Is morality based on some essential truth or is it defined by society? In this highly original critique of American social mores and popular culture, David Klinghoffer argues that the Ten Commandments are essential to maintaining a morally healthy society. With the meticulousness of a scholar, he begins by excavating the meaning of the Commandments. Drawing on the millennia-old rabbinical work Mechilta, he explains that the Decalogue was written on two tablets to show that when a country neglects the Commandments written on the first tablet—those having to do with the relationship between God and people—the interpersonal relationships described on the second tablet suffer irreparable damage as well.
Addressing such timely topics as the controversy over public displays of the Commandments and the battles over intelligent design, Klinghoffer demonstrates that Christians and Jews are united in their opposition to the pagan aspects of our culture. In the tradition of Hebrew prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah, he describes our failings with humor and compassion but also with anger and disappointment. An unusual, incisive perspective on the role of religion in society, Shattered Tablets is sure to spark debate. In the end Klinghoffer argues that by shrugging off the Bible as a guide and turning toward secularism, America has created a crude, cruel, and dishonest national life.
DAVID KLINGHOFFER, a senior fellow in the Discovery Institute’s program in Religion, Liberty & Public Life, is the author of The Lord Will Gather Me In, a memoir of Jewish conversion, The Discovery of God, a spiritual biography of Abraham,… More about David Klinghoffer
“David Klinghoffer’s understanding of the Ten Commandments is fascinating and profound. Shattered Tablets combines the wisdom of thousands of years of rabbinic commentary and astute observations about modern American culture to remind Jews and Christians that a nation whose morality is derived from anything other than the Ten Commandments will not stand.” —Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship
“Marvelously lucid . . . weaves theological insight with the author’s reflections on living in a society that has cast off the Decalogue’s authority.” —Rod Dreher, Dallas Morning News