The First Commandment, Deuteronomy 5:6-7

“The First Commandment” 

Deuteronomy 5:6-7

September 11, 2022

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service

Pastor Nicoletti

The Reading of the Word

We returned to our fall series on the Book of Deuteronomy last week and now we come to the Ten Commandments. We will take the commandments one at a time each Sunday morning, and then, for a few of them, we will return to that same commandment in the evening service for some additional thoughts.

That will be the case today, as we consider this morning how the first commandment applies to our hearts and our lives, and we consider this evening how the first commandment relates to ethics, as a whole. I encourage you to join us for that, as it is a pressing issue in our culture – which is so regularly involved in debates and conflicts over what is right and what is wrong. That will be our theme this evening.

But now, we come to our text: Deuteronomy 5:6-7. 

Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.

The Lord said to his people:

“‘I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“‘You shall have no other gods before me.’”

This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

Let’s pray …

Prayer of Illumination

Lord,

Let your saving hand be close to us,

for we have bound ourselves to your precepts.

We long for your salvation, Lord,

because your law is our delight.

Give our souls life, that we might praise you,

and help us now through your word.

We have each gone astray like lost sheep.

As we come to your word now, we ask you to seek us.

For we have not forgotten your word to us.

Grant this, we ask, in Jesus’s name. Amen.

[Based on Psalm 119:173-176]

Introduction 

We come this morning to the first commandment. Yahweh, the God of the Bible, says to us: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

This is a command to turn away from alternative gods in our lives, and towards Yahweh, the true God, instead.

And as we think about what this looks like for us, we need to see four things:

  • First, we need to see that alternative gods are realities in our lives
  • Second, we need to see that alternative gods are liars and tyrants
  • Third, we need to see that only Yahweh grants true fulfillment
  • And fourth, we need to see how we are called to turn away from alternative gods and to the God of the Bible

Alternative Gods Are Realities in Our Lives

So the first thing we need to see is that alternative gods are realities in our lives.

This would, in many ways, have been obvious to Moses’s original audience.

For Israel, idolatry was an overt reality both of where they came from and where they were going. They came from a land where Pharaoh claimed divinity for himself, and refused to recognize Yahweh as God. Pharaoh, in other words, presented himself as a literal rival and alternative to Yahweh. [Wright, 64]

But there were other gods in Egypt as well. In fact, we learn in Joshua 24 that many Israelites were still tempted to serve the gods of Egypt, even forty years after they had left. [Joshua 24:14; Leithart, 24]

And then, on top of that, Israel would soon be going into a land filled with idols – the land of Canaan. And they would face the temptation to serve those alternative gods as well.

It’s into this world – a world filled with alternative gods – that Yahweh gives the first commandment.

The wording of the first commandment could be literally translated: “There shall not be for you other gods before (or over against) my face.” [Wright, 68] And the way it is phrased has a few implications and meanings.

First, it most obviously means that Israel should have no other gods instead of Yahweh – as a replacement to him. 

But then it also means that Israel should have no other gods in addition to Yahweh. And as one commentator points out, one possible translation of the first commandment would be: “You shall have no other gods as rivals to me.” [Wright, 68]

And that, in some ways, really gets at the heart of it. Yahweh is saying that he is not just another member (not even just the highest member) of a larger pantheon of gods. [Block, 162] Rather, he demands that any possible rival, any alternative god, be removed from his presence and removed from the life of his people. [Leithart, 24-25]

And that command wasn’t just an external thing … but it was also, and even primarily, an internal thing. As God pointed out to the prophet Ezekiel, alternative gods – idols – are not only things – and not primarily things – that exist “out there” in the world, but they are first and foremost things that we set up in our hearts. [Ezekiel 14:3; Keller, xiv] 

And as the Apostle Paul pointed out, something like, for example, greed is not just a bad behavior – but it is idolatry. [Colossians 3:5; Keller, xiii] In greed we take money (money which is not in itself a bad thing), and we raise it to a higher place in our life than it should be. We treat it as a god-like thing. We make it into a rival to Yahweh in our hearts and lives.

