Have you ever wondered what the Old Testament—especially the Old Testament law—has to do with your Christian life? You are not alone. Some Christian leaders believe we should cast off the Old Testament now that we have the New. Carmen Joy Imes disagrees. In this warm, accessible volume, Imes takes readers back to Sinai, the ancient mountain where Israel met their God, and explains the meaning of events there. She argues that we’ve misunderstood the command about “taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Instead, Imes says that this command is about “bearing God’s name,” a theme that continues throughout the rest of Scripture. Readers will revisit the story of Israel as they trudge through the wilderness from a grueling past to a promising future. The story of Israel turns out to be our story too, and you’ll discover why Sinai still matters as you follow Jesus today.
Warm, witty, wise, and winsome; theologically rigorous, rhetorically convincing, and pastorally helpful, this book is not to be missed. Taking the reader through the narrative of the exodus, Carmen Joy Imes shows us that it is our story, not an arcane, ancient document as dry as last year's bird nest. The genre of Law speaks today. You will see the name Carmen Joy Imes regularly in the future as she continues to bless the church with accessible and edifying scholarship.
—Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Haddon Robinson Professor of Preaching and Communication, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Rarely do we encounter scholars who are able to distill the essence of complex notions and recast them in forms that are both accessible and compelling for lay readers. Carmen Imes’s skills in this regard are extraordinary. In the academy, people who have read her published technical monograph on bearing God’s name have been quick to celebrate the stellar quality of her work. In this volume Carmen introduces lay readers and serious students of Scripture to her major findings through writing in engaging and persuasive prose—with plenty of ideas for application. For readers who long to recover the life-giving message of grace in the Torah, this book will be a great place to start.
—Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College
Carmen Joy Imes is helping us to relish once again the wondrous depths of truth and challenge that are there for us Christians in that great epic narrative of Old Testament Israel—whether those stories are familiar to us already or not. . . . I trust that reading this book will give you a deeper and more biblical understanding of what it ought to mean to bear God’s name, and not to bear it in vain.
—From the foreword by Christopher J. H. Wright, author of The Mission of God