Brian Winslade. Wipf and Stock Publishers (p130) ISBN 978-1-5326-6530-1

Boundaries: Rediscovering the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century, is the sixth publication by Brian Winslade.

In this Brian is seeking to bridge the Ten Commandments and the present day context. There are many different views of the Ten Commandments today—irrelevant, Old Testament (but often reflecting a slight negative bias), pillars of a modern western society, a set of rules, God’s covenant, and so on. However, we must remember that God’s Word and eternal truth must always have dominance over any present-day view that may differ.

The age-old issue of ‘what I think and interpret today’ as opposed to ‘What God meant when he said it’ really does get a working out in this book. Brian boldly looks deeply into how this meshes into our world and our thinking. As the world is resistant at least, or antagonistic at worst, regarding fundamental beliefs, we need to be intelligently and lovingly equipped to engage well. While most people would not have a major disagreement with the Ten Commandments values and outworking, it is possibly more the subset of rules that causes friction. In particular, this would apply to the issue of sexual orientation and how Christians express and respond to that. As the church, we do need to find the balance between embracing and expressing truth while not alienating people.

Neatly packaged into 10 chapters, this book is not a rehash of the familiar; rather it is a relevant and pointed look at an old teaching. Brian’s obvious enjoyment and use of humour is a delight. It does make you question why more writers don’t approach serious subjects with humour. Maybe some writers today are incapable of humour. This book will make you think, while leaving a smile on your face.

No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, there will be personal and corporate challenges in reading this book. The ties between Biblical teaching and practical outworking is always present. Each chapter has a set of small group discussion questions, leading this to be an ideal series to look at in a small group context. And it would all fit snuggly into a 10-week school term timetable! The beauty of this is that it is suitable for those new in their faith journey and for those who are long in the tooth

This also forms the basis of what would be a great preaching series. I would strongly recommend church leaders consider this option, as the formation of such a series is already laid out well.  It is a solid resource for the deep student and the casual reader, and is worth a read.

Review: Ross Banbury

Boundaries can be purchased at www.oikosbooks.nz