Book Review: From Sabbath To Sunday (1928)

From Sabbath To Sunday: A Discussion of the Historical Aspects of the Sabbath Question, Showing How, When, Why, and by Whom the Change Was Made From the Seventh to the First Day of the Week, by Carlyle B. Haynes

Although this is not the most familiar book of this title to contemporary readers, it is a worthwhile book from the early 20th century that offers a pointed critique of Protestant Sundaykeeping practice in light of the clear biblical mandate for Sabbath observance. This book may be more pointed for Sunday keepers in light of the fact that from a defective interpretation of Colossians 2 and a defective understanding of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in light of the failure to understand and observe the biblical Sabbath, the book still manages to score many points against the Protestant churches of the author’s time by quoting ante- and post-Nicene Church Fathers as well as Catholic leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who were particularly bold about teaching that the fact that most Protestant churches keep the first day of the week contrary to the consistent biblical record was an implicit recognition of the authority of tradition, and therefore of the Roman Catholic Church, a line of argument that remains no less true today, but which for various reasons has not been continued by contemporary Catholic polemicists with the same degree of vehemence as before.

In terms of its contents, this short book, full of pictures and only about 130 pages in length, is divided into clear thematic chapters of somewhat uneven length. The book itself was published by the Review and Harold Publishing Association, a publisher owned by the Seventh Day Adventists, and it begins with noting the change of observance from Sabbath to Sunday, gives a brief discussion of the biblical Sabbath, points out the obvious fact that divine sanction for the change of the day of worship is entirely lacking in scripture, examines the historical change in light of the sun worship of the heathen cults of Late Antiquity, points out the fallacious nature of some calendar arguments against the Sabbath being preserved throughout history, and comments at length about the confused Protestant position about the continued validity of the law, and specifically of the Ten Commandments, with the practical negation and nullification of the Sabbath commandment in actual practice. After this the book proceeds rapidly to its conclusion by looking at some biblical prophecies about Sabbathkeeping in the last days, the goal of some Sabbath keepers, like the author, seeking to complete the progressive Protestant reformation by bringing Christian practice fully in line with scripture, and a brief closing about walking in the light of the Word as opposed to the darkness of human tradition.

Not all Sabbath keepers would find all aspects of this book’s arguments equally compelling. There is a lot that is to be found wanting, for example, in this book’s casual disregard of the many references to the Holy Days that are to be found in Acts and the Epistles. There are even many who would find the book’s endorsement of progressive revelation and a desire to avoid rigid creeds based on initial founders of particular religious traditions to be offensive, although I am not among such readers. Even with these caveats, though, this book is a brief one that manages to serve as a passionate and eloquent defense of the legitimacy of keeping the Sabbath as commanded in scripture. Published in 1928, this particular book contains quotations and material that would be mined by later Sabbatarians such as the people behind the Eternal Church of God, and its focus on the critical fourth through sixth centuries and the early importance of Rome and Alexandria in abandoning the Sabbath because of the influence of heathen religion in those cities is notable, and makes this a worthwhile book in spite of its flaws.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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14 Responses to Book Review: From Sabbath To Sunday (1928)

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  13. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings and commented:
    Reblogging for future reference.

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