Dr. Bob Jones III endorses book by convicted child abuser Caleb Thompson

http://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Grace-Caleb-Thompson/dp/1427636842/ref=sr_...

From the way Dr. Jones' recommendation is worded and the blurb for the book, it sounds like there is no acknowledgment of the crime committed. Do they believe that the conviction was unfounded? There is nothing about repentance, which would seem KEY if you're going to write a legitimate book about your experience in prison.

This is disturbing.

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Brent Marshall's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
From the way Dr. Jones' recommendation is worded and the blurb for the book, it sounds like there is no acknowledgment of the crime committed.

From the way your post is worded, it sounds like you might not have read the book. Lest we proceed on assumption, I have a simple question: How much of this book have you read?

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Louise Dan's picture

Brent Marshall wrote:
Louise Dan wrote:
From the way Dr. Jones' recommendation is worded and the blurb for the book, it sounds like there is no acknowledgment of the crime committed.

From the way your post is worded, it sounds like you might not have read the book. Lest we proceed on assumption, I have a simple question: How much of this book have you read?

None. But the whole point of a blurb is to let you know what to expect in a book. And step 1 in such a case would be repentance. Maybe the book includes all that. But I read through the entire website of the brothers and there was NOTHING in the about sections or any updates that gave any indication of repentance. There was much on enduring trials though.

So, they are not PORTRAYING the book as a book about repentance, and that is a very important point. Check it out yourself. Maybe I missed something.

http://www.remembermybonds2.com/

Brent Marshall's picture

The post raises issues with a book . . . except that you have not read the book, only some brief promotional description. On what basis will we discuss the book?

The original post's title takes issue with Dr. Bob Jones III giving a promotional quotation. With so little knowledge of the book, on what basis will we discuss the promotional quotation?

The promotional blurbs do not address points that you expect. We could discuss those blurbs, but as they seem most likely to have been written by promotors, how much will they address your issues as to the author's acknowledgement and repentance? Similarly, we could discuss your expectations for the blurbs, but I do not see that answering your issues either.

So how will this discussion be productive or edifying?

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Louise Dan's picture

Look. This isn't complicated.

I did a little more research. Caleb Thompson maintains he was sent to prison simply for witnessing the discipline of a child. This book is written from the point of view of a martyr and that is what Dr. Jones endorsed -- that he didn't get "bitter" over his jail sentence.

Bitter?! Caleb held the boy down for his brother to whip him with a branch so hard that he ended up in ICU with kidney failure (which, by the way, is not allegation or hearsay but the recorded court record from their trial). There is NOTHING anywhere in any of their correspondence (that you don't have to pay for) about repentance. Maybe, if I pay money to buy their book, I'll finally read that they repented.

Folks, this is real. THIS is REAL! Dr. Bob Jones III endorsed a book written by a guy who held down a youth group kid for his brother to beat so badly that he ended up in ICU. And he doesn't say that this guy made a mistake or is trying to learn and grow and change. He says basically that he's being strong in prison.

I'm reminded of Paul's words in Ephesians 4. Repentance is evidenced when the liar starts speaking truth, the one who steals starts working hard so he can give to others, and so forth. That's the missing piece in all of these allegations, be it Phelps, Janz, or these guys here. When you really recognize your sin and legitimately repent of it, you start becoming an advocate for those you used to abuse. You make a 180 degree change.

These guys may say when you put pressure on them that they don't think it's good to bruise a kid. But they haven't repented. You'll know they've repented when they become advocates for protecting kids from the very thing they used to do to them.

THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL OF THE FAITH. The protection of the poor, the child, the widow, the orphan -- these are fundamental obligations of believers.

dan's picture

All the information about this book, and the one written by the perp's brother, portray them as Godly men enduring hardship. The "About The Author" information seems to imply the incarceration was unjust:

Quote:
Five years into a fourteen year sentence in the Texas State Penitentiary for consenting to the discipline of a child, Caleb opens the dark shades of trial and sheds fresh light on the Grace of God that sustains the soul in its most difficult hour. (emphasis mine)

"Consenting to the discipline of a child" doesn't even sound like a crime. The actual convictions were for "injury to a child" and "aggravated assault with a deadly weapon." That's what should have been in the "About The Author" text. But that probably would have hindered books sales. 1 Peter 2:20 comes to mind--particularly the first half.

It sure looks to me as though Louise's point is obvious.

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy."
G.K. Chesterton

Don Johnson's picture

Louise joined SI when the Concord case first broke and has been writing mainly on a theme ever since. Just look at the history in her profile.

She appears determined to smear fundamentalism in any way she can.

