I did not read the entirety of this thick tome, but I read significant chunks of it that were of interest to me as I listened to Frame's ethics course from Reformed Seminary, which is available free at iTunes U and which covers the same material in necessarily less detail. The book will be a first point of entry -- and in many cases, all that is needed -- for researching most ethical topics from a thoroughly Christian perspective.
Overall, Frame's book is quite good, even though I differ with him on a few lesser points and wish he had expanded on other points more (two volumes?). He approaches his subject with characteristic humility and wisdom. The sheer number of topics that he covers from meta-ethics down to practical applications of principles is astounding, and he writes clearly and for the layman, not the professional philosopher (though a mild background in philosophy and theology is expected, of course). He applies his "multiple perspectives" approach here (developed with respect to epistemology in his Doctrine of the Knowledge of God), and it is useful and informative. I appreciated his not skirting the tough topics and his teasing out gray areas, particularly sticky problems that have arisen since the Bible was written.
The book is not a list of "do"s and "don't"s, but rather it teaches the reader how to think about ethical problems biblically. That is, Frame seeks to impart a wisdom to our decision making through his exploration of ethical problems and related biblical material. Since new ethical problems are constantly arising, this seems like the right approach.
As for the content, Frame's rejection of Natural Law (apart from biblical interpretation thereof) as a basis for common morality will bother some Christians, but it fits with his commitment to the Bible as the ultimate authority. His discussions of sexual ethics are straightforward but more direct than some might expect, and while his opposition to in vitro fertilization as it is commonly practiced and the Pill -- but not all forms of artificial birth control, or more accurately conception control -- may surprise some Christians, his reasoning is solid. On the other hand, his discussion of the fundamental personality of the universe as it relates to ethics will be a useful apologetic tool (indeed, elsewhere Frame says that all arguments for the existence of God ultimately reduce to the moral argument).
Taking one part out of his treatment of biblical ethics as a case study, his coverage of the Sabbath is excellent and thorough, both biblically and historically. He examines six different views, thinks about each one, and concentrates on the one he himself holds, a relaxed version of the view of the Westminster Standards' view. His view is based on that of Meredith G. Kline (though Kline later changed his view), with Frame arguing somewhat controversially that the Sabbath command is still in effect and is primarily concerned with physical rest. It is not abrogated entirely or relevant only for worship, spiritual rest, etc. as some take it. (He does say it is a convenient day for corporate worship, but that is an ancillary benefit for its primary purpose.)
When it comes to the thorny questions of ordinary commerce on the Sabbath, he's against it because it makes others work on our behalf, though there are obvious and extraordinary exceptions to this (nurses, firemen, innkeepers, etc.). When it comes to food on the Sabbath, he allows a little wiggle room because some restaurants should be open for travelers, the infirm, etc., and since someone must always work to prepare food anyway (indeed, the Sabbath was often a feast day in the OT), there is not a significant difference between eating out and doing it yourself. He himself does not eat out much on Sundays because he doesn't want to encourage the cultural attitude of disrespect for the Sabbath, but he doesn't object to it in principle.
His view thus puts food in a special category because it is ordinarily acceptable in a way that it is not ordinarily acceptable to obtain other services and products on the Sabbath. I was left unsatisfied and a bit perplexed by this account.
First, as far as I can tell, restaurants didn't really exist, except for travelers as part of an Inn, until the 1800s or so, and hence it is tricky to apply the Sabbath commandment to restaurants today. Back then, they had servants or did it themselves, and the servants are explicitly to be given the day off. Is there an exception for food preparation? If so, it is not explicit, but I do feel the tension of *someone* having to do it. What then do we do with feasting? Is it only "hard labor" that is forbidden? I wish there were more discussion of this.
Second, the biblical injunctions on Sabbath-keeping as it relates to food (especially Manna gathering in Ex. 16) seems to put the burden of proof on the one who would require another to work on the Sabbath. Gordon Hugenberger, pastor and OT scholar, gives the example of his work at a summer camp. At one point, he had more work than he could squeeze into six days but that was supposed to be done. His boss said something to the effect of, "You can't do this work now because it's the Sabbath, but as an act of service to you, I can." I wonder how that sort of approach would fit in.
Again, Frame's treatment of the Sabbath is detailed and excellent, and while I personally wish there were even more fleshing out of a few aspects of the topic, I also recognize that even a lengthy and quite comprehensive book like this can't be utterly and totally exhaustive. Part of his purpose here is to teach us to reason biblically on our own because it's impossible for anyone to answer every little question in a single book, though his coverage will certainly answer many of them.
In brief, I recommend this book for all pastors, elders, and industrious laymen. It will help you navigate the thorny problems that come up in your church and your own life.