Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Starting at the Finish Line by John B. Wallace

Wallace was a Mormon for twenty years and many of his family and friends are still Mormon. He no longer believes Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, nor that the Book of Mormon is a legitimate document of historical value, nor that the LDS Church is the only true church. He shares his own joy of hearing the gospel after twenty years of trying to be good enough in God's eyes.

This book is not an attack on Mormonism. Rather, it is a defense of the gospel, trusting Jesus alone for salvation. Contrary to Mormon belief, Wallace show that the Bible has, in fact, been correctly translated and is reliable (the eighth Article of Faith). He explains the gospel and compares Mormon writings to it. He shows the dramatic difference between the Jesus of the Bible and that of Mormonism. He does the same with the cross. He clarifies that salvation is a gift. He looks at Galatians and the danger of mixing works with faith but does clarify the place of works in a believer's life. He also writes about sin, forgiveness, and security in salvation.

I was pleased with Wallace's attention to detail as he reviews the LDS teaching. He includes many quotes from Mormon documents.

This book is definitely for Mormons. It would be a great book to give to a Mormon you know. Wallace shares his own experience of coming to trust in Jesus alone for his salvation. He has a real heart for Mormons and that comes through well in the book.

For Christians, this book is a good reminder of the truth of the gospel and a good revelation of what the Mormons teach. I was surprised to read this quote from Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth president of the LDS church. “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (Page 80 of this book, p. 206 in MoF) This book is also helpful for Christians in that Wallace explains areas where Mormons misunderstand what Christians say, so that would help in conversation.

The title of the book? “Christianity is the only religion (although I hate to use that word) that starts at the finish line. Salvation is guaranteed up front.” (111)

You can find out more, including reading an excerpt, and buy the book at http://www.startingatfinishline.com/.

Dr. John Wallace was an active member of the LDS church for two decades but in the last twenty years has come to see the beauty of simply being a follower of Jesus Christ. A practicing dentist in Southern California, he is active in his church, Calvary Chapel Westgrove. Reaching out to transitioning Mormons remains the primary focus of his personal ministry.

Pomona House Publishing 202 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Barnabas Agency for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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