THE PROMISE RESTORED: Rediscovering the Ten Commandments in an Uncertain World

T. Wyatt Watkins, Author . New World Library $15.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-57731-204-8

In this rambling book, pastor and author Watkins sets out to reclaim the message and morals of the Ten Commandments for the contemporary age. Each of his (yes, 10) chapters is devoted to one of the commandments and is broken down into sections prefaced by Scripture verses and mini-homilies on the meaning and context of each commandment in ancient Israel. The bulk of the chapters are then drawn from Watkins's own experiences as a father, neighbor and pastor to illustrate the ways in which the commandment can be applied to today's vicissitudes. Since most of his examples center around his children, the book seems pitched at parents looking for ways to embed Old Testament morals in their children's worldviews. Unfortunately, Watkins begins slowly, with flowery narratives that sound like they are being intoned ponderously from the pulpit. Only in later chapters do his stories find a more natural, engaging pace. The chapters on adultery and honesty may be the strongest; his thoughtful musings on the meaning of fidelity in a world of divorce, and the meaning of integrity in a world of expediency, feel particularly needed and insightful. Watkins doesn't spoon-feed his audience, in that he doesn't always spell out the point of his lengthy parables. This sometimes leaves the book out of focus, but readers seeking fresh connections to an ancient moral code will enjoy this gentle—albeit fuzzy—collection of sermons. (Apr. 16)

Reviewed on: 04/01/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
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