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Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views + From Sabbath to Lord's Day: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Investigation
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Product Details

  • Series: Perspectives
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805448217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805448214
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher John Donato is senior associate editor of Tabletalk magazine, a devotional reader that exists to help explain important doctrines and events that shape the church while encouraging people to reflect the image of Christt in both word and deed. He lives in Lake Mary, Florida.

More About the Author

Communication director at Trinity (, former senior associate editor of Tabletalk magazine, and editor of Perspectives on the Sabbath (B&H), along with various articles in various publications.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Don't follow my pattern, minus your own personal conviction!
Peter Dubbelman
MacCarty adeptly demonstrates that one can hold to the persistence of the Sabbath and still clearly distinguish Old and New.
Adam Parker
Each writer does an admirable job of presenting his position.
Mike DeVries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Adam Parker on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
I would venture to guess that most Christians have not thought about the issue of the Sabbath before. Many, like myself, have always assumed that they ought to attend worship on Sundays out of tradition, but maybe haven't considered what it really means, theologically speaking. A large contingent of the church thinks that Sabbath observance is fulfilled if one attends religious services.

Thankfully, if you're ignorant in this area, there is a solution. Chris Donato has edited a new volume devoted to letting the four major views on the Sabbath duke it out. The format is familiar, with the first chapter being devoted to the author defending his view. In the next chapter, each of the remaining three views have an opportunity to weigh in, and then of course, the original author is given a chance to respond to the other three in a few brief pages, wrapping things up. To the editor's credit, enough space is given (400+ pages total) to deal substantially with each view. As a point of reference, other volumes from the same series are less than half the size of this one.

The four perspectives being shared in this book could be separated into two units: those who say that the Sabbath commandments are still binding, and those who say that the Sabbath commandments are no longer binding. The first half of the book covers the two views arguing for a continuing Sabbath. Skip MacCarty, as I mentioned before, begins by defending the Seventh Day Sabbath view. In Part II, Joseph Pipa defending what he calls (to the chagrin of the other contributors) the Christian Sabbath view. After this, we are introduced to the two views who say that Sabbath Commandments are no longer binding. In Part III Charles Arand spends his time laying out Luther's view of the Sabbath.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Life Long Reader on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
When it comes to discussing the relevance and continuity of the Ten Commandments for the Christian, the dividing line seems to rest on the application of the fifth commandment - the command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. If obedience to the Ten Commandments is still in effect for the Christian then we must keep the Sabbath. If it is not in effect for the Christian then we do not have to keep the Sabbath. This of course is tied to the NT teaching on the law which is the seedbed of much of the controversy.

Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 Views presents four views on Sabbath keeping for the Christian. It covers from the Seventh-Day Adventist view which is the strictest view to the Fulfillment view which is the most lenient.

The first view presented is the Seventh-Day Adventist view by Skip McCarty. There is much that McCarty rightly uses in defense of the Sabbath-Day view. He rightly starts in Genesis 2:2 and utilizes the Ten Commandments as given in Exodus and Deuteronomy. McCarty clearly holds a continuationist view of the Ten Commandments so much so that he believes the Sabbath rest is still to be held on what our calendars still call Saturday. Texts like Isaiah 56:5-6 & 66:22-23 are used to claim that the Saturday Sabbath rest is universal for all time. However, as Pipa points out, McCarty does not follow his application through since he does not believe we need to obey the other ceremonial observances (p. 76). What makes the Seventh-Day view stand out is that it does not recognize the resurrection event as having any bearing on when the day in which the Sabbath is held - changing from Saturday to Sunday.
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Of course, we aren't to forsake the assembly of ourselves together (Heb 10:25), and I love the passion of the nascent Church that met together every day (Acts 2:43), but what should Christians believe about a weekly day for worship and rest, which some commonly call either the Lord's Day, Sunday, or the Sabbath? Though the concepts found in Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views will stretch the normal Christian, I encourage every pastor, if they haven't wrestled through this issue: 1) To read this or a similar book; 2) To take the topic seriously; 3) To lead those you serve into the rest of the Lord (Heb 4:1-11). Mark Buchanan put this topic within the thoughts of every believer, albeit with a conclusion similar to what is laid out below, when he wrote The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Besides its editor, Perspectives on the Sabbath has four contributors. I learned a few things from my two brothers (Pipa and MacCarty), who are Sabbatarians, but I don't agree with them that every Christian must take either Saturday (the Sabbath Day for MacCarty) or Sunday (the LORD's Day for Pipa) as a day of worship and rest.

Ezra sought to learn, teach, and practice God's ways laid out for his community of faith. As a follower of Jesus and husband, I've attempted to do the same and briefly lay out below my personal thoughts on a weekly day of worship and rest, as it applies to my family and myself. Those in authority at the local church and denomination level, of course, impact how these things play out in these two communities.

A Disputed Matter: During the church's first 300 years, the communities that expected their people to observe a Sabbath day established that day as either Saturday or Sunday.
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