Louise, have you contacted Dr Bob to get his take on this? Do you know if he knew the whole story before giving a blurb for the book? And if you can't get through to Dr Bob personally, you could contact the BJU Public Relations department and ask them. It is a reasonable thing to do, in light of the circumstances.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Louise Dan's picture

It's out of stock, Jim. Doesn't anyone have problems with a guy profiting from his crimes? I'm loathe to buy this book. However, I will look for it on the resale sites.

Don and Jim, have you read through Caleb Thompson's website and the Amazon link? Did you read the tone set by Dr. Bob's review and information on the book?

No, Don. I don't want to smear fundamentalism. However, fundamentalism is smearing itself left and right. And if you want a fundamentalism that means anything in the future, people here must stand up against such atrocious public smears. If you REALLY believe that fundamentalism doesn't generally support the abuse of children, then you should be outraged that Dr. Bob is smearing fundamentalism by endorsing a book by a guy who doesn't take ownership of his very serious abuse of children.

Don Johnson's picture

Yes, Louise, you are on a crusade. Anyone can see it by going to your profile and glancing through your past posts.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

JThomas's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
Louise joined SI when the Concord case first broke and has been writing mainly on a theme ever since. Just look at the history in her profile.

Poison the well much?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_motive

Don Johnson wrote:

She appears determined to smear fundamentalism in any way she can.

Ad Hominem again (like the above statement of yours) . . . . and who cares anyways? God's glory is hardly connected to the positive reputation of Fundamentalism.

Don Johnson wrote:

Louise, have you contacted Dr Bob to get his take on this? Do you know if he knew the whole story before giving a blurb for the book? And if you can't get through to Dr Bob personally, you could contact the BJU Public Relations department and ask them. It is a reasonable thing to do, in light of the circumstances.

Who cares what BJU Public Relations says!
Do you really think they are going to say "Uh, Yes, Bob Jones III endorses child abuse by Fundamentalist Pastors"
No!
It will either be "No Comment", "We will look into that", "Bob Jones III was mislead" (which shows a lack of discernment on his part since the who case can be easily read about on news websites), or "Bob Jones III retracts his endorsement now that someone noticed it"
Public Relations Departments exist to make people look good, not to clarify anything.
"Obfuscate, vacillate, and make 'em look good" - The Public Relations Department Mission Statement.

I knew as soon as I saw this article posted that you would have something posted to defend Bob Jones III. To predictable.

Louise Dan's picture

Here are the official blurbs for the book.

Quote:
Product Description

Has the sun been darkened from your sky? Do you find yourself under a juniper tree? Does an X describe your dismal days? Are you sitting on the ash heap of your life’s labors? This book opens the dark shades of trial and sheds fresh light on the grace of God that sustains the soul in its most difficult hour. The author’s personal experience is sure to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. In this book he invites you to walk with him down the dark corridors, past the menacing faces and threatening barriers, out to a supernatural visitation where you may experience the embrace of grace.

About the Author

Five years into a fourteen-year sentence in the Texas State Penitentiary for consenting to the discipline of a child, the author, Caleb Thompson, at the young age of twenty-eight, writes with his heart and soul from a prison cell. He grew up a PK (preacher’s kid) in Austin, Texas, and served as the evangelistic outreach pastor at Capitol City Baptist Church prior to his incarceration. His heart throbs for Jesus Christ! He is quoted saying: I didn’t really know that God was all I needed until He was all I had. To read more visit: remembermybonds.com

Here is Dr. Jones' endorsement.

Quote:
"Caleb Thompson’s book on God’s grace has a ring of authenticity to it, more than any I’ve read on the subject. The circumstance under which he wrote it provided a seedbed which could have grown either bitterness or grace. It grew grace; and from prison, that beautiful bloom of God’s grace is unfolded and expounded. The richness of God’s grace is real to Caleb, and he makes it real to us.” – Bob Jones III

Louise Dan's picture

If I concede Don's points against me, can we stop discussing them and get back to the point at hand? I only disagree with the motivation he attributes to me. I don't want to smear fundamentalism. I want to see positive peer pressure in fundamentalism to correct the things that naturally smear it. But I fully admit I don't care much about communion cups or Easter nomenclature. I do care deeply about a good response on these real controversies that are ruining the reputation of fundamentalism which were brought to light through the events in Concord.

So, having read the product description, about the author, and Dr. Jones' endorsement, do you think there is anything concerning?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

but outright objections. I object to the use of "remember my bonds" as the web address. I agree that 1 Peter 2:20 should be the guiding premise here. These young men suffered justice, not persecution. There is nothing of repentance that I can discern on Caleb's http://www.remembermybonds2.com/index.cfm?i=11487&mid=25&blogid=3533&com... ]What I've Learned page. What did he do- take a class on "How to use insipid cliches" in prison? One would hope he'd learned that beating a troubled boy to the point of requiring hospitalization is a bad thing. Sheesh.

