Book Review: Questions About The Nature And Perpetuity Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath

Questions About The Nature And Perpetuity Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath And Proof That The First Day Of The Week Is The True Christian Sabbath, by John Bunyan

A friend of mine who knows of my love for Bunyan’s writings as well as my extensive writing concerning the Sabbath [1] [2] recommended this short book to me that is both a terrible book and a worthwhile one at the same time.  The surface view of the book’s materials and argumentation indicates that this book is not worth using as toilet paper as far as its veracity is concerned.  Even so, despite being an utter travesty as far as scriptural exegesis is concerned, the errors that Bunyan makes are common ones, his lack of knowledge concerning the Sabbath lamentable and nearly universal, and his antinomian strategy one that antinomians everywhere adopt when encountering laws in the Bible that they do not want to obey.  The fact that this book is refuse does not mean that it is useless, because it is an object lesson for all of its readers that the temptation to use one’s own fallacious justifications for disobeying the clear commands of God is something that exists for all of us in areas where our own behavior falls short of the clearly expressed will of God.

This books is mercifully short at just over 30 pages, which means that while one is reading garbage, at least it is a third of the length of, say, the similar garbage appendix for Gary North’s interpretation of the Ten Commandments.  If one is reading bad arguments, at least one should read short ones.  Here the author takes on five questions and flubs them badly, arguing that the Sabbath is a ceremonial and not a moral concern (do you think that the treatment of the land, rest given to animals and servants, and the return of land to its original inhabitants is moral or not?), using poor reasoning to try to pit one aspect of the Sabbath (specifically holy days like Pentecost as well as the wave sheaf offering) against other aspects of the Sabbath (like the weekly Sabbath), and going for pages without any scriptural citations at all.  The editor acts as if this piece of dreck is a decisive anti-Sabbath argument, when it is possible that the Sabbatarians of England chose not to respond because it would have been answering a fool according to his folly.

Despite not being a very good example of biblical-based argumentation, there is at least some value in a pamphlet like this, and it is especially to demonstrate the real reason why so many professed Christians find the Seventh-Day Sabbath so unpalatable.  Namely, Hellenistic Christianity cannot accept doing anything that would lead them to be confused with Jews.  Although Paul, Jesus, and the prophets were all Sabbath keepers and generally Torah-observant believers, Hellenistic Christians cannot accept behaving in a way that could be labeled as Jewish, and so they must at all costs attempt to delegitimize the seventh day Sabbath, lest the realization hit many of them that following Christ and living and walking as He did would require them to live in such a way that they could be considered as Jews, something that they cannot tolerate.  Ultimately, that fear of being labeled as a Jew is at the basis of the author’s fervor and his unwillingness to accept the righteous judgment that he and other defenders of the first day are in fact hypocrites to use antinomian arguments that they would regularly condemn otherwise.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity, Church of God and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Book Review: Questions About The Nature And Perpetuity Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath

  1. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thanks for reviewing this. I’ll be starting my reading of it tonight. Yesterday, I finished something else that Bunyan wrote: a treatise on justification by faith, in which he was responding to a Mr. Fowler. I tried reading that in high school and gave up because I didn’t understand it, but I understood it more now. And I also found online the Fowler book that he was trying to rebut. Only on the Internet!

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Bad Religion | Edge Induced Cohesion

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