Ex-priest, Richard Bennett (bereanbeacon.org), presents another collection of testimonies from ex-Catholics who left their works-righteousness religion and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. In two previous books Bennett culled the testimonies of ex-priests (Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Catholic Priests) and ex-nuns (The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories) but On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics mostly presents the stories of laypeople.
Each contributor speaks of being born into a Catholic family and being indoctrinated into the Catholic religion of sacramental grace and merit. Catholicism is a religious treadmill of constantly striving to live in a “state of grace” by participating in the sacraments and adhering to church rules. In Catholicism, tradition is given much greater precedence over God’s Word. Few Catholics read the Bible. When they examined the Bible the contributors were surprised to find that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. They all accepted Christ and left their works-righteousness religion.
This is a valuable collection that will bless Catholics who are searching for Christ and for Christians who have already come out of Rome. The theology doesn’t get too deep but the contrast between Catholicism’s salvation by merit and Biblical salvation through Christ alone is the overriding message. A couple of the contributors were familiar to me. The late Jim Tetlow wrote a couple of books on Romanism (“Messages from Heaven” and “Queen of All”). Joe Mizzi’s website (justforcatholics.org) is devoted to reaching Catholics. A few of the testimonies get a bit lost in the weeds and could have used some editing. One argues too adamantly for the doctrine of predestination while a couple of others push the “KJV-only” viewpoint.
These days many Evangelical pastors and parachurch leaders are jostling in line to embrace the pope and works-righteousness Catholics as fellow Christians so it’s a blessing to see that there are still a few witnesses like Richard Bennett who distinguish between the Gospel of grace and the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit. As the Evangelical apostasy continues with pastors praising the pope and Catholic theologians from the pulpit those who take a stand against Rome will be increasingly marginalized. Bennett also wrote Catholicism: East of Eden, Insights into Catholicism for the 21st Century.
I was able to purchase a copy of “On the Wings of Grace Alone” directly from the publisher, Solid Ground Christian Books (solid-ground-books.com), at a very favorable new-book discount.