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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