Taste of Sabbath

Taste of Sabbath

by Stuart Bryan
Publisher: Canon Press
Trade Paperback, 110 pages
List Price: $12.00 Our Price: $9.00

Sundays are feast days. But sometimes, that's awfully hard to remember. We often get too busy trying to keep track of all the things we're "not supposed to" do. Yet, as Stuart Bryan explains, this is not the emphasis of Scripture. The Lord's Day is a day of freedom, a day defined by thanksgiving —for God's grace, for the opportunities to share that grace with others, and for the hope we have in the glorious rest to come.

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  Taste of Sabbath
Roseanne Spears of Oregon, 10/1/2010
The Taste of Sabbath: How to Delight in God’s Rest was published by Canon Press last year. In the book, Stuart Bryan makes the case for the abiding validity of the Sabbath in our world today.

In the first chapter, he argues that it is a perpetual ordinance because God established it at the creation, God equates it with justice, and God intends it to regulate our worship. The next chapter explains the change from the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Lord’s Day. Bryan shows that while the old Sabbath celebrated the redemption from Egypt, the new Sabbath celebrates the greater redemption effected by Jesus Christ. Christ’s resurrection on the first day of the week and his subsequent appearances to the disciples (also on the first day) set a new pattern for Sabbath observance.

In the third chapter, Bryan deals with the famous “Lord of the Sabbath” passage which some have used to claim that the Sabbath is now abolished. Bryan argues that Jesus is not really breaking the Sabbath because He is embracing the principles behind the Sabbath (that the Pharisees, with all their rituals, were ignoring). He also argues that Jesus’ kingdom work took precedence over the Sabbath because the Sabbath is a “lesser matter of the Law.”

The fourth chapter examines Jesus’ activities on a typical Sabbath day from Mark 1. Bryan shows that Jesus attended corporate worship to hear the Scriptures, performed acts of mercy and necessity, and participated in fellowship. He spends a significant amount of time in this chapter emphasizing the importance of attending corporate worship since worship is warfare; it is the place where we call on God to act in the world.

The concluding chapter of the book is devoted to application. Bryan mentions a few things that we should do on the Sabbath day: be given to hospitality, rejoice by “eating the fat”, do works of mercy. He also mentions a few things that we should avoid: doing laborious work, or exploiting others by forcing them to work. The main emphasis of the chapter, however, is that if we have the right attitude to the Sabbath–considering it a delight!–then we should be able to resolve specific questions of how to keep the Sabbath on our own.

Bryan’s book is a quick read and a good introduction to the Sabbath; because of its brevity, however, it does not deal with many key Old Testament passages regarding the Sabbath. A more comprehensive book would be helpful for those interested in serious study of this subject.