The Lord's Day

Compiled by James P. Westberry, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 287 pages, $8.95, paper.

Reviewed by Clifford Goldstein, editor of Shabbat Shalom.

The year 1888 is important in Adventism, but another group is celebrating that centennial too. The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States, the "only national organization whose sole purpose is the maintenance and cultivation of the first day of the week as a time for rest, worship, Christian education, and spiritual renewal," in commemoration of their 100-year anniversary, has published The Lord's Day. Compiled by the executive director of the Lord's Day Alliance, Dr. James P. Westberry, the book is composed of 30 articles, sermons, and talks given by pastors and laymen over the years on the "Christian" Sabbath.

It is fascinating reading for Seventh-day Adventists. Despite the small technicality of having chosen the wrong day, the book makes good points about Sabbath observance. Fredrick Harris, talking about a person who hoed corn on the "Sabbath," wrote: "There is a penalty for planting and hoeing corn on Sunday, but it does not show in the com; it shows in the person."

Unfortunately, the book is filled with the usual polemics for Sunday-keeping--the same tired texts, reasoning, and arguments about the resurrection, the breaking of bread on the first day of the week, etc. In one of the shorter chapters, "Evidence for Sunday Worship," Richard W. DeHaan assures his readers that a small minority in Christendom insists "upon keeping Saturday as the weekly Sabbath." Of all his arguments, the most meaningless was that at the "conclusion of that church council [Acts 15], the Gentile Christians were ad vised to abstain from certain things but not one word was said about keeping the Sabbath." Obviously the same could be said of any of the other commandments.

More than once, the idea comes through that Sunday is the Lord's day, and that America needs laws to protect it. Said one contributor, "I may have 'blue laws' embedded into my veins, but I can't help it." The Lord's Day may be comical in places, but it can be chilling in others.

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Reviewed by Clifford Goldstein, editor of Shabbat Shalom.

February 1988

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