Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: Sabbath ( Part of The Ancient Practice Series)

Have you ever wondered why God included “honoring the Sabbath” in the 10 Commandments? Have you wanted to know what exactly it means to have a Sabbath and what it looks like for you? Is it really, actually necessary and possible in today’s hurried society? 
I’m the type of person that works hard, plays hard and sleeps hard (as my husband would say...). I’m also the type of person to watch another hard worker enjoy their rest and not feel bothered to just “be”. I want to relax, but I also know that relaxation means my to-do list isn’t getting shorter- if fact, it is probably getting longer while I relax. So, I find myself wanting to share in a day of rest as I see some around me doing, but I have a hard time making it happen. 
Dan Allender’s book entitled Sabbath is part of The Ancient Practices Series. Allender defines the Sabbath as “a full day of delight and joy” (5) and bases this on his interpretation of what God did on the seventh day after he finished creating- he found delight in His creation. Allender states that the “Sabbath is not break in routine...a minivacation...or a diversion; it is meant to be an encounter with God’s delight”. (12) He forms his definition by using the Jew commentator, Abraham Herschel’s translation of the word “rest” found in Genesis 2:1-3. Herschel and Allender write than the Hebrew word for “rest” is “menuha” which means joyous repose, tranquility and delight. Allender adds, “ God didn’t rest in the sense of taking a nap or chilling out; instead, God celebrated and delighted in his creation. God entered the joy of his creation and set it free to be connected by separate from the artist.” (28)
After a fairly strong definition of what Allender feels best describes the ancient practice in Sabbath Pillars, he continues on with his sections entitled Sabbath Purpose and Sabbath Performance. 
I really enjoyed reading this book and will refer back to it many times in the future. I also look forward to reading more works in The Ancient Practices Series! 
Thomas Nelson provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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