Keeping the Sabbath Wholly | Marva J. Dawn

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly is a window into how Marva Dawn practices the Sabbath. She focuses on the four elements of the subtitle (ceasing, resting, embracing, feasting) as critical attitudes for robust Sabbath-keeping.

The book is filled with personal anecdotes and stories that give the reader ideas to integrate into their own practice. She offers her suggestions without any hint of legalistic arm-twisting: something that’s plagued our understanding of Sabbath for too long.

I was a little disappointed by this book, but that was likely because I misunderstood the genre. The first book I read by Dawn was Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God, an excellent theological treatise on Paul’s theology of the powers. The next book was To Walk and Not Faint, a devotional on Isaiah 40 that integrated solid exegesis into each meditation. I started this book expecting an exegetical foundation for Sabbath-keeping that was not to be found. She confined her writing to her own experience.

While it’s still a good book, this married man often had difficulty identifying with the life-examples of a single woman.

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