Friday, July 25, 2014

Starting at the Finish Line: The Gospel of Grace for Mormons

Book Information:
  • Publisher: Pomona House Publishing, LLC
  • ISBN: 9780991462209
  • Page Count:  229
Starting at the Finish Line seeks to declare the Good News of the gospel in a way that sounds like “good news” to the Latter-day Saint. It does this by 1) establishing the authority and “correctness” of our modern Bible, 2) explaining how we are saved by the grace of God when we put our full faith and trust in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, and in His blood alone, and, 3) exposing the dangers of trying to contribute to our own salvation by adding obedience and good works to the finished work of Christ on the cross. This message, to the devout Latter-day Saint, is overly simplistic and offensive. But to the struggling Mormon or to those who have already left the Mormon faith and find themselves lost in a sea of confusion…music to their ears! God gives eternal life to all those who will but receive it in faith.
My Impressions:  
Great straight forward, no nonsense book. Excellent examples on how to properly share our faith with those who worship the same God and Christ as we do, but have a warped sense of Jesus' grace, redemption and love for us.

I can relate to Mormonism's work-based salvation in a sense. Growing up I never went to church, it was not until my mid twenties that I started attending church and I remember thinking  that there are alot of rules I have to follow to earn my salvation.  Some of the "rules" are pretty easy on the surface, but I remember thinking why even bother with God there is no way I can ever measure up and be "good enough" to keep my salvation no matter how hard I try.  In the eyes of God I am a dirty liar, thief, adulterer. I have stolen in my life, I have lied and i have looked upon another lustfully. If I weigh m life by Gods standards I am not even on the measuring stick. Mormons are stuck in this same destructive patten of thinking.

This is such a dark contrast compared to Christians grace-based salvation, where we are known by our fruits, but not saved by them. What a change my life took when this concept finally sank into my thick head. That is the beauty of Wallace's book. It focus is on grace provided by Christ for our sinful nature. We will never and can never be good enough for Christ. The most righteous person you can think of is not good enough for Christ. Wallace realizes this and approaches this book from the view point and emotions of the Mormon. Using their terminology he addresses the key issue missing from their faith-Jesus' grace-instead of attacking their religion.

This is a great resource we can all use if we have friend's of the Mormon faith. Starting at the Finish Line does just that, it starts with Gods grace that He gave us through His son Jesus Christ. Christianity is the example of living a life by faith, through grace and not of our own doing.  Wallace's testimony is beautiful, full of love and heartfelt. Providing us with essential tools we need as Christians to reach out to those who desperately need to know and feel the healing power of Gods grace.
About the Author:
Dr.John Wallace was an active member of the Mormon church for twenty years, serving a full-time mission to Argentina in the mid-80′s, and holding a variety of leadership positions within the church. But in 1993, John walked away from Mormonism, owing mainly to his deep concerns regarding Mormon temple worship and the unique doctrine of the literal deification of man: “As God is, man may become.” After several years of “self-imposed atheism”, John came back to his original roots and began to search the Bible for answers. Reading the Bible without the filter of religion, and attending a non-denominational, Bible-teaching church, John came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. He came to realize that it is not at all about religion, but rather a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. It was only after his born-again experience that John felt the compelling need to reach back to his LDS family and friends in order to share the astounding truth that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.” John is a practicing dentist in Southern California as well as Director of Singles Ministry at his home church, Calvary Chapel Westgrove. Dr. Wallace is available to speak to churches and organizations, and is considered an expert in the area of witnessing to Latter-day Saints.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Pomona House Publishing, LLC via Cross  Focus Reviews in exchange for my honest review and opinion which I have given. 
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