Stumbled across this helpful, sensible, simple introduction to the law-gospel issue:
Law and Gospel by John Frame
A particularly good paragraph says
So gospel includes law in an important sense: God’s kingdom authority, his demand to repent. Even on the view of those most committed to the law/gospel distinction, the gospel includes a command to believe. We tend to think of that command as in a different class from the commands of the decalogue. But that too is a command, after all. Generically it is law. And, like the decalogue, that law can be terrifying to someone who wants to trust only on his own resources, rather than resting on the mercy of another. And the demand of faith includes other requirements: the conduct becoming the gospel that I mentioned earlier. Faith itself works through love (Gal. 5:6) and is dead without good works (James 2:17).
I also particularly liked his statement that 'law itself in Scripture comes to us wrapped in grace.' [emphasis mine]
It's amazing where you find the law-gospel antithesis crop up, even among those who should really know better . Frame is writing in disagreement with some US Reformed theologians who think unless you buy their sharp distinction between the law and the gospel you've lost the gospel.
I blogged on the law a while ago here.