I can't comment on what Bob Jones III knows or doesn't know about these men, but after reading the Thompson's website and the news articles about their crime, one should be very, very careful about making recommendations. Hopefully there is something in the book that does indicate that these young men understand that what they did was wrong, and that they feel genuine remorse. But presenting themselves on their website and in the book descriptions as martyrs of a sort is exceedingly inappropriate and shameful.

Don Johnson's picture

That sounds like a lot of 'apologies' these days: "If I offended you..."

Louise, you are consistently trying to make it look like Fundamentalists are guilty of massive cover-ups of child abuse. You are constantly trying to bring this subject into almost every discussion you enter here.

Your only focus of attack is on incidents that involve fundamentalists in some way.There is no mention or concern of the many hundreds of abuses among evangelicalism, or the countless abuses that exist outside of professing Christianity.

You are trying to paint fundamentalism as if it is unusually guilty of such crimes. At worst, it is no more guilty than the population at large, but likely less guilty.

I agree that there should be zero tolerance for child abuse, etc.

You appear to be advocating zero tolerance for fundamentalists.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Louise Dan's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

Your only focus of attack is on incidents that involve fundamentalists in some way.There is no mention or concern of the many hundreds of abuses among evangelicalism, or the countless abuses that exist outside of professing Christianity.

Why would I talk about problems in evangelicalism unless I was around evangelicals? I think you and I have a very different view on with whom you should talk about problems. If I have a problem with fundamentalists, it makes sense to me that I talk about it with fundamentalists. Though I do understand it is often the fundamentalist way to only talk about others' problems amongst ourselves.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Louise's motives have been discussed enough here. The topic is how this book is being marketed and recommended. If someone has the book itself and can comment on its actual content, that would be a big plus.

We also can't comment much as to Bob Jones III's motives either, because we don't know what he knows or doesn't know about this incident or this book.

If you have any information that would be helpful, please include a link to your source. Thanks.

End official moderator note.

Brent Marshall's picture

Let me be clear. The conduct for which the brothers were convicted is evil and reprehensible. Other instances of such conduct, as well as sexual abuse, whether or not yet discovered, is evil and reprehensible. That it is happening within Christian churches that take the name Baptist and choose the label fundamentalist is evil and reprehensible. Period.

How we go after such evil is also important.

The good and right end of combating this evil is not itself sufficient justification of the means we employ. The means here are disturbing.

Louise, you are developing this as you go. Your post started with the innuendo and implied accusations before you read the book. Now that questions have been raised (and mostly left unanswered), you have done, in your words, "a little more research." That is backwards. It is also uncomfortably close to the methods of the apologists for abusers who employ innuendo and implied accusations against accusers before they make proper inquiry. Please, please, please! In your zeal to go after the evil that exists, do not let yourself fall into that. You owe it to the cause to do better.

Are there underlying problems with repentance here? That could be. But on what basis will we judge at this point? Just promotional blurbs?

dan wrote:
"Consenting to the discipline of a child" doesn't even sound like a crime. The actual convictions were for "injury to a child" and "aggravated assault with a deadly weapon." That's what should have been in the "About The Author" text. But that probably would have hindered books sales.

This illustrates my point. For all we know, this was written by a promoter. Does it reflect the author's thinking? We do not know at this point.

To the issue of acknowledgment, I will note that I looked at some of the articles on the background link Louise listed and found in http://www.religionnewsblog.com/7146/pastor-brother-sentenced-to-prison-... ]an article tied to the AP and Dallas Morning News a statement that "both acknowledged during trial that what they did was wrong."

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Louise Dan's picture

Susan R wrote:
Louise's motives have been discussed enough here. The topic is how this book is being marketed and recommended. If someone has the book itself and can comment on its actual content, that would be a big plus.

We also can't comment much as to Bob Jones III's motives either, because we don't know what he knows or doesn't know about this incident or this book.

If you have any information that would be helpful, please include a link to your source. Thanks.

End official moderator note.

By the way, I have contacted the BJU public relations department to ask for a comment. However, they never responded when I asked for a sexual abuse policy after they hired Dan Nelson for the Academy. But maybe they will respond to this request.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Quote:
...the brothers beat Guerrero, now 12, so badly on July 3, 2002, that he spent a week in intensive care under the threat of kidney failure and needed a blood transfusion.

During the trial, jurors saw graphic photos of the boy’s back with red and purple bruises and blood spots from scrapes or puncture wounds.

The brothers admitted the beating but disputed the blow count and its intensity.... he didn’t intend to inflict serious injuries.


I'm sorry, but you have to be so many bricks shy of a load that you couldn't build a hot dog stand to inflict this kind of damage and then get all disingenuous about it. I think when you start seeing blood, it should be A CLUE.

