Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: John B. Wallace
Publisher: Pomona House Publishing
“Christianity is the only religion (although I hate to use that word) that starts at the finish line. Salvation is guaranteed up front! And every bit of obedience and good work flows from that salvation as opposed to the LDS teaching, which is that obedience and good works are necessary for salvation,” John B. Wallace states in his book, Starting at the Finishing Line: The Gospel of Grace for Mormons.
At two hundred and twenty-nine pages, this paperback targets those interested in knowing the differences between Mormon and Christian beliefs. After acknowledgements and a preface, six sections compare the two religions, ending with two appendices. With the New American Standard Bible used, also the NIV, KJV, and NRSV versions are included along with quotes taken from the Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and well-known theologians.
An an active member of an LDS church for twenty years, the writer values how the last twenty years as a born-again Christian is the true answer to eternal salvation.
Chapters begin with the author’s affiliation with the Latter-Day Saints and how he lovingly cherishes his family and church roots. He states the second section on the defense of the Bible is the main part that matters as he writes about the LDS’s eighth Article of Faith claiming the Bible is not translated correctly, allowing a “pick and choose” system. Using Biblical facts, archeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Word of God is infallible, reliable, and complete.
The dilemma mentioned in the third section discusses how God is holy, but we are not; it is not about us being worthy to accept God’s grace, it is His total free gift of salvation. It is about Him, not us, and we cannot become future gods.
The solutions in the next two sections show a marked difference between Mormonism and Christianity regarding Jesus, the Cross, the sufficiency of His blood, and salvation based on works and obedience versus only salvation through grace. Although Mormons believe they must work to be accepted by Christ into His kingdom, Christians willing obey based on realizing how much He did on the cross by shedding His blood, covering all sins.
While Mormons think Christianity is overly simplistic by only believing, Christians can get caught up in believing they do not have to be accountable. One must realize it is only trusting in God, not self.
Wallace does an excellent job encouraging Mormons to understand the inconsistencies in their religion and how Christians can solidify their beliefs while learning about another religion’s differences.
Thanks to B & B Media for furnishing this book at no charge in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.