Perspectives on the Sabbath presents in point-counterpoint format the four leading perspectives of the Sabbath. These perspectives, all of which arise from the church's diverse interpretation of the Sabbath throughout history are also the most prevalent views in the contemporary church.
Contributors and Their ViewsSkip MacCarty (Andrews University) defends the "Seventh-day" view which argues the fourth commandment is a moral law of God requiring us to keep the seventh day--Saturday--holy. Adherents readily assert that Christians, like Jews, are bound to practice the Sabbath only on this day.
Jospeh A Pipa (Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) argues in favor of the "Christian Sabbath" view which holds the resurrection of Christ is the basis for the day of rest, and that the Christian Sabbath ought to coincide with that event as a weekly celebration of it. Thus, the Sabbath is to be held on the first day of the week, not the last.
Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary) supports what is known as the "Fulfillment" asserting that only in Christ has the true Sabbath rest come into the present and that on this basis the Sabbath as constituted in the commands of the Old Testament are no longer binding on believers.
Charles P. Arand (Concordia Seminary) upholds the "Lutheran" view that the Sabbath commandment was given only as an act of Law and therefore does not concern Christians. Rest and worship are required, but they are not tied to a particular day or to particular forms of celebration.
Perspectives on the Sabbath presents in point-counterpoint form the four most common views of the Sabbath commandment that have arisen throughout church history, representing the major positions held among Christians today. Skip MacCarty (Andrews University) defends the Seventh-day view which argues the fourth commandment is a moral law of God requiring us to keep the seventh day (Saturday) holy. It must therefore remain the day of rest and worship for Christians. Jospeh A Pipa (Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) backs the Christian Sabbath view which reasons that ever since the resurrection of Christ, the one day in seven to be kept holy is the first day of the week. Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary) supports the Fulfillment view which says that since Christ has brought the true Sabbath rest into the present, the Sabbath commands of the Old Testament are no longer binding on believers. Charles P. Arand (Concordia Seminary) upholds the Lutheran view that the Sabbath commandment was given to Jews alone and does not concern Christians. Rest and worship are still required but not tied to a particular day.
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.
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