The Ten Commandments by Peter Leithart

I knew I’d like this book. Sometimes you encounter an author that just seems to ring the bell for you each time you read them. Over the last three years, I’ve taken on 5 or 6 such writers and Peter Leithart is one of them. Where others strain to say something, he sees something. In what must induce jealousy from the cardboard writers of our day who take one catchy phrase for a title only to squeeze the life out of it for around 200 pages, along comes Leithart and says more in one page, or maybe one paragraph, than they do in their whole production. Adding injury to their insult, not only does he have something to say, but he can turn a phrase better than them in their pedestrian efforts where they think hip and cute is the real deal.

This one scores the high praise like others of his I’ve read. What’s funny is that it lacks polish. At times, it’s almost a stream-of -consciousness affair. He gives a line or two with some brilliant observation and then goes on to something else as if it wasn’t as grand as it really was. I say that though I at times strongly disagree with him (though that was far less the case here than in his work on baptism in this series). The book is kind of short too. You could read it quickly, though that would be the dumbest thing you could do. I’m not giving caveats, to be sure, as this book is beyond criticism, but really marveling at how he wrote and still how profoundly good it was.

I learned so much that either I didn’t actually know anything about the Ten Commandments in the first place, or we really have something special here.

I’ll suggest this to you—read just the material on the First Commandment alone and if you don’t love this book by then, then I for sure don’t know anything about reviewing books.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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