Read Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight by Norman Wirzba Online


Sabbath is one day a week when we should rest from our otherwise harried lives, right? In Living the Sabbath, Norman Wirzba leads us to a much more holistic and rewarding understanding of Sabbath-keeping. Wirzba shows how Sabbath is ultimately about delight in the goodness that God has made--in everything we do, every day of the week. With practical examples, Wirzba unpackSabbath is one day a week when we should rest from our otherwise harried lives, right? In Living the Sabbath, Norman Wirzba leads us to a much more holistic and rewarding understanding of Sabbath-keeping. Wirzba shows how Sabbath is ultimately about delight in the goodness that God has made--in everything we do, every day of the week. With practical examples, Wirzba unpacks what that means for our daily lives at work, in our homes, in our economies, in school, in our treatment of creation, and in church. This book will appeal to clergy and laypeople alike and to all who are seeking ways to discover the transformative power of Sabbath in their lives today....

Title : Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781587431654
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 172 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight Reviews

  • Hannah Notess
    2019-04-20 20:43

    I don't usually read theology books at all, so this was a stretch for me, but I am really glad I tried it.The first couple of chapters where he focuses on the theology of the sabbath were wonderful. It really made me think about how we do orient our lives around busyness and work, rather than sabbath rest, which is not keeping the sabbath commandment. And the general thinking about how sabbath connects us to the rest of creation and caring for creation - that was great. Lots of good stuff to think about.From there, the book kind of petered out. It got vague