WRITTEN UPON THE HEART: The Ten Commandments for Christian Reader
Anthony J. Tomasino
Kregel, 208 pages, $11.99

For evangelicals there are generally two equal and opposite errors made regarding God's Big Ten: We either emphasize them with fundamentalist zeal to the exclusion of grace, or we use Jesus' New Covenant as an escape clause for not having to deal with them at all. Neither approach is a good idea.

But what role should the Commandments play in the Christian life? Tomasino's Written upon the Heart is a breezy but careful study that seeks to help contemporary readers grasp the ongoing relevance of God's Law. A pastor and scholar of ancient Israel, the author has a firm grasp of both the historical and theological context of the Ten Commandments.

He wants us to see that we are to live not by the letter of the Law but according to the principles behind it.

"Each commandment epitomizes some principle designed to help us live out our covenant obligations to God," he writes.

In making his point, Tomasino manages to touch on a variety of tricky subjects—from religious pluralism to the Holy Spirit's role in our sanctification—with satisfying precision.

Along the way, he also explores how particular commandments might inform hazy ethical issues like birth control, gossip, workaholism.

For too many people—Christians included—the Ten Commandments have become the religious equivalent of a speed-limit sign: the strictly enforced commands (i.e., murder, theft) retain our attention, but the others are often ignored. Tomasino challenges our indifference.

Related Elsewhere:

Written Upon the Heart.can be ordered through Christianbook.com and other book retailers.

Kregel Publishers offers a bit of information about the ...

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