Book Review – On Common Ground by Vincent DiGirolamo

Bridging the Mormon Evangelical DivideVincent DiGirolamo has written “On Common Ground” in an attempt to bridge the divide that often exists between those of different religious persuasions. DiGirolamo sets out to address beliefs shared in common among people of all faiths. He maintains that there is a common ground of beliefs, principles, and values, from the scriptures accepted by all who call themselves Christians. It is this principle-centered approach that is followed throughout the format and contents of the book. These principles are arranged topically.The book includes 2,000 principles cataloged and arranged under 1500 topics headings. The recent upsurge in interest in Latter-day Saint beliefs gave DiGirolamo the impetus, he needed, to compile the material included in this important effort to bridge the Mormon Evangelical Divide.The principles addressed under the topical headings are drawn directly from the King James Version of the Bible or from additional Latter Day Saint Scriptures. No commentary or interpretation is provided other than the referenced Bible verses and reference sites of the Mormon writings, this is to help establish those principles that are common in practice and are determined to be shared beliefs.This approach will not only help to clear up misconceptions but will encourage a deeper exploration into these Biblical principles. It is the authors hope that this will in turn foster a greater understanding of the commonality among those pursing an active meaningful Christian experience. “On Common Ground” has given me insight into a new approach to examining Biblical principles in my own personal Bible Study.I found Vincent’s own personal journey to faith interesting. He was raised Catholic, and converted to Mormonism. He shares a personal and intimate spiritual experience this way: “On bended knee I asked God in earnest one evening, having studied it out in my own mind. Is Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament? That day I received my answer with all the warm feelings of my heart – Yes, He is – and I now knew it for myself and not from any other source.”This courageous step to “Bridging the Mormon Evangelical Divide” is admirable. I want to commend Vincent DiGirolamo for taking this first step in a worthy effort for Christians to take a solid stand “On Common Ground.”Under the topic “Deceive” Vincent asks us the reader to consider the warning found in Matthew 24:23, 24. “…For there shall arise false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Another exhortation under this topic is found in Ephesians 4:14. “Be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with the wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive.”While there are many common principles that can be agreed on among Mormon and Evangelicals, as Christian believers we must be careful to preserve sound doctrine and to acknowledge that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God, the promised Messiah.As reviewed for Midwest Book Review