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Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Mayflower, Apr 18, 2009.
Has anyone read:
Keeping the Sabbath Today? Jay E. Adams ?
No, but thanks for making us aware of this.
Mr Adams has done great work in many areas and has proven himself faithful and trustworthy over many years as one who carefully handles the Word of God and gives clear practical application.
If I'm not mistaken (knowing some of those who have been influenced by Adams in this area), he opts for a so-called "Continental Sabbath" view. I like Adams immensely, but this sounds like just another opportunity to bash the Confession.
I haven't read it but I knew it was coming out. My understanding is that his Lord's Day/Sunday looks pretty much like ours...worship and rest from normal labors. I'd hate to think of it as bashing the confession. Sproul holds the same view, I believe. (And keep in mind that Dr. Adams is maybe in his 90's now.)
My "bashing the Confession" point is meant to be reflective of those who claim that the Puritans went "too far" in their view of the Sabbath. I have not read the book or spoken specifically with Dr. Adams on the subject, but I had a lengthy conversation with several folks from his church at General Synod a couple of years ago who said that book was coming out, and their view (which I assume is indicative of Adams', given the context of the conversation) is that the 4th commandment is ceremonial, fulfilled in Christ, therefore not applicable in the life of the Christian (in the Westminster sense, anyway). Hence my comments above. Sorry is "bashing" is offensive or too strong of a word. Perhaps I should say "non-Westminsterian."
Perhaps Adams has changed his views as well since this conversation.
For some reason this doesn't make sense to me. He either believes in the Sabbath or he believes that it is ceremonial and was fulfilled in Christ. Holding to the Continental view of the Sabbath doesn't make the Sabbath ceremonial it just gives the Continental Sabbatarian more freedom than the Puritan Sabbatarian.
Affirming the Sabbath does not mean affirming all of the Puritan practices (especially some of the Scots) in regard to the Sabbath.
I say AMEN, the Sabbath is forever, even while I am going out the door for a jog on a Sunday, and then to kick a soccer ball with my son, or to workout...
My understanding is that this is what he's getting at. Yes, his Sunday looks like ours in that he spends the morning and evening at church and rests from his normal labor. But at the same time, the Sabbath in another way is forever 24/7 because of the work of Christ on the cross.
(Okay, I really need to read the book before I say anymore...I just asked the publisher about the content when I heard about it, and this is what I am commenting on.)
I'm new here so perhaps I don't understand but didn't the original question ask if anyone had read the book? Wouldn't it be wise to read it before commenting on it?
FYI - Dr. Adams does not bash the confession. He is teaching a class on it weekly at our church. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday. Adams is a prolific blogger these days at Institute for Nouthetic Studies Blog
Donn, thanks for the comments. I admit that my use of the word "bashing" was/is too hasty. And I am also going on anecdotal evidence. So reading the book would be more profitable.
Since you have read the book (or attending the classes, I'm assuming), could you articulate for the rest of us Dr. Adams' view of the Sabbath and how it lines up with the WCF? I would be interested in knowing before plunking down the $10 for the book.
To say it was ceremonial, would mean it is not moral therefore we no longer keep the 10 commandments only nine. Regardless if for some reason you choose to rest somehow on the 1st day. I hope that would not be to keep ceremonial law in some new way??
If you mean Continental, which is a mis-nomer to begin with, since most continentals like the Dutch held a strict view of the 4 th command as did Calvin, it would be a clear commandment of the moral law and as binding on Christians today as the others commands as a rule of life.
Nope, won't do it for two reasons. First, I am a recovering Baptist and would horribly misuse the Presbyterian jargon. I have no idea what a "Continental" view is. Second, I fear some would accept it or reject it simply by my brief description of the view without the benefit of reading for oneself how Adams arrives at his view.
Go ahead, $10 is a small price to pay for a careful study of this subject. You certainly don't limit your book purchases to those volumes with which know you already agree.
Donn, you are now Presbyterian?!? I had no idea!
Technically, I am a BARP--a Baptist in an ARP church. Jay has brought me around on eschatology but still has a way to go with the infant baptism. But if I am a member of a Presbyterian church I guess that makes me a Presbyterian.
Yes pretty much; at least on the 10 commandments, not holding to this is a deal breaker for me.
1 John 2:3-5
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
Just as a note, the Reformers' views of the fourth commandment held a pretty wide spread. If you read Calvin's Institutes he clearly rejects the observance of the 4th commandment, since he argues that it was all ceremonial, and has been completely fulfilled in Christ. He states that those who would make it part ceremonial and part moral law take away with one hand what they give with the other, and bring the church into a Judaistic bondage. He seems to hold a different view in some of his other writings. Witsius and Turretin both divide it into ceremonial and moral aspects, with the latter holding a stricter view that the former. The WCF, without trying to bash it, is truly the "strictest" of all with some of its statements.