As Tim Keller puts it, whenever “the human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things” – that is idolatry. Because our hearts are “deifying” those things “as the center of our lives because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment.” [Keller, xiv]

And this isn’t a new perspective on the first commandment. As John Frame points out, for the Reformers the first commandment is “an issue of the heart.” For them, he writes, “the commandment does not tell us only to avoid worshiping other gods, like Baal, Moloch, Chemosh, Astarte, Zeus, Hera, Apollo, and so on. It also teaches us to avoid placing anything other than the true God ahead of him in our thoughts, actions, and affections. […] The forbidding of any competition at all with the true God for our allegiance, obedience, and affection is the broader meaning” of the first commandment. [Frame, 407]

How then, do we identify what these alternative gods – these idols, these rivals – are for us?

Well, Peter Leithart suggests three ways to identify the idols of our hearts: The first is whatever we place our ultimate hope in, the second is whoever’s judgment we ultimately fear, and the third is what we look to for ultimate cleansing. [Leithart, 25-26]

So the first is where we look for our ultimate hope.

Keller puts it like this – he says: “An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.’ There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something,” he writes, “but perhaps the best one is worship.” [Keller, xviii]

So what might that be for you? What good things do you tend to place your ultimate hope in?

What’s the thing that you hope will give you real security in life? What’s the thing that you trust in to give you peace and comfort? What’s the thing you are grasping at to give you power and control in life? What’s the thing you hope will finally give you the approval your heart so longs for? [Keller 64-66]

It could be a relationship, or money, or career success or earthly glory. [Keller, vii] It could be power, or possessions, or politics, or pleasure. [Frame, 415] It could be what R.R. Reno describes as the “smiling hearth gods of postmodern materialism”: health, wealth, pleasure, and achievement. [Reno, Resurrecting, 4; Reno, Lecture]

The lists could go on, because the capacity of the human heart to take good and ordinary things and make them into idols is quite expansive.

But what is it for you? What do you ultimately hope in?

The Bible tells us that any time we place that kind of hope in anything other than God, we have an idol.

But our idols don’t only show up where we most place our hope. They also show up in the judgments we most fear.

Whose judgment of you cuts the most deeply in your heart?

The answer should, of course, be God’s. But often, it’s not. Often the judgment of the Lord – the knowledge that we have sinned, that we have done something that God deplores – that often has little emotional effect on us. But then the knowledge that someone else … maybe a peer … or our co-workers … or our teacher … or a crowd of people on social media … or our parents … or some other person or group of people – the knowledge that they have passed judgment on our actions, or on us as a person – that can devastate us.

Whenever the judgment of any other person, or group, or anything other than God – whenever their judgment affects us more deeply than what we know God’s judgment to be, there we have an idol – a rival to God.

We talk a lot about peer pressure or social pressure … but often what we’re talking about is an idolatry of the opinions of other people that causes their judgments to weigh on our hearts more than God’s judgments. And that can be a danger in any relationship.

Leithart puts it like this – he writes: “Do you fear the opinion of others? Are you paralyzed by worry about how your father or mother will evaluate you?” If so, “You’ve set up an idol, a substitute judge – public opinion, a perfectionist father, a hypocritical mother.” 

“Whose imperatives do you obey?” he asks. “Who is your true Lord – not your professed Lord, but the one who actually speaks with authority in your life?” When there is a divide between the voice of God in Scripture and some other prominent voice in your life: When one voice says you have done wrong, but the other says you have done right … when one says “Do this” but the other says “Don’t do that” … which voice carries the most emotional weight in your heart? Which voice are you more likely to obey? That is your true lord. That is your true god. [Leithart, 25-26]

Now, of course, when other people judge us, it often should cause us sorrow. When they judge us rightly, we should have sorrow over our sin. When they judge us wrongly, it can be appropriate to feel sorrow over the betrayal or slander we are experiencing. I’m not condemning sorrow in the face of human judgments. But I am condemning despair. Despair is very different. Despair at human judgments is a sign that we have elevated those human beings, or that group of human beings, into idols – into alternative gods and rivals to Yahweh – in our hearts and lives. [Keller, x-xi]

We might inordinately hope in the promises of an idol. We might inordinately fear the judgments of an idol.

