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February 09, 2007


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Brenton Reading

That is a beautiful concept thanks for posting this. It get's me excited too.

We came to a similar conclusion while studying some of the core doctrines of Adventism in our young adult Sabbath School class. Imagine Sabbath observance that brings us together instead of setting us apart -- how cool is that.

David Hamstra

_I've actually never heard an Adventist say that Sabbath can unify Muslims, Jews and Christians,_

I've heard this concept expressed before (maybe by Jacques Doukhan) and I see great promise in it.

Johnny A. Ramirez


I love the Sabbath :)

Mike Fortune

Sounds like I need to get that book Ryan!!! Did you read that one Monte recommended by Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart: Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream? I found a used one for $6 on amazon...haven't cracked it yet though...


It reminds me of this book I picked up once called "Christ in the Passover"... by the founder of the Jews for Jesus group.

The subtitle on the cover of that book reads, "Why is this day different?" The "day" it's referring to, of course, is Pesach (Passover).

It is wonderful to find many meanings in the ceremonies given to Israel in the Old Covenant. I am so glad that a group such as Jews for Jesus is helping Jews to see that the purpose of Pesach was to lead them to the Lamb of God, the Bread of Life, and the Blood of the New Covenant.

The reason Adventism has not been complimented on Sabbath-keeping is simply that it has found a million and one explanations about the Sabbath day, but has missed *the one* that Scripture says it was for the most: to point to Christ our Sabbatismos, Christ the Peace of God, Christ Himself the Sabbath-rest of God.

Colossians 2:17 is the one verse that Adventism does not want to allow to refer to the Sabbath day, but that one verse is the starting point of unpacking the greatest depths of Sabbath-rest and the fullest purpose of it. It lays the foundation of what Sabbath is all about.

Adventism has built many interpretations and understandings about "Sabbath", but the foundation is not in place. Sabbath is allowed to mean everything except for what Scripture says about it. If the foundation is missed, there is little to congratulate someone on.

Likewise, I know of people who do not believe in God but find "benefits" from ideas taken from the Bible. Good! Their temporal lives are benefitted. But can you hear the cry of God's heart for them, that they know *Him* and His love for them and their neighbors? This God who died for them to purchase them and make them His bride?

What good is it to learn good things from the Bible (such as health or a Sabbath day) and yet miss the main dish that those things are meant to point to? How can I rejoice for people who set up camp at those good things and refused to go any further, refusing to let Scripture tell them even more about the Sabbath and even condemning those who did follow the Scripture? My heart breaks for them instead!

My heart breaks for them that they might know the Sabbath-rest of God in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died and was raised to become their Sabbath-rest! How I want them to know that "It is finished" in Him, that in Him "your sun will never set again"! And that in Him "Today" you may enter His rest, and that "We who believe enter that rest!"

How sad would it be if Christian Jews re-instated the keeping of Passover but suppressed the teaching that Christ is the Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God?

Ryan Bell

Ramone, thanks for contributing to his conversation! I'm going to check out your blog as well.

I think you are right, in general, about the Seventh-day Adventist approach to Sabbath. There has been about 90% emphasis on which day is the right day, and perhaps 10% focus on the meaning of the day. Indeed, Sabbath is about the reign of the Peace of God, both here and now, and more fully in the future, as revealed to us in the person of Christ, who is our Peace. I, like you, am concerned that my church family has ignored many of the MOST important parts of Sabbath. Thankfully, I can report that I, and others, are shining a light in that dark place and illuminating what has been forgotten.

I am also concerned that the meaning of Sabbath will be limited to merely an internal, personal, and private experience of God's "Shalom" and will fail to translate that into public and outward expressions of God's reign of Peace. For about two years now I have been learning a lot more about the economic justice that is central to Sabbath, but I'm sure you're aware of all this.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Colin MacLaurin

Ryan said, "I've actually never heard an Adventist say that Sabbath can unify Muslims, Jews and Christians, except myself and my friend, Samir. This gives me hope that others must be saying similar things, even if in hiding!"

I am confident this theme would commonly turn up in the magazine/journal Shabbat Shalom, which is published by Adventists and focuses on Jewish-Christian reconciliation. Islam also comes up in articles. I have been impressed with what I have read of it.

Johnny A. Ramirez

There have been books published by Adventists, the AAF actually published one, on the Sabbath. It is edited by Roy Branson and is titled Festival of the Sabbath.

There is quite a bit of good work by Adventists on the Sabbath. It's probably what Ringwald is referring to.

The question is, why are these books out of print? Why haven't you/ I/ we heard about it? Adventists shouldn't have to hunt for our Sabbath contributions. These should not be hidden gems so thanks for this post- I'm excited with the growing conversation on the Sabbath from the pages of the Review to the small blogs of Sabbath Pulpit, Johnny's Cache, Progressive Adventistm, Intersections and beyond!

Ryan Bell

It's not that I haven't heard of Adventists talking about other ways of understanding Sabbath besides arguing for the day of the week. It's, as you say, Johnny, that they just don't fly in the mainstream of our church's press. Anything outside of a strict apologetic for which day of the week the Sabbath is, with a flavoring of sentimental reflections on "rest for weary souls" is just hard to come by. Ironically, the way we teach Sabbath in our mainstream church media actually reinforces the very thing Sabbath is designed to combat, namely consumerism, rush, frantic pace of life. If Sabbath is merely a "park in time" for me to recharge my batteries so I can get back to producing and consuming, I'm actually placing the focus on producing and consuming and the dominate cultural narrative drowns out the counter cultural potential of the Sabbath. That said, I agree with you that there are voice out there. We just need to see more of them.

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