cover image SABBATH KEEPING: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest

SABBATH KEEPING: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest

Lynne M. Baab, . . InterVarsity, $12 (132pp) ISBN 978-0-8308-3258-3

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. (Feb.)