Starred Review. In a gentle, concise style, Baab (A Renewed Spirituality
) recommends a weekly day of rest as a gift from God that teaches Christians about grace. Although rules and puritanical solemnity have tarnished Sabbath-keeping in the United States, Baab commends the practice as a balm for frazzled moderns: "The frantic pace, the exhaustion that accompanies it and the resulting emptiness call us back to a rhythm that includes stopping and resting." While Sabbath-keeping is commanded in the Bible, God intends it as a reminder of freedom and abundant life. Baab suggests that Christians customize their Sabbath: All are called to cease from work, but one person's work could be another person's play. (Baab also says the Sabbath may involve freedom from multitasking, technology, media, shopping, competition, talking and anxiety.) Also, she says, the day for the observance does not matter, as long as it is consistent. Baab covers the scriptural reasons for Sabbath observance, but the best sections of this work deal with the personal and the practical. Her account of living (and keeping the Sabbath) in Iran, Israel and the United States instructs and fascinates. One particularly helpful chapter about creating a Sabbath celebration offers tips about making the day special. Winsome, passionate and persuasive, this will convince many Christians of the continuing relevance of the Fourth Commandment.
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"Winsome, passionate and persuasive, [Sabbath Keeping]
will convince many Christians of the continuing relevance of the Fourth Commandment." (Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2004 (starred review))
"I chose to read this manuscript out of sheer longing and delight because the idea and the reality of sabbath keeping is so compelling to me these days. It is a wonderful book that articulates all the questions that we wonder about and then explores the sabbath as a discipline that soon becomes one of God's greatest gifts to us as human beings. It is a gift that is, as Lynne so eloquently describes it, full of grace, freedom and abundance. Reading this book made me love God more because he thought to craft a gift that is so beautiful and extravagant but also so practical and necessary. The sabbath is a discipline that will save our lives." (Ruth Haley Barton, cofounder of The Transforming Center, spiritual director, author of Invitation to Solitude and Silence)
"I've tried so many times to be a better sabbath keeper--but I'm just too busy. And so are my family and friends. We've made a virtue out of being overworked and then rationalizing that as faithfulness. Lynne Baab's book not only called me up short but also called me back to a biblically sound and graciously practical reconsideration of God's gift of sabbath. This is the best book on sabbath that I've seen, and my life is changing after having read it." (Dr. Stephen A. Hayner, Columbia Theological Seminary)
"Sabbath is not just a day off. It is a way of life, a gift of grace. To rest, to sabbath, to stop--these are ways of acknowledging and receiving that gift. Drawing from the wisdom of the best thinkers on this subject and her own deep experience of the power in 'stopping,' Lynne Baab guides us to a place of rest. She exhorts us to walk in the 'rhythms of rest,' and to realize that keeping sabbath is a way of affirming the deep love of God that cannot be earned through frenetic activity. I recommend this practical and life-giving book." (Keri Wyatt Kent, author of God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos, The Garden of the Soul and Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life (2005))
"Dorothy Bass once wrote that the commandment to observe sabbath is the only one people brag about breaking--being busy is equated with being significant. Lynne Baab has rediscovered the gift of sabbath keeping and offers wise counsel on the importance of doing nothing." (John Ortberg, author of If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat)
"Every voice prodding us to keep the sabbath in these hectic times is urgently needed. Lynne Baab's voice is clear; her suggestions apply to a great diversity of people; her own practice offers an excellent model. Keeping the sabbath changed my life; I pray that you too know the freedom of its rest." (Marva Dawn, author of Keeping the Sabbath Wholly and Unfettered Hope)
"Finally we have a book on the sabbath that avoids the polemics of sabbath law and recovers the biblical and practical experience of sabbath rest. Lynne Baab reminds us that we do not just keep the sabbath as a religious ritual, but the sabbath keeps us as a gracious gift of renewal. Regardless of one's tradition, this is a book that will provide both a theological and practical guide for creating an intentional sabbath experience. This is a 'one size fits all' prescription for maintaining spiritual fitness in a secular culture running at a 24-7 rate. Read it, practice it, and find rest for your soul." (Ray S. Anderson, Senior Professor of Theology and Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary)
"Lynne Baab is passionate about the sabbath. Having personally experienced the spiritual enrichment of sabbath keeping, she writes to entice the reader to gratefully accept God's gracious invitation to sabbath rest and renewal. She explores Jewish and Christian sabbath traditions and writings, plus practices of her friends and her family, in this gentle yet challenging book that is practical and practicable. It comes from her heart and will speak to yours. It could change your lifestyle and enhance your relationship with God!" (Don Postema, author of Catch Your Breath and Space for God)
is not just a gentle and informative introduction to sabbath; it is an inspiration. Without question, this is the best book I've read in years on the art and discipline of keeping sabbath. We live in an age of hurry, an age of multitasking and stress; we could not need Lynne Baab's book more." (Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath)