The last explicit mention of the Sabbath in the NT is in Hebrews (p. 280)—its theme, there remains a Sabbath rest for God’s people. (4.9). Tonstad suggests that the Sabbath which remains refers to a sabbath which can now be enjoyed by Christians and celebrated by Christians, even though the ‘rest’ that the author has in mind has yet to come to fruition and in fact awaits the return of Christ.   And we hear not one word about the fact… Read more

Paul’s writings come in for considerable scrutiny in Tonstad’s book because they are problematic for his case, in the extreme. For example Rom. 14.5-6 (a text Tonstad strangely ignores) has Paul saying of early Christian practice “Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. let each be persuaded in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord.”   Had Paul continued to be a… Read more

I must confess I am not in any way a fan of horror movies, and so I had some apprehension that this movie might degenerate into such a film.  And you can tell from many of the reviews that those reviewers who went into the movie hoping to have the Devil scared out of them, were disappointed.  No, this film is a psychological thriller, along the lines of Shutter Island, though without the surprise twist in the tale.   I went… Read more

One of the interesting ideas in this book  (Tonstad’s The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day)  is that the Sabbath is a sign like a flag is a sign,  actually it’s a symbol— something which participates in the reality to which it points.  It points to God’s ceasing from his creative activity, and as such when Israel does the same they participate in such ceasing from creative activity. Just as people react violently in the U.S. to flag burning so… Read more

Thanks to my alert colleague Lawson Stone for dredging this up from hoary antiquity. Read more

(Continuation of the Review of Tonstad’s book on the sabbath) As is well known, Paul connects the new covenant with the Abrahamic covenant, in distinction from the Mosaic covenant, and thus it becomes important for Tonstad that somehow he connect Abraham to Sabbath observance and the Sabbath commandment.  His attempt to do this is weak, because the most he can muster is the fact that Abraham is said to keep some commandments of God, though there is no evidence whatsoever… Read more

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S.K. Tonstad, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day, (Andrews U. Press, 2009), pp. xiv+575.   (This is the first of a seven part critique of Tonstad’s landmark and elegantly written book). It is the thesis of of S.K. Tonstad that the majority of Christendom needs to resurrect and recover the observance of the seventh day, the Sabbath.   His concern is however not just with the loss of a ‘day of rest’ or a particular ritual pattern to the Christian week,… Read more

Have you ever noticed that there is a truth structure to reality itself?  What do I mean by this?  Well consider what happens when you tell a lie.  Go ahead, admit it, you’ve done that before.   What happens when the lie is challenged?  Well then you are confronted again with the truth of the matter and you have a choice either to admit the lie, orrrrrr  you have to make up another lie.   ‘Oh what a subtle web we weave….’… Read more

In an important study, Raymond Starr comments on the process by which manuscripts eventually became public property (if they ever did).  He stresses that an author tended to write only for his own circle of friends, and they would be the ones whom he would test out preliminary drafts of the work on,  through readings in his home over dinner.  The author would not hand out copies to the listeners, but he might indeed, before an in home reading, send… Read more

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