Perspectives on the Sabbath

Chris Donato joins the panel to speak about various views on the Sabbath. Mr. Donato has editing the book Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 Views published by Broadman and Holman Publishers. 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. 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.


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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program and learn how to subscribe.

11 Responses

  1. There is no explicit reference in the NT to a Sunday “Sabbath.” Was it an early church tradition to gather on Sunday (probably Saturday night), after the Sabbath had come to an end? Of course. But Jesus warns us very clearly in Mark 7:13 (and elsewhere) about nullifying God’s commandments through manmade traditions:

    “You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

    Does this or does this not describe Sunday Sabbatarianism.

  2. Jonathan Brack

    In wider context …
    Man was not made for the Sabbath but Sabbath for Man. Mark 2:27
    I agree with you about no Sunday Sabbath, but instead a “Lord’s Day.”
    We also need a robust understanding of tradition “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” 2 Thes. 2:15

  3. You know it’s a good episode when Bucey says to Waddington ‘that’s fighting talk Jeff”

    I suspect a ‘Perspectives on the Sabbath Part Two’ featuring Waddington & Blomberg would make for a lively and doubtless edifying programme.

  4. Kevin


    Great show. One question I have about the Sabbath is not whether or not we hold to a day of rest on Sunday, but why did we, Christians, change the meaning of the word “day?” God defines day as evening and morning (or Sundown to Sundown). We define it as Morning to Evening (sunrise to sundown), usually. Why isn’t the Christian Sabbath Saturday at sundown to Sunday at sundown. Afterall, that is what constitutes a day, in God’s definition. Also, what a statement that would make to the world if the “Christians” rested on the most “entertaining and worldly” night of the week, Saturday, and instead, rested, fellowshipped together, got a good nights rest, to be ready to worship God corporately. Just a thought.

    I’ve just never heard an answer to why we changed “day.”


    1. Kevin, my understanding is that “there was evening, there was morning, the ‘x’ day” means assuming daylight/daytime to begin with, then evening comes, and then the day is over when the *next* morning comes.

  5. Been out of the loop for several weeks with a new job, but thanks again to you guys for the opportunity to do this interview.

    Kevin, I’ve often wondered that myself, though I haven’t done the research about calendars, days, etc., and when “we” adopted them. I suspect that the further early Christianity moved from its Jewish roots, the further it moved away from this particular concept of day. I do think it’s safe to say that, especially among Jewish Christians in the first century (not least before AD 70), it wouldn’t be unusual to see a Christian family continue to take part in Saturday (synagogical) worship and then that evening, after sundown, hold vigil in remembrance of the risen Christ.

    Of course, this could all be a figment of my imagination.

    1. Reformed Forum

      Thanks for the link. WTS Books updated their website, and many of this older links are broken. It’s just too much for us to go back and update all of them.

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