Book Review: The Ten Commandments

In The Ten Commandments, Kevin DeYoung encourages Christians to practice and love the Ten Commandments as God’s divine instructions for living a life of abundance. DeYoung asserts that all Ten Commandments are still binding and relevant to believers today despite being instituted in the Old Testament times thousands of years ago. The main reason is that these ten statutes were part of Jesus’ teachings as He provides clarifications on the principles behind the commands such as explaining how the sixth commandment forbids not only physical murder but also an angry heart. Moreover, Christian believers throughout the centuries have always held the Ten Commandments as being the golden moral standard for believers as can be seen in the historic creeds and catechisms such as the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Catechism. Each commandment is discussed separately over the ten chapters and a compilation of study questions are available at the end of the book. DeYoung attempts to provide a high level approach to considering the various dimensions of each commandment by drawing on a broad assortment of sources ranging from the writings of the early church fathers to the characters of a popular author’s novel. Overall, the insights that DeYoung provides are prudent and largely applicable to the myriad of challenging temptations that Christians today face in trying to obey the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, the author writes in a winsome manner and light-hearted style making the book a readable primer on this important topic.

I recommend this book to all Christians as the Ten Commandments are the foundation and summary of God’s law. Many of us can recall the majority of the commands and perhaps declare that we do not contravene most of these statutes outright. However, Jesus calls us to examine our hearts to see how each of us fails to obey due to our sinful nature and fleshly desires that oppose the ways of God. The Ten Commandments show us how far we are from God’s standard and how much we need Christ as our Saviour as He is the only One who can obey all of God’s law perfectly. Moreover, the good news of the gospel is that God’s law is now written in our hearts through the Spirit’s indwelling work that empowers us to progressively grow in holiness each and every day. Thus, we ought to view the Ten Commandments not as an impossible benchmark that we always fail to meet but as a compelling vision of how we will one day perfectly obey God in every single way when we see Him face to face.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Crossway.

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Book Review: From Chaos to Cosmos

BLOG Chaos

In From Chaos to Cosmos, Sidney Greidanus brings readers along a journey through Scripture detailing the theme of chaos-cosmos from Genesis to Revelation. The author first defines the terms “cosmos” and “chaos” with the former being associated with harmony and order while the latter is described as formlessness and disorder. Greidanus argues against the tendency to attribute darkness and evil to chaos as he points out that the pre-creation chaos in Genesis 1 is not evil but disorder. Throughout the book, we learn how the conflicts between chaos and cosmos in different contexts of Scripture all point us to the biblical metanarrative in which chaos turns to cosmos. The main premise of the chaos-cosmos theme is that God creates a world that was cosmos but through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all of creation is subject to chaos as evil and sin enters the world. From Genesis to Revelation, we find glimpses of cosmos in God’s redemptive actions through events, symbols, and people such as Noah and his family in the flood, Moses in leading the Israelites out of Egypt, and the Holy Spirit empowering the believers at Pentecost. The most decisive breakthrough of cosmos is in the incarnation of Christ who ushers in the kingdom of heaven to bring hope to all who struggle in the chaos of sin and death. Because of the hope that we have, we can look forward to the final consummation of true cosmos in the new heaven and new earth where chaos will no longer exist as we will be in God’s presence forever. The book is broken into four main sections with the first two highlighting occurrences of chaos and cosmos in various genres of the Old Testament while the third section focuses on New Testament examples. The last section is on how to teach the chaos-cosmos theme using different approaches such as redemptive-historical progression and typology. In addition, an appendix with reading assignment suggestions is included which will likely be helpful to those using the book for small groups or Sunday School class.

I recommend this book to both new and old believers as the chaos-cosmos theme is one of the most prominent currents of biblical theology. Greidanus is a masterful teacher in simply bringing the reader’s attention to what the Bible says but allowing the Bible to speak for itself as the Word of God. Moreover, his love for the church is seen in his desire to equip others to teach this subject well. When we familiarize ourselves with this imperative theme, we can identify with the people of God throughout history who have experienced the struggle between cosmos and chaos. Moreover, we can find comfort, joy, and encouragement in the hope that there will be day where cosmos is ultimately restored when Jesus returns. Thus, the Christian life is not a brief interruption that we grudgingly endure while we wait to go home to our Father. Rather, our lives on earth allows us to participate in God’s story in which He is making all things new from chaos to cosmos.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Crossway.