serving out a 14-year prison sentence for consenting to disciplining a child attending the Christian school, while his twin brother, Joshua, is currently serving out a 24-year sentence. Five years into his 14-year sentence, Caleb wrote a book – “The Embrace of Grace.”

This book is amazing. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s raw and honest. It’s real. It’s full of surrender, peace, grace, and thanksgiving. It’s full of Father’s purpose. “Father” – that’s how Caleb refers to His gracious Savior. Not “Our Heavenly Father.”  Not “the Lord.”  Not “God.”  He calls Him “Father.”  As in: “Only simple faith in Father’s mercy and love allows us to perceive them as rods of our jealous Lord contending with the many lovers on earth for our pure, unadulterated affection” (on trials and affliction).

In the preface He tells the story of how his wife emotionally, yet earnestly, asked him one morning: “Caleb, I want to ask Father to break us, but I’m afraid of what might happen. I just don’t want to live a lukewarm, average, American Christian life! I’m just concerned that the comforts we enjoy will keep us from reaching our potential in the Kingdom of God.”  The day was July 3, 2002 the morning they prayed together – rather, she  prayed while Caleb listened. They had only been married 3 months. That was the day their lives would be changed forever.

But that wasn’t all.  A little over a year into his sentence, his bride’s visitation rights were restricted because of a minor infraction. It was two long years before he would be allowed to embrace his wife again.

Caleb takes you into the deepest part of the Texas State Penitentiary, walks the dark corridors, and shares the chilling events that he experiences while behind bars. But more than that, he shares the lessons that God has taught him. He shares the extended grace he’s experienced through the purposed trials that God has appointed unto him. He shares his humbled heart, his strengthened soul – he shares with you the goodness of Father.

You’ll become enraged. You’ll cry. You’ll laugh. You’ll be encouraged and given a new sense of the purpose of trials. I highly encourage you read this book. It will help you. It will teach you things that you will need to know when you face the bitterest of trials. It will show you what it is like to rest in Father’s everlasting embrace of grace.

“Whether it is an infirmity, a reproach, or a necessity you cannot avoid, whatever describes your trial, do not resent it. Do not underestimate it. Accept it as from the Lord and let Him display His grace in your need, His strength in your weakness.”
~ Caleb D. Thompson, The Embrace of Grace

This book is rather hard to find – as of right now you have to buy it from Caleb’s home church’s website, which I’ve provided the link for you. Just click the title of the book to be redirected there: “The Embrace of Grace” (Caleb D. Thompson). To learn more about how Caleb and Joshua are currently doing, visit their website {here}.


Posted on January 15, 2011, in Book Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I do enjoy your writing and thought provoking articles,

    God bless,

  2. The real question, that you left unanswered, is why are these people in jail? I think that is extremely pertinent to the book and sheds a lot of light on their ‘trials.’

    Please see the following:

    “In July of 2002, Joshua and Caleb Thompson (sons of the late pastor Hank Thompson) were working at the Capitol City Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas when they decided that an 11-year-old boy who had had read the wrong Bible verses needed to be punished.”

  3. “That was the day their lives would be changed forever.”

    You mean that was the day that Caleb decided to hold down an 11 year old boy while his brother savagely beat him so bad he had to be hospitalized?

    Is that the day to which you are referring?

  4. Do you think he told the boy he beat not to resent the beating? Most likely, but then you probably would tell that boy to “just Grow Up and take it with Grace”

  5. I know there are a lot of respected men in the fundamentalist world lauding these books, but what these guys did in the name of “discipline” was criminal and does not demonstrate Christ in any way, shape or form. Please don’t just take their word for what the crime was – look at the actual trial records online. It was child abuse in the worst possible way, and they deserve every day in jail they get; they are not their being persecuted for their faith.

  6. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. …

  1. Pingback: Happy {1 year} Blogiversary! « Grow Up!

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