I'm not making any position statements here, just wanting folk to recognize that the writings of the Reformers on the issue are complex and varied.
on Calvin. If you check out Calvin's Sermons on the 10 Commandments (find them here) he sounds like a "Puritan" on the Sabbath.
Calvin's view is closer to Puritanism, which came after of course, than many think. First, see John Primus' various writings who shows that Calvin was in essence a Practical Sabbatarian. Woody Lauer refines that even more to the theoritical side in :John Calvin, the Nascent Sabbatarian: A Reconsideration of Calvin’s View of Two Key Sabbath-Issues." By Stewart E. Lauer. This appeared in the 2007 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian. See link below my signature.
I don't think everyone will ever agree on Calvin's views on the Sabbath were since he says different things in different places. One thing is sure....whether he thought it was ceremonial or not he kept the Sabbath more strictly than most people alive today.
The clearer remarks clarify what he meant in the more obscure.
He was a strict 4th commandment adherent who kept it as the Lord's day and saw the term sabbath as mosaic economy.
The method to obey remained basically the same, and as Christ taught but not as the Pharisees added to the OT law, like 1200 paces max.
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Couldn't he be understood to be saying the Sabbath as it was delivered in the jewish economy is abrogated, but the essence of the 4th commandment, which preceded the 10 commandments, is now celebrated as the Lord's Day, not the Jewish Sabbath, though the method of sanctification is much the same.
It is as Christ taught it and not as the Pharisees had added to it.
This is how I understand him taking all his works together. Seems like this si what most of the reformers and Dutch ended up with
Like I said I don't think everyone will ever agree....
I recently had a conversation in our Bible study group regarding the Sabbath. One viewpoint put forward was that the reason we worship on the first day of the week is that the apostles and early church did so. We also observe the Sabbath day on Sunday, but it is not mandated. Basically the day we celebrate the Sabbath isn't that important, but just the principle of one day in seven being our Sabbath day. So if the government changed the structure of our workweek, Christians could go ahead and change the day, and make that day the Sabbath day.
Now I'm not sure if anyone has read the recent Christian Renewal magazine, but I found that two ministers held to that same viewpoint. If I'm not mistaken, one even said that the Seventh Day Adventists are free to worship on Saturday. Is this something new or do Dutch reformed churches have a history of this viewpoint?
So under this view, they see the 4th commandment as a moral law, but they are fuzzy on which day is actually the Christian Sabbath. Maybe they view it as a good tradition. I view Sunday as the only day which can be the Lord's Day and the Christian Sabbath, but I was wondering if anyone had some insights.
They will as they read more of Calvin and find the truth.
This one is not one of ambiguity but of lack of education and past misrepresentation
I think the 1 in seven rest is most important. But I think I would seek a job where I get the 1st day off. There are many jobs today where there is not any speicial order of days, they work all 7, you just don't work for them if you don't give you the 1st off.
How would we gather if we all had dif days off?
Pray God does not cause the tribulation to come on the sabbath so we must miss out rest by necessity to flee.
Also that we do not lose our 1st day off work week
I cannot speak as to Dutch history on the subject, but it would seem surprising to me if this were the case. At any rate, it does "matter" in the sense that if one were demanding an OT Sabbath concept (i.e., worship on the 7th day/Saturday), this would matter as such a concept (albeit taking into consideration broader OT ceremonial days) is looked down upon by Paul in Colossians 2:16-17. And it's not as if Seventh Day Adventists are simply choosing to worship on a different day: "Sunday worship" is considered to be the mark of the Beast by them if their highway billboards are any indication of their doctrine.
Confessionally, we worship on the first day of the week because of Christ's resurrection on the first day of the week. Other things in the early church followed and established this pattern: the repeated gatherings of the disciples on the first day of the week (John 20), the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the meetings of early Christians in Acts, etc. And Paul's comments in Col. 2 are telling: the OT sabbath was "a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." It would seem to intentionally neglect the change of day in favor of OT observance is to embrace the type instead of the One to whom this pointed. And that's not spoken of positively in the NT.
I have "Calvin on the Sabbath" by Richard Gaffin. He gives fairly clear answers as to what Calvin believed and taught. I'll look it out and get back on it. In the Institutes, C doesn't seem to make much of the fact that the Sabbath is a creation ordinance and therefore made for man and not just the Jews. This affects his subsequent exegesis of the fourth commandment.
Re the change of day from the Seventh to the First, the fact that the Apostles moved worship to the first day of the week indicates that they were instructed to do this by Christ, by word or revelation. Would they have done this as an idea of their own?
The Seventh Day was the first day of the completed old creation and the first day of the old Israel's completed redemption from Egypt.
The First or Eighth Day is the first day of the completed new creation in Christ's resurrection and the first day of the new Israel's completed redemption.
Thank you for your insights. The early church worshipped on Sunday, and in doing so they remembered the resurrection. To worship on Saturday would be to akin to celebrating a ceremonial feast.