Mini Book Review: The Ten Commandments: Manual for the Christian Life


I recently finished reading “The Ten Commandments: Manual for the Christian Life.”  The author, J. Douma, is an internationally respected theologian, known for his insightful and careful application of Scripture in relation to today’s moral issues. He is a minister among the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (liberated) and Professor of Ethics at the Theological University in Kampen. This book is actually 3 volumes taken from  a 15 volume series of books written by Douma in the Dutch language entitled Ethische Bezinning  which translates to Ethical or Moral Reflection in English.   The 3 volumes were first published together  in Dutch, as De Tien Geboden: Handreiking voor het Christelijk leven.  Ok that is enough of the history…

As the title states, the Ten Commandments (the commandments not this book)  really are a manual for the Christian life, relevant to all thought and practice. In this book, Douma addresses the current issues of our time with great attention to detail and unwavering faithfulness to God’s Word. His commentary of the ten commandments cover many issues from Sunday observance, to abortion and euthanasia, to sexual immorality and a host of other issues that are relevant for today.  I have been told the Ethische Bezinning  was written for pastors and theologians, but I can certainly attest that even a simple Christian layperson will gain much wisdom and direction from the careful explanation and practical application of each commandment found in this book.

RC Sproul gives it a hearty endorsement: “When the law of god is eclipsed, the gospel is obscured. This book imparts the light of the law with such clarity that the character of God is made wonderfully plain to us.”

This book would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s bookshelf.  I highly recommend it.

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