Friday, January 29, 2010

Sanctified By God - Dan Horn

I just finished reading Dan Horn’s book “Sanctified by God: A call to keep the Christian Sabbath" and it is a book that I would recommend to others. Truly not much is written today on the Christina Sabbath as it appears that many try and steer clear of such a controversial issue. But to avoid the subject is to miss out on the joy and blessing God has given us in the Sabbath He has called us to observe. I heard Dan speak on this subject at the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference last month in Western Kentucky and that was what instigated the reading of his book. You can read my summary of his talk here.

Obviously from the title you know up front that Dan holds to the need to observe the Christian Sabbath today. What was so useful and profitable about this book is that it covered all aspects of the Sabbath and not just that we need to keep it. The overarching theme, I felt, was that to not observe the Sabbath as God intends today is to miss out on the joy God intended in setting aside a day for His people to delight in Him. So Dan deals with the various issues that come about when dealing with the Sabbath so as to help us see that God’s call to obey the Sabbath in the 4th Commandment is not one of burden but delight. All too often the talk on the Sabbath revolves around if it is legalistic or not and if the Sabbath is even required today for the New Testament Christian. What is often not dealt with as much are the other aspects that revolve around the topic of the Christian Sabbath such as: Why, How, When, What For and all those questions entail.

Yes this book will be convicting to some but anything that deals with areas we have been negligent in will be such. It is what we do with the conviction that is important. Do we brush it aside or do we truly turn to scripture and deal with the issue so as to please and honor God. I think Dan has helped in this area as this book is not merely a defense of the Christian Sabbath and the need to observe it but it also gives practical examples of how this all works out. Also included in the appendix of this book is Jonathan Edwards defense of the continuation and the change of day of the Sabbath. The following are the chapters included in this book:

1) The Need
2) The Sanctification
3) The Defense
4) The Judgment
5) The History
6) The Day
7) The Rest
8) The Mercy
9) The Delight
10) The Practice
11) The Exhortation
12) Appendix: Jonathan Edwards on The Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath

We live in a time that has made the Christian Sabbath difficult to keep. By this I mean the world offers all sorts of baubles for us to reach for when God has placed a magnificent gift right before us in the Christian Sabbath. We need to realize this great gift is before us and partake of it and not just for a couple hours a day but to put aside the entire day for God and His people to delight in Him together. Let us seek to glorify God and delight in Him on the day He has set aside for us. Yes we need to worship Him daily in all we do but that does not negate the one day God has pointed to since creation.


Thomas S. Barnes said...

Hey Tony,

Great article; I have struggled w/ this issue myself. I have often thought that if this is a commandment there must be more to it than how we approach it. I will be definitely getting the book.

I was apart of the SMM class; I aw your post that had your blog address and thought I would check it out.

You have a very nice blog. I just started blogging.

Blessing in Christ,


Tony said...

Hi Thomas;

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know when you start up your blog. I do not know how much my writing God uses for His glory, I pray it all is, but I started my blog more as a way to work out my own thoughts than anything else. But in the 3+ years of doing this there have been times of interesting conversations but most of all in writing out my thoughts it has made me more diligent in how I think about things.

I look forward to conversations in the SMM group.

Grace and Peace,