March 10 Book Reviews

Ten Words from God: An Exposition of the Ten Commandments

Ten Words from God: An Exposition of the Ten Commandments

Gordon J. Keddie

Reviewed by: Irfon P. Hughes

Ten Words from God: An Exposition of the Ten Commandments, by Gordon J. Keddie. Crown & Covenant, 2023. Paperback, 240 pages, $15.00. Reviewed by retired OP minister Irfon P. Hughes.

By the title of this little book, author and pastor Gordon Keddie, who died in May 2023, brings us face to face not only with the Ten Commandments, or “Ten Words,” but also with the Author of the whole Bible. Because our age has, at best, ignored these Ten Words from God, we have ignored the Bible too, and are reaping a harvest that is frightening to anticipate both for ourselves and for the generations that will follow us.

Ten Words from God is the distillation of a series of Bible studies and sermons preached over the many years of Pastor Keddie’s faithful ministry in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, the denomination where he exercised his effective ministry. The book encapsulates the teaching of many of the classic expositions of the commandments, which make it useful for pastors contemplating a sermon series, heads of families leading family devotions, and any individual Christian or seeker after God.

The first two chapters explain the reason God gives for formalizing these commandments, clarifying the value of these Ten Words from God. Each commandment is only “one word” in Hebrew, but Keddie expands each one most helpfully with many practical observations and applications that give them relevance to our daily lives. We are also encouraged to understand that whilst each commandment is essential on its own, it is also a building block for a total world-and-life view. The first is basic to our understanding for the subsequent nine, but disobeying the tenth means the previous nine collapse, since the tenth lies at their heart.

The personality of the author is clearly seen for our profit in this book. Keddie was a faithful man in home and church life, and those factors are seen at various points as he illustrates his comments. Keddie was primarily a preacher and guide to his congregations, and that comes out in so many applicatory points in these chapters. Although a psalm singer, he can make apt and useful quotations from the hymnology of other traditions, which gives the book a catholic usefulness.

This little book is not meant to replace the classic expositions of the Ten Commandments, but it is useful to the pastor who is preparing a series of sermons on these vital principles that need to be emphasized in an increasingly lawless environment.



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