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WHY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS MATTER

D. James Kennedy, Author
D. James Kennedy, Author with David Hazard. Warner Faith $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-446-57727-4
Paperback - 188 pages - 978-0-446-69439-1
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Kennedy, a Florida minister with national influence through writing and hosting the television program The Coral Ridge Hour , says that our morally sick society needs the antidote found in God's law. Kennedy begins by explaining why the Ten Commandments remain relevant: they summarize God's timeless moral law, convince people that they are sinners, and teach believers what pleases God. Kennedy then walks the reader through the positive and negative imperatives of each commandment. Interpretations that would have been familiar in American culture a generation ago might sound foreign to many readers. For example, Kennedy suggests that it's wrong to go out to eat on Sunday, and he says that the fifth commandment mandates respect not only for parents but for all those in authority. His sermonic style, reliance on hypothetical examples and tired anecdotes limit the book's effectiveness. He fails to provide sources for purported facts; for example, statements like "Today, in Los Angeles, there are more gang members than there are police officers" beg for attribution. Kennedy also prefaces several assertions with "I believe" or "in my opinion," a distraction during a discussion of absolute truth. While Kennedy answers the question implicit in the title, stylistic shortcomings muffle this book's message. (May 16)

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