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Review – Love rules: the ten commandments for the 21st century

February 2008 | by Philip Tait
Love rules: the ten commandments for the 21st century
Ed. Stuart Bonnington and Joan Milne
Banner of Truth; 118 pages; £6.00;
ISBN: 978-0-85151-957-9

Do not be misled by the cover. Love rules does not deal with ‘the moral law in relation to the gospel’, but with the place of the law in the life of the believer. A few chapters of a general nature top and tail a discussion of each of the ten commandments, making sweeping applications that explain and apply the underlying moral principles. The book winds up with some useful indexes and a rather puzzling ‘Study Guide’ – a series of questions that add nothing to the original text.

However, the book is too short. Repeatedly, just as the chapter starts to get really interesting, it ends and we scurry on to something else. For example, for Christians the heart of the second commandment is surely the fact that Jesus Christ has opened a way straight into the presence of God (cf. Hebrews 10:19-20), and that therefore we have no need for images or any things at all to bring us to God. This point gets less than a page, which left me gasping for more.

And the chapter on the fourth commandment fails to ask the obvious question – since the first day of the week was a working day in the first century, how did the first Christians keep the Lord’s Day, and what does that tell us about how we should keep it in an increasingly seven-days-a-week society?

The lawless spirit of the age in which we live has certainly infected the churches, and Love rules is a useful book to call us back to basics. I hope it sells well. Indeed, I hope it sells out, because if ever there was a book that cries out for a ‘revised and expanded’ second edition, this is it.

Philip Tait
Stockton-on-Tees
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