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Uncensored Grace on the Streets of Vegas

by: Newbie

Rating: 5.00

You know the commercial – sensual backdrop – good looking people tossing drinks back, maybe splashing in the pool, embracing in the moonlight – fade to black with the words, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” You have to admit, this is clever marketing. Las Vegas is just one of those notorious cities that conjure up all kinds of things in my mind: gambling, sex, prostitution, nude dancing, drugs, elicit affairs, fat Elvis, gangsters, and of course…CSI. Until now, the grace of God is not one of the things that have crossed my mind when considering Vegas.


In his new book, Stripped: Uncensored Grace on the Streets of Vegas, Pastor Jud Wilhite shares compelling stories of renewed lives that he has witnessed while pastoring Central Christian, one of Sin City’s largest churches. While our culture looks at Vegas and sees the epitome of sin, God looks at Vegas and offers love, grace, mercy and restoration, according to Pastor Jud.   


Stripped has been one of the most personally convicting books I’ve come across in quite a while.  Like most Christians, I admit that my beliefs and behavior do not always walk hand-in-hand. I’m a hypocrite and sinner. As a Christian, I boldly confess that salvation comes by grace through faith in Christ. Our God is gracious and desires to see mankind repent of their ways and trust in his son. And yet I often write people off as hopeless, beyond saving. Thankfully, Jesus does not see us this way. And Pastor Jud’s stories are proof positive of this.


You think your counseling ministry is hard. Try adult entertainers, drug dealers and thieves, teenage junkies, and more. Pastor Jud is in the trenches and the stories of God’s uncensored grace have thankfully not just stayed in Vegas, but are reaching the hearts and minds of other Christians which can only bring encouragement.


Jud quotes Irish rock star, Bono, discussing the radical nature of God’s grace:


“It’s a mind blowing concept that the God who created the universe might belooking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between grace and karma… Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff… I’d be in big trouble if karma was going to finally be my judge… It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.”


This idea of “holding out for grace” permeates every page of this book. Above the author’s office, hangs a giant wide-angle photo of Las Vegas with the words, “Grace City,” emblazoned across it. It’s a bold way of stating that everything is redeemable through the love and power of our God and his amazing grace. Check this book out. It’ll do your heart good.

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Brian is the Director of Music and the Arts for Kaleo Church in San Diego, CA. He is also the owner of the missional worship record label, Semper Reformanda Records (

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