Or other times we might inordinately trust in the cleansing power of an idol. In those cases, our idols are things we look to other than Jesus to cleanse us from our sin. When we feel guilty … when we feel shame … when we know we are spiritually unclean … then these are the things we look to, to make us okay again – the things we hope will make us acceptable and right.

It may be some good work that we believe can wipe away our sins. It may be some achievement that we feel will outweigh our misdeeds. It may be our actions to condemn others, which we hope will minimize the appearance of our own sins. Whatever it may be, anything other than Jesus that we look to to cleanse our souls is an idol in our lives. [Leithart, 25-26]

Whatever category they may fall into, our idols are often the things that make up our greatest daydreams and our worst nightmares. When our minds wander, they often drift hopefully to how if we just had this thing then everything would be just right. And when our minds are troubled, the nightmares that often consume us are where we lose or are condemned by that thing that we feel we most need. [Keller, xxi-xxii]

In any case, the obvious fact remains: alternative gods are realities in our lives.

Alternative Gods Are Lying Tyrants 

The second thing for us to see is that these alternative gods are lying tyrants.

And as much as we suppress this truth … it’s not that hard to demonstrate.

Consider one of the idols that you’ve identified in your heart. Has it ever given you what it promises? Has it ever … for more than a fleeting moment … delivered on the promises it has made to you?

My guess is that the answer is no.

Whatever alternative god you have placed your hope in – it has never actually fulfilled you as you thought it would. Either you have not yet obtained that idol that you crave, or you have laid hold of it and found it disappointing and so moved on to something else, or you have laid hold of it … and the minute you did, your fears of not getting it were replaced with equal or even greater fears that now you might lose it. But in any case, your hopes have not been met.

Whatever alternative god – whatever idol – it is whose judgment you have feared, and who you’ve looked to for pardon … that same idol has either continued to condemn you … or if you have received approval, then you are anxiously aware that at any moment that approval can be withdrawn. And so you continue to live in fear of condemnation. And you have no peace.

In other words, everything in your experience points to the truth that your idols – your alternative gods – have lied to you. They have not given you the freedom or the fulfillment that they have promised, but they have sought to be tyrants over you.

And you’re not the only one who’s had that experience.

David Foster Wallace, in a commencement address he gave at Kenyon College in 2005 put these realities we are discussing like this – he said to a crowd of students at a secular college: 

“Here’s something […] that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” 

And then he explained that the great benefit of pursuing some sort of intentional spiritual form of worship is that, he said, “pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.”

He went on and explained: “If you worship money and things” he said “– if they are where you tap real meaning in life – then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.” 

[…]

“Worship power – you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart – you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.”

Other than God, “pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.”

Wallace notes: “On one level, we all know this stuff already – it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, […] [and] parables: [it’s] the skeleton of every great story.”

We all know this stuff already … and yet, he points out … it’s a truth we often overlook. The Bible would say that it’s a truth we often suppress. It’s a truth we often willfully forget. The idols of our hearts will not fulfill us. They will not give us peace. They will not give us what they promise. Instead, the alternative gods that call for us to serve them are lying tyrants in our lives.

That’s the second thing we need to see.

Only Yahweh Grants True Fulfillment 

The third thing for us to see is that only Yahweh grants true fulfillment.

And we see this in the fact that only Yahweh offers true redemption and true relationship.

Redemption is, of course, highlighted in our text: “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Where others boast and enslave – where others are liars and tyrants – Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is the God who sets his people free. He redeemed them. He released them from bondage. [Block, 160]

And he does the same for us. Where we had been enslaved to sin and death and Satan – where we had been enslaved to the ways and the idols of this world – Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to set us free – to bring us out of the land of darkness, and into his kingdom of light. Only he is such a God. Only he is such a Redeemer.

