Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Review: Sabbath by Dan B. Allender

Sabbath by Dan B. Allender with a foreward by Phyllis Tickle
part of the Ancient Practices Series

About this book:
Dan Allender asks the question, "What would you do for twenty-four hours if the only criteria were to pursue your deepest joy?" His book expels the myriad myths about this 'day of rest,' starting with the one that paints the Sabbath as a day of forced quiet, spiritual exercises, and religious devotion and attendance. This, he says, is at odds with the ancient tradition of Sabbath as a day of delight for both body and soul. Instead, the only way we can make use of the Sabbath is to see God's original intent for the day with new eyes. In Sabbath, Allender builds a case for delight by looking at this day as a festival that celebrates God's re-creative, redemptive love.
While I agree with the premise of this book, that God gave us the Sabbath and it is supposed to be a delight, I really did not delight in reading it.  I have been observing the weekly Sabbath my entire life, and while I love the Sabbath, I'm sure I could be getting more out of it, more of what God intended when He gave it to us.  So, Dan Allender did give me some things to think about in his enthusiasm for the Sabbath, but overall the book was really hard to read.  There were some gems in this book, but they were buried in so much other stuff.  This was one book that I almost didn't finish, and that doesn't happen often.  I wish I had thought to highlight the phrases and paragraphs that really struck me, but I didn't - and I just can't bring myself to go looking for them.

Overall, I felt that Dan Allender is very excited about the Sabbath and has some definite ideas about what it should be, but I felt that they were more his ideas about what works for him than actual Biblical teachings about how God wants us to celebrate the Sabbath.  I was just celebrating the fact that I finally made it to the end of this book!  I would not recommend reading it.  I would, however, recommend looking into the Bible to see what God has to say about the Sabbath, because, as Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."  So, the Sabbath is something God made for us and gave to us.  It's a good idea to find out more about what he wants us to get from it, and at least reading this book has me asking what more does God want to give me through the Sabbath? - even after all these years of keeping it!

I received this book free through the BookSneeze®.com bloggers book review program.  All opinions are mine.

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1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about that also; what we are to be doing and how we are to be spending it with God.


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