31 January 2006

i am the lord your god

i am the lord your god

After the spate of comments on that last post, I'm reticent to say anything lest I stir up another whirlwind of debate. I do, however, hope to post more on the topic of the covenant of works at some point, but not until I get some other projects off my platter.

Somewhat related to the covenant of works, I've been recently reading some of the essays in I Am the Lord Your God: Christian Reflections on the Ten Commandements, edited by Carl E. Braaten and Christopher R. Seitz (Eerdmans 2005). The book is a collection of essays from an array of authors representing a variety of Christian traditions: Lutheran, Anglican, Orthodox, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Reformed. All the essays address the topic of the Ten Commandments, either in general or in connection with specific commandments, with an eye to contemporary ethical issues, civil society, and Christian catechesis.

While not all of the essays are of equal interest (at least to me) there are some real gems thus far, for instance, David Bentley Hart's bracing essay "God or Nothingness." Other essays are intriguing, though I'm not sure I would wholly agree, for instance, with Christopher Seitz's "The Ten Commandments," which presents a more negative assessment of natural law traditions than I would be inclined to make.

Oddly, not all of the commandments are specifically covered, "Honor your father and mother" being noticeably absent from focused discussion, though it is taken up to some degree in Bernd Wannenwetsch's essay on killing. Other commandements receive attention from more than one essay, sometimes presenting alternative perspectives on a particular aspect of the commandment. In particular, William Cavanaugh provides an essay on killing that complements Wannenwetsch's, while both Braaten and Reinhard Hutter address issues of the tongue.

On the whole, however, what I've read of the book thus far is excellent and thought-provoking.