But what he offers doesn’t stop there. Because Yahweh – the God of the Bible – not only offers us true redemption – he also offers us true relationship.

The first commandment, at its heart, was meant to preserve and protect an important and exclusive relationship. And that fact alone made Yahweh different from other gods in the ancient world. Other gods – the pagan gods – didn’t have meaningful relationships with human beings. And they generally didn’t care if those human beings worshiped other gods. [Block, 162] Because their relationship was transactional – not covenantal. It was impersonal, rather than personal. 

And our secular alternative gods – our secular idols – are the same. They are not personal. They are impersonal things. And so as much as we may devote ourselves to them, we can’t have a real relationship with them. They cannot love us.

Which means that a life spent pursuing them is incredibly lonely.

These idols in our lives – they are not persons seeking a personal relationship with us. Their link to us is transactional. Which means the most we can hope for in them is a thing to use … not a person to know. We so often give ourselves to these idols … we devote ourselves to them … but they stand aloof from us … they cannot love us. 

But the Triune God of the Bible wants a relationship with us. He not only can love us back, but he will love us first. Our two verses this morning are a reminder that the Christian God is a personal God … and he has loved us first … and he loves us so much that his first commandment to us is that we not be unfaithful to him, by elevating something else to be his rival.

That’s how much he loves us. The first commandment is not a general exhortation to monotheism – it is a call and a command to love him: this specific God, who saved us in a specific way, and wants a specific kind of relationship with us. He says: “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the […] house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

That kind of deep, personal, heart-felt relationship is the kind of relationship we so often long for in life. Here, in these verses, we are told that God himself wants that kind of relationship with us. It’s an amazing thing. And yet our response, so often … is to turn from that relationship to pursue, instead, objects and ideas that can never really love us back.

That is the insanity of sin. That is the insanity of idolatry.

And so God – our God, Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth, the One who redeemed us in Jesus Christ – he calls us to turn from our insanity, and turn to him. Because we were made for him. And so only he – in the redemption he offers us and the relationship he offers us – only he can truly fulfill us.

So, first we see that alternative gods are realities in our lives. Second, we see that alternative gods are liars and tyrants. Third, we see that only Yahweh grants us true fulfillment.

We Are Called to Turn from Alternative Gods to Yahweh 

Fourth and finally: We see that we are called to turn. We are called to turn from these alternative gods to Yahweh, the God of the Bible.

That is, of course, the only reasonable response.

If you’re not a Christian, that means a call to conversion. It means rejecting the false gods you have been serving, and turning to Yahweh, the God of the Bible, the God who came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to save you. It means calling on him in prayer to make you his own. It means trusting him for salvation, rather than the false gods you have been clinging to. It means joining a community of his people – a church congregation. It means having the name of the Triune God placed on you in baptism. It means identifying as one of Jesus’s people, and reorienting every aspect of your life around him. That is the major turn in life that the first commandment calls us to.

And then, once you become a Christian, or if you already are a Christian, it means turning from idols again and again, day after day, in every area of your life. Because our idols don’t disappear in a moment. They didn’t for Israel. Our idols – our devotion to alternative gods – have a tendency to be rooted deeply in our hearts. And the process of uprooting them – the process of turning from them and to God – is a process we are called to devote ourselves to for the entirety of our Christian lives.

As God has given himself to save us and to be with us, so we are to strive to tear ourselves from our idols, and give ourselves to God.

How, then, do we do that?

How do we pursue that repeated repentance – that repeated turning and giving of ourselves more fully to God? As Christians, how do we continue to live out the first commandment?

I want to give six practical ways you can work on turning from these false gods, and towards the Living God in your day-to-day life.

Now, six things – what am I even doing? Let me explain. I don’t expect each of us to go home today and start simultaneously working on all six of these. I don’t expect you to even remember all six, by the time I give the benediction. Instead, I want to urge you to focus on the one or two things on this list that you are the worst at among them all – the one or two things you don’t really try to do, or that you’re just especially bad at. And I want you to remember just those one or two things – and try to intentionally work on those in the week ahead.