The underlying premise here is whether someone should benefit from their crimes. I suppose that on the one hand, you have testimonies like those on Unshackled, for instance, that are amazing illustrations of God's grace and mercy- but how those testimonies are presented is where the line between good and bad taste gets drawn. You can read the brother's website and decide for yourself if they cross that line.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Perhaps what Louise is looking for is in the book after all. This quote came from a news article covering the trial and subsequent sentencing of Caleb and his brother. It states:

Quote:
Neither man had a criminal record before their conviction and both acknowledged during trial that what they did was wrong.

In another article, this:

Quote:
“I was totally, totally, totally, totally wrong,” Joshua Thompson said, “to take a little child and strike him on the back.”

and
Quote:
"he said he knowingly violated church policy against corporal punishment for students"

Perhaps Louise would be wise to follow the admonition of Proverbs 25:2 before she continues this thread -- read the book before leveling any more accusations.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Louise Dan's picture

Your specific quote is Joshua Thompson. Dr. Bob endorsed the book of Caleb Johnson, his brother. So we have one statement from a newspaper that Caleb acknowledged that "what he did was wrong." If that's the case, there seems no point in this book from a I Peter 2:20 perspective.

Quote:
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

UNLESS the book is about what repentance looked like in his life. However, though he apparently admitted some level of wrong doing in front of the judge who was about to sentence him, he does NOT now admit it on his web page or his author profile. Nor does Dr. Jones acknowledge it in his endorsement.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The way promotional blurbs work is they are usually done as a favor to someone known to the author, agent, or publisher, and not necessarily because they read the book. That's why we can't read into Dr. Jones' endorsement at this point.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
Your specific quote is Joshua Thompson. Dr. Bob endorsed the book of Caleb Johnson, his brother. So we have one statement from a newspaper that Caleb acknowledged that "what he did was wrong." If that's the case, there seems no point in this book from a I Peter 2:20 perspective.

Quote:
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

UNLESS the book is about what repentance looked like in his life. However, though he apparently admitted some level of wrong doing in front of the judge who was about to sentence him, he does NOT now admit it on his web page or his author profile. Nor does Dr. Jones acknowledge it in his endorsement.

Louise,

I don't know what the book contains. That's the point, neither do you. And if your reading of the quotes I provided is any indication of your inquiry regarding the book, you leave yourself suspect. If you will look again at the first quote, both men have acknowledged they were wrong.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Louise Dan's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
If you will look again at the first quote, both men have acknowledged they were wrong.

Yes. Caleb Thompson definitely acknowledged he was wrong IN COURT BEFORE A JUDGE WHO WAS ABOUT TO SENTENCE HIM.

But now that he has nothing to gain from acknowledging he was wrong, he claims to be in prison for simply "being present at the discipline of a child."

Chip, this is pretty clear. HOWEVER, I have asked the BJU public relations department for a comment and I will let you know if they respond.

Brent Marshall's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
Yes. Caleb Thompson definitely acknowledged he was wrong IN COURT BEFORE A JUDGE WHO WAS ABOUT TO SENTENCE HIM.

Louise, when during the court proceedings did Caleb acknowledge his wrong: on the witness stand or at sentencing?

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Louise,

As I said, I do not know Caleb's heart, or what is in the book. So I am not necessarily defending him. That said, you seem unwilling to deal with the mote in your own eye. You are unwilling to accept an offender may be repentant. You are unwilling to acknowledge repentance when it is offered. You defy Scripture in refusing forgiveness and in judging the heart. The louder you cry about the sins of others here, the more starkly you portray your own sin. Your cause would be better served if you left it to others to pursue.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Louise Dan's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Louise,

As I said, I do not know Caleb's heart, or what is in the book. So I am not necessarily defending him. That said, you seem unwilling to deal with the mote in your own eye. You are unwilling to accept an offender may be repentant. You are unwilling to acknowledge repentance when it is offered. You defy Scripture in refusing forgiveness and in judging the heart. The louder you cry about the sins of others here, the more starkly you portray your own sin. Your cause would be better served if you left it to others to pursue.

This is classic deflection from the point at hand. The way to ignore public sin is to accuse the person bringing it to your attention of false motives. No, actually, Rome IS burning. I'm just pointing out the smoke.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Louise,

As I said, I do not know Caleb's heart, or what is in the book. So I am not necessarily defending him. That said, you seem unwilling to deal with the mote in your own eye. You are unwilling to accept an offender may be repentant. You are unwilling to acknowledge repentance when it is offered. You defy Scripture in refusing forgiveness and in judging the heart. The louder you cry about the sins of others here, the more starkly you portray your own sin. Your cause would be better served if you left it to others to pursue.

This is classic deflection from the point at hand. The way to ignore public sin is to accuse the person bringing it to your attention of false motives. No, actually, Rome IS burning. I'm just pointing out the smoke.

Classic phariseeism focuses on the sins of others while ignoring one's own sin.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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