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Keeping the Sabbath wholly - Marva J. Dawn

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Keeping the Sabbath wholly - ceasing, resting, embracing, feasting
Marva J. Dawn
Paperback / softback
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
UK Publication Date

But I don'twannago to church! Marva Dawn has often heard that cryand not only from children. What a sad commentary it is on North American spirituality, she writes, that the delight of keeping the Sabbath day' has degenerated into the routine and drudgeryeven the downright oppressivenessof going to church.'

According to Dawn, the phrase going to church both reveals and promotes bad theology: it suggests that the church is a static place when in fact the church is thepeople of God. The regular gathering together of God's people for worship is importantit enables them tobe churchin the worldbut the act of worship is only a small part of observing the Sabbath.

This refreshing book invites the reader to experience the wholeness and joy that come from observing God's order for lifea rhythm of working six days and setting apart one day for rest, worship, festivity, and relationships. Dawn develops a four-part pattern for keeping the Sabbath: (1)ceasingnot only from work but also from productivity, anxiety, worry, possessiveness, and so on; (2)resting of the body as well as the mind, emotions, and spirita wholistic rest; (3)embracingdeliberately taking hold of Christian values, of our calling in life, of the wholeness God offers us; (4)feastingcelebrating God and his goodness in individual and corporate worship as well as feasting with beauty, music, food, affection, and social interaction.

Combining sound biblical theology and research into Jewish traditions with many practical suggestions,Keeping the Sabbath Whollyoffers a healthy balance between head and heart: the book shows how theological insights can undergird daily life and practice, and it gives the reader both motivation and methods forenjoyinga special holy day.

Dawn's work unpretentiously eloquent, refreshingly personal in tone, and rich with inspiring examplepromotes the discipline of Sabbath-keeping not as a legalistic duty but as the way to freedom, delight, and joy. Christians and Jews, pastors and laypeople, individuals and small groupsall will benefit greatly from reading and discussing the book and putting its ideas into practice.

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Marva J. Dawn is a theologian, author, musician, andeducator with Christians Equipped for Ministry, Vancouver,Washington, and Teaching Fellow in Spiritual Theology atRegent College. A scholar with four masters degrees and aPh.D. in Christian Ethics and the Scriptures from theUniversity of Notre Dame, Dr. Dawn has spoken for clergyand worship conferences and seminaries throughout NorthAmerica and in Madagascar and in Eastern and WesternEurope. She has written many books, most of which arepublished by Eerdmans.

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