Written Upon the Heart: the Ten Commandments for Today's Christians

by Anthony J. Tomasino

The Ten Commandments no longer occupy the exalted position that they did in earlier days of our country. Courts of law have ruled that reciting the Ten Commandments or even posting them on the walls of government-sponsored buildings, is unconstitutional. And many Christians have come to believe that the Ten Commandments contradict salvation by grace alone. Tomasino shows that respect for the Ten Commandments is neither outdated nor contrary to the principle of salvation by grace through faith.

When God created humans He instilled in them a God-consciousness. Humans know instinctively that some things are "right" and some things are "wrong." This innate sense of right and wrong is formalized in the Ten Commandments. Non-Christian humans also realize that murder, adultery, killing, and stealing are wrong. Keeping the Ten Commandments will not earn one salvation, but society needs to be familiar with their precepts in order to reinforce acceptable social behavior.

The Commandments on adultery, stealing and the Sabbath are three of the most controversial of the Ten. The author provides a detailed explanation of the sin of adultery and its devastating effect on family life. He furthermore defines stealing in a much stricter way than simply taking something that belongs to another. One steals when he "takes" his employer's time in personal pursuits rather than in company work. Finally, Tomasino examines the original purpose of the Sabbath, how it applies today, and why most Christians worship on Sunday rather than on Saturday.

Tomasino brings a balanced view of the Ten Commandments. On the one hand he encourages a thoughtful examination of the Commandments. On the other hand he avoids a faultfinding, legalistic view. Keeping the spirit of the Ten Commandments is paramount to keep the letter of the precepts.