Do Christians today see the Lord's Day, the Christian Sabbath, as an unattractive, dreary time of legalistic restriction? If so, have they misunderstood the nature of 'the day God made'? Glen Knecht believes that many have. They have taken what was meant to be 'a little oasis of greenness, for meditation and rest', to be an arid period of irksome inactivity, and have rejected a good gift of God which should have been welcomed and used with joy. Knecht sees the day as rooted in Creation and the teaching and example of Christ, as well as in the Ten Commandments.
The rise in dispensational theology in our day, specifically the so-called `literal' hermeneutic that underlies it, complete with its call for proof texts of `thou shalt' in order to establish truth, has largely annulled any concept of man's duty to keep the Sabbath holy. Sabbath-keeping in our day is largely seen as out of touch or just plain legalistic.
But don't be mistaken: this denial of man's duty to keep the Sabbath is largely a new phenomenon in the Church. And given this, I find it interesting how Christians now days are so quick to form firm opinions on the matter while the historic heroes of the faith that they study and admire would have excommunicated them for such an abrogation of God's holy Law.
Nevertheless, regarding the defense of the Christian Sabbath, I am very thankful for this book. This is not a full defense of the validity of the Christian Sabbath. This is not a full treatment of opposing views. This is not an examination of church history and teachings over the last 1900 years, in contrast to the last 100 years where the Sabbath has dropped off the map. Those arguments are certainly needed and appropriate in their place, but sometimes, a short, succinct, and devotional explanation of the Sabbath can be the strongest persuasion.
In The Day God Made, Glen Knecht begins at a very practical level in explaining how a one-day-in-seven rest is nourishing to the body, especially in this fast-paced culture. From there, Knect moves on to the Creation account, the Commandments of the OT, and then to the teachings of Jesus Christ in explaining the validity of the Christian Sabbath. Nothing fancy. Nothing mind-blowing. Just simply: this is how we get there; this is how we see all of the scriptures teaching us to keep the Sabbath holy.
Other important issues that Knecht briefly hits on: Christian holiness in our day, the issue of `delighting' in the Sabbath, the popular antinomian thinking within today's church, and the future consummation of the Sabbath Day.
Personally, I appreciate his emphasis on `delight' in the book. Too often in our day, which is again, derived from a `proof-text' mentality, Christians just demand a new law; Christians just want a straight command that they can externally obey and get on with their lives. But scripture never treats obedience in this manner, as it always cuts to the heat and motives of an issue. Even some Christians in our day who do hold to the validity of the Sabbath often misunderstand the true intent of the command. But with `delight', we find the true essence of Sabbath-keeping, wonderfully brought out by our Savior's teaching on the subject, and rightly emphasized here in Knecht's work.
Christians in this culture who hold to the Sabbath are looked at as if they missed something obvious when reading Colossians 2:16, or Romans 14:5. Either that or we're seen as being stuck in puritanism. Sabbath-keeping is, again, seen as legalistic and an obvious error of biblical interpretation.
It is because of these prevailing ideas that I highly recommend this book. This book is one of the best I have ever read dealing with this subject. Again, not because it is exceptionally deep or profound, but because of its simplicity. Knecht very succinctly explains the true nature of the Sabbath, considering all of scripture as relevant to instructing us in this manner.
In The Day God Made, Knect opens up the argument for the Sabbath in way that will motivate you to study it further. And he certainly doesn't ignore objections the his position, such as the fact that the we are no explicitly commanded in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath holy. Knecht answers objections succinctly, using all of scripture as our guide, and his answers will encourage readers to study the issue further. You will be blessed by reading this book, particularly on a lazy, Lords-Day afternoon. And it would also serve as an excellent, succinct argument, maybe in the form of a gift book to a friend, for those who do not fully understand the issues at stake in this debate.
I heartily give this book 5 out of 5 stars.