Book Review: Rediscovering the Glory of the Sabbath

Rediscovering the Glory of the Sabbath written by Jo Ann Davidson.

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Recent years have seen increased interest in the idea of Sabbath among Christians—and even non-Christians. Writers such as Tiffany Shlain, Walter Brueggemann and A J Swoboda invite their readers to consider the value of enjoying a Sabbath, whether it is a day away from screens—a “technology Sabbath”—or rest for the sake of cultural resistance or the pursuit of wellbeing. Yet none of these authors, notes Dr Jo Ann Davidson, speak about the experience of Seventh-day Adventists. She wonders why. 

Rediscovering the Glory of the Sabbath invites Adventists to take a fresh look at the seventh day. Dr Davidson’s experience as professor of systematic theology at Andrews University is evident as she traces the Sabbath through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, as well as through history. What emerges is a story that is at once beautiful, tragic and hopeful—the story of a God who He gives His people the gift of time and of Himself. 

Adventists have long understood the doctrine of the biblical Sabbath and its links to Creation, redemption and the great controversy, and Dr Davidson’s study reaffirms the importance of these ties. But she also urges that we learn from the prophets, the history of the Jews in the intertestamental period and the pointed Sabbath miracles of Jesus. In these, we see that people who know the truth about the Sabbath are not immune to neglecting it or misunderstanding its relationship to salvation. Dr Davidson reminds us that, more than a doctrine to be defended, the Sabbath is a gift from God, given to humans before we needed salvation or physical rest—a time to know and enjoy Him.

The Sabbath and the gospel both reveal a generous and loving God. In providing familiar but clarifying and reassuring answers to common questions about the Sabbath and salvation, Rediscovering the Glory of the Sabbath points us to the One who gives us rest. And if we enjoy the Sabbath as God invites us to, we can hope that others might come to experience Him through our example.  

Rediscovering the Glory of the Sabbath is available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online.

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