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Sunday, November 19, 2006

This is a slim volume that contains gentle and persistent encouragement to keep a sabbath one day a week apart from the other six days. The spirit of gentleness is evident in the absence of guilt, obligation, or to-do lists in relation to the sabbath. For those trying to rest on their sabbath, Baab devotes a couple of chapters full of details and ideas about what to cease from doing, what to do, and how to approach the day. But she writes with “fear and trembling,” saying,

“if they create in you a sense of obligation, I will have defeated the very purpose of the sabbath. If the various possibilities—worship services, candles, festive meals, prayers, walks, special games and so on—become one more way to be successful or productive, one more burden to carry, then the spirit of the sabbath will be violated.”

Baab has been thinking about the sabbath for decades. It was surprising to learn that some of her friends were hostile to her idea that Christians would benefit from keeping a sabbath, describing it as legalistic. For this reason, she spends much time justifying the practice, asserting that God’s grace to us overflows abundantly and allows us to rest in the conviction that he loves us simply as his good creation (and in His image!). It is a very helpful and accessible book that strives to help others “find freedom in the rhythms of rest.”

Title:Sabbath Keeping
Author:Lynne M. Baab
Date published:2005
Number of pages:130
Notes:Recommended by Intervarsity staff person


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