Malmin, Mark. Turning Adversity into Success. Bloomington: Bethany Press, 2009. 256 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Mark Malmin grew up as a missionary and preacher’s kid. He then joined the Army. Upon finishing his time in the Army, he worked as a police officer in the San Francisco/San Jose area for twenty-eight years. He retired in 2006 and now “lives the good life” with his family in San Jose.
Turning Adversity into Success is based on his understanding of Scripture’s application to every day life struggles.
Divided into ten chapters, Malmin uses his experience as a police officer to show how the law sets us up for the need of One to rescue us from ourselves. He begins with an introduction to who he is as well as the doctrinal framework from which he is writing. Chapter 2 looks at why sin is such a big deal while chapter 3 offers a clear gospel presentation.
Chapters 4-10 offer encouragement and exhortation to the believer as s/he continues on the journey in life this side of eternity. Questions like “What makes this journey so hard if I’m doing the right things?” and “How do I get there from here?” are answered in a conversational tone mixed with instruction, application, and the author’s own personal experiences. All of this to let you know that you are not alone on this journey.
The first chapter is extremely important in understanding the foundation of this book. While Malmin offers a two-fold approach of his personal life experiences and biblical principles, it is important to know that his doctrinal persuasion is one that is a little more charismatic than not. I say this not to draw attention to the differences but to say that understanding this will aid the reader as he reads through Turning Adversity into Success.
What is more, Mark does not make his doctrine the means by which one knows they are saved. Again, this is key. What he does do regularly is to point the reader to Christ and to show them how to take the trials of life, influenced by a biblical perspective and use them to grow in Christ.
His style is both comforting and challenging. His sense of humor is evident but so is his sincerity of heart. The conversational tone gives the feeling of one sitting in a large group discussing life with a man who has more experience and wisdom.
For some, the charismatic doctrines will be a hindrance, to those people, I would not recommend this resource for the point of the book will be missed completely. To others, I commend this resource as one that will offer a different perspective than perhaps your own. You will be able to relate to the author in many areas and will find that you will begin to look anew at the challenges and mistakes in life as a means to your sanctification.