- Sabbath: The Ancient Practices © 2009
- Thomas Nelson
- 213 pages
This was unexpected.
When I started to read a book whose purpose is to promote modern-day Sabbath keeping, I fully expected the modern approach, “let’s not be legalistic here…” Instead, Allender based his book in the fourth commandment: remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
That said, don’t expect a legalistic throwback to your grandfather’s era. In fact, Allender does a better job than anyone I’ve read at portraying the Sabbath as a delight. I would suggest that you read this book on a Friday, because you’ll want to enjoy a real full Sabbath as soon as you’re finished reading!
The book is laid out in three sections. First, he establishes the four pillars of Sabbath-keeping: senses, time, feast, and play. This was the highlight of the book. From there, he looks at the purpose of the Sabbath, and then on to how to participate in Sabbath keeping.
Allender’s prose is poetic. It’s the sort of prose that wraps you in and allows you to savor every syllable. Don’t try to read this book to extract information—reading it is an experience—a joy—in itself. Take this, for example, “The Trinity joins us with all others, including the earth itself, in a relationship that is based on the commonality of being made in the image of God. We are bound to one another, and we are called to adore and honor the earth as God’s art, especially on the day that God has set aside to marvel at his own creation” (68).
Whether you keep the Sabbath or not, this book is a glorious read.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program.