So, what are these six things? Well … they all start with “P” because … why not?

To turn from false gods and towards the Living God, we need to be engage with:

  • Prayer
  • Pondering
  • Practice
  • Preaching
  • People, and
  • Patient Expectation

So first, prayer. Every step of this process of turning from idols and toward the God of the Bible needs prayer. You need to pray that God would help you see your idols more clearly. You need to pray that God would help you make the many decisions you will need to make for him and against those idols. You need to pray that God would change the affections of your heart. You need to pray that God would give you people to help you and hope to keep you going. Prayer is essential to such spiritual growth. It’s not just a pious tack-on, it’s a request to our heavenly Father. It’s not just a mental exercise, but it engages our hearts. Keller writes: “You cannot get relief simply by figuring out your idols intellectually. […] Analysis can help you discover truths, but then you need to ‘pray them in’ to your heart.” [Keller, 175]

So first, we need to pray.

Second, we need to ponder. And some of you struggle with this. 

You need to take some time to stop doing and instead, reflect. You need to take your eyes off the many needs around you and turn your gaze inward, to your own heart. You need to sit (or maybe go for a walk) and ponder what your idols are and consider how they dominate your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions.

That may sound passive or lazy to some of you, but it’s not. It’s actually really hard work. It’s often unpleasant work, which is one reason why we so often avoid it – there are so many other things that we would rather do than sit with ourselves, in silence, and ponder the idols of our hearts. But if we won’t do that, how will we ever grow? How will we turn from our idols, if we refuse to stop moving even long enough to see them?

So, some of us need to ponder.

Third, we need to practice. Much like our bodies, our hearts need to be trained. And ordinarily this happens through lots of small, repeated actions. Just as practicing scales and musical exercises is part of what trains a musician’s fingers for one day playing a concert, and just as carrying out fielding drills every afternoon is what trains a baseball player to make a play in a big game, so it is through the frequent, repeated practice of choosing God over our idols that we train our hearts for the bigger moments when our faithfulness to the Lord will be challenged by the idols of this world.

That means that the small choices we make everyday matter. The decision to spend a few minutes reading our bibles, rather than take that time to squeeze in a few extra work emails … the decision to tithe some of our income rather than hold onto it for our security or spend it on our wants … the decision to spend just a few minutes in family prayer or a devotional, rather than zoning out on our phones after dinner … the decision to come here on Sunday morning rather than giving in to pressure from friends or family to do something else … every one of those decisions, though it may seem small in itself at the time, is an act of practice that helps train our hearts to prioritize Christ over the idols of work, or money, or comfort, or family. 

None of those decisions as isolated individual incidents may make or break our spiritual walk one way or the other … but when repeated over and over … and when combined with one another … they train our hearts either to turn to God, or to turn to idols.

Some of us need to work on practicing that turn to God in the little things of life. [For more on this, see James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom]

Fourth, we need to preach. Specifically, we need to preach to ourselves.

It’s not enough to think once about how the idols in your life tell lies and to think once about how only Christ offers you true fulfillment. You need to remind yourself of those truths over and over again. And you do that by preaching to yourself.

When you see yourself giving the judgments of one of your idols more weight than you should, or placing too much hope in one of your idols, or expecting one of your idols to cleanse you and make you whole, then you need to preach to yourself, and say to yourself: “Steven … that is a lie.” (You should use your own name, but you get the idea.) But you should maybe address yourself by name, and then say to yourself “These thoughts you are having are lies. That person or thing whose judgment you fear – they will never truly justify you. That person or thing that you’ve placed your hope in – they will never truly make you ok. They are making big promises in your heart, but they will not deliver … they will only enslave you.” You need to preach those truths to yourself.

And then, with that, you must preach the other truth: the truth about who the God of the Bible really is, and what he has done for you. You need to preach to yourself how wonderful he is, and how much he has loved you. As Keller notes: “If you uproot the idol and fail to ‘plant’ the love of Christ in its place, the idol will grow back.” [Keller, 172]

And so we must preach to ourselves.

Fifth, we need people. We need people close to us, whom we have asked to call us out on our idols when we fail to see them, and who we expect to encourage and support us in the battle of repentance. That means people we openly tell about our idolatry, people overtly ask to hold us accountable in those areas, and people who we unashamedly rely on when we are struggling.

Anthony Bradley has pointed out that in the church, women have “friends” and men have “accountability partners.” Women are seen as needing support and encouragement and men are seen as needing someone to keep them in line. [Bradley] But, of course, this is a truncated view of both men and women. Men, like women, need friendship. Men, like women, need support and encouragement in life. And women, just like men, need accountability – they need people in their lives who will call them out when they have become complacent with their sin or idolatry.

Each of us, men and women alike, need other Christians in our lives to encourage and support us in the long battles of trying to turn from our idols. And each of us, men and women alike, need other Christians in our lives whom we have deputized – whom we have explicitly asked to call us out and hold us accountable when we are acting in ways that wrongly prioritize … and therefore idolize … our careers … or our money … or our freedom, or our relationships, or our family, or something else.

We need people.

And sixth, and finally: We need patient expectation. 

Real spiritual growth – especially when it comes to deep things of the heart – usually goes more slowly than we think. We often dig down to get under the idols of our hearts, only to discover that their roots go deeper than we thought. We often strive forward to gain a few feet of progress in our spiritual walk, only to look up and see how much further we have to go. 

In this sense we do not “arrive” in this life. In this life, we will never fully uproot every idol. In this life, we will not complete the journey to perfect devotion to God. The task is bigger than that. The road is longer than that. And we must not expect quick success. [Keller, 175-176]

But even so, we can expect final success. We can count on final success. And as we do, we can know that our labor here and now is not in vain.

Because Christ has promised, as part of the gospel, that at his return we will be finally sanctified from all sin and idolatry. He has promised that every idol will be uprooted and cast from our hearts. He has promised that we will arrive and find our home in the realm where we can fully devote ourselves to the Lord. We will be fully transformed.

And so every inch we dig deeper into our hearts with the gospel, every idol we pull a bit further from the center of your heart, every bit of spiritual progress we make is not only the result of the gospel, but it brings us one step closer to the eternal hope that is promised in the gospel.

Every time you turn from an idol to God, you are participating in God’s work in you, and you can have real assurance that he will bring that work to completion.

The patience we are called to, then, is not a cynical or despairing patience. It’s a hopeful patience. It’s an energized patience. Because it’s rooted in what the Lord has promised to do.

And so, let us pursue God with patient, yet eager, expectation. Let us do all we can to turn from our idols and toward our God and Maker. Let us lean on Jesus, to help us see and uproot our idols. Let us depend on the Holy Spirit to help us place our hope and trust in the Triune God instead. And let us have confidence in our Heavenly Father, that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. For he who calls us is faithful. And he will surely do it. [Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24]

Amen.

This sermon draws on material from:

Barker, Paul. Introduction and notes to Deuteronomy in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

Bradley, Anthony. Tweet on May 8, 2020: https://twitter.com/drantbradley/status/1258770370624139264 

Block, Daniel I. The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.

Frame, John. The Doctrine of the Christian Life. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008.

Frame, John. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013.

Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters. New York, NY: Dutton, 2009.

Leithart, Peter J. The Ten Commandments: A Guide to the Perfect Law of Liberty. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020.

Reno, R. R. Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. Washington, DC: Regnery Faith, 2016.

Reno, R. R. “Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society” Lecture given on September 20, 2016, at the First Things editorial office in New York City. https://vimeo.com/184413952. Accessed March 19, 2017.

Smith, James K.A. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Cultural Liturgies Volume 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Wallace, David Foster. “This Is Water.” Commencement Speech at Kenyon College. 2005. This speech contains coarse language and several things we would not agree with. But it also contains a lot of insight. You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI 

Wright, Christopher. Deuteronomy. NIBC. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996.

CCLI Copyright License 751114; CCLI Streaming License CSPL116892