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The Ten Commandments, Manual for the Christian Life Hardcover – 1 Dec 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed; First edition (1 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875522378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875522371
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,982,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

J. Douma was professor of Christian ethics at the Theological University in Kampen from 1970 to his retirement in 1997. Among his publications is The Ten Commandments.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9468ffb4) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93b19090) out of 5 stars Not Just Ten Suggestions 3 July 2001
By Sean J. Whitenack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is the latest valuable resource added to my library. As the Ten Commandments are a reflection of the character of God, any Christian who desires to conform himself or herself to the character of God would be wise to pick up this book. It is a practical resource for addressing many of the issues that Christians face as we strive to be holy just as God is holy. The book is very readable. It is not theologically burdensome or complicated, but it maintains biblical accuracy while being easily understandable and straightforward. Overall, the book is agreeable. I found that Douma's practical conclusions were good, though naturally, I do not agree with every one of them. Nevertheless, every conclusion is well researched and is presented in a graceful way. The reader is left with the burden of accepting his conclusions or proving that scripture speaks differently. Along this line, Douma is concerned with transforming the church. His focus seems to be in educating the church on the implications of the Ten Commandments, which is a noteworthy goal in light of the modern Christian popular culture that seems to overlook educating the church and shoots straight for modifying government policy. Most importantly, the grace of God through Jesus Christ is central to Douma's message; through Christ alone do we have grace and peace with God as well as the power to obey the commandments. This is neither a legalistic nor a moralistic book, but one focused on educating a thankful believer with the result being obedience to God's commandments (John 14:21).
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93b190e4) out of 5 stars True Freedom 6 Aug. 2004
By torowan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Adding detail to previous reviews of this book, Dr. Douma's treatment of the Ten Commandments is truly a treat.

Douma starts looking at the context in which the commandments were given: Israel was freed from slavery in order to be free to obey him. Thus always is the state of God's chosen people: and what we need to understand is that true freedom comes not from doing whatever we please, but in obeying God within the context of, and by the empowerment of, his grace.

The body of this book considers the implications of the Ten Commandments for sincere Christians in today's world, in different perspectives:
- How these apply in a society not ruled by Mosaic civil law;
- How these apply in a society with modern technology, entertainment, etc.
- How the principles of the 10 commandments are worked ont in related topics throughout scripture
The treatment of the commandments must go beyond a world of ancient olive groves and manual wine presses (though let us never defame God's blessings of olive oil and wine!) Douma considers each commandment thoughtfully, and elaborates on its implications and subtleties rather than jumping to quick and easy but inadequate answers.

As an example, on "Honour your father and your mother...", Dr. Douma spends about 45 pages to discuss:
- the role of parents
- the relationship between this and freedom
- the nature of the associated promise
- what it means to 'honour', including how that relates to choosing a spouse in western society
- limits and style of obedience
- implications for other forms of authority, within the family and of the state; including thoughts on revolution and civil disobedience.

Gratefully, Douma's consideration avoids the frequent digression into extemes of pietism (treating one's religious observance as a purely private affair) or theonomism (treating it as purely a matter of state).

My one incompleteness in reading this book is that I did not come away with an adequate handle on how the Sabbath commandment applies today, which I fear is the most misunderstood and unobeyed of the commandments (through misinterpretation of a subset of Paul's comments about it that disregards his other comments and practices). He does point out the inaccuracy of some common teaching on the topic. I appreciate Dr. Douma's insights, and plan to pursue some of his references for further reading on this topic.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93b193c0) out of 5 stars A refreshing look at the foundation of "God's will for my life" . . . 13 Feb. 2006
By B. C. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This books is an excellent study of God's law that was very helpful to me for understanding the depth of God's law and my own sin. Dr. Douma's book is straightforward to read and contains highly relevant discussions of contemporary ethical issues in addition to refreshing and insightful looks at the ethical issues that are the same in every age. He covers many topics from idolatry and theft to in vitro fertilization and abortion. I found his discussions of the historical context surrounding the commandments particularly helpful, for instance, the use of images by many ancient false religions to control their deities' actions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of sin and God's law.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93b192b8) out of 5 stars A must have for your library! 7 Sept. 2000
By Jerry Dodson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
How many times have you heard someone mindlessly repeat "Christians are no longer under law, but under grace"? This is usually a poor excuse that means "I haven't bothered to study the law, and I want a catchphrase that will excuse my current behavior." If you want a clear exposition that gives you not only an understanding of the commandments, but their relevance for us today, look no further. Jochem Douma has produced an excellent treatment (in Dutch), and Nelson Kloosterman's translation is very readable. The prologue to the book--dealing with covenants, rules for interpretation of Scripture, etc.--is worth the price of the book. This is an ideal volume for a Sunday school class or Bible study; each chapter is moderate length, and lends itself to discussion. You really shouldn't be without this one!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93b19900) out of 5 stars The Decalogue: Manual for Christian Ethics 5 July 2010
By Mike Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Calvin observed that an essential use of the Ten Commandments is for "believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. Because we need not doctrine merely, but exhortation also, the servant of God will derive this further advantage from the law: by frequently meditating upon it, he will be excited to obedience, and confirmed in it, and so drawn away from the slippery paths of sin." And in "The Ten Commandments: Manual for the Christian" Dr. J. Douma (professor of ethics, University in Kampen) provides a fine exposition of the Ten Commandments as well as many potent applications of God's Law.

Dr. Douma reminds the reader that the Decalogue was given to Israel after God freed them from bondage. And when God's effectual grace saves the believer and liberates him, the proper response of the liberated is obedience to God's Law revealed in the 10 Commandments.

The astute author discloses the right application of the Decalogue including:

- the social and civil application of the Mosaic Law
- family and marriage
- obedience to God-ordained authority
- sanctification of the Christian
- and much more thoughtful and powerful personal and corporate application

The Ten Commandments are necessary for the moral development of the individual and a nation. James Madison stated:
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments."
All Christians and their children should have at least the summary of the Decalogue memorized:
1. Have no other gods.
2. Have no idols.
3. Honor God's name.
4. Honor the Sabbath day.
5. Honor your parents.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not perjure yourself.
10. Do not covet.
The warnings, promises, and sanctions within the 10 Commandments are essential aspects of the law and should also be memorized and applied.

Dr. Douma's exposition on honoring parents (and all rightful authority) is extensive and enlightening; great for parents and pastors.
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There Are Moral Absolutes: How to Be Absolutely Sure That Christianity Alone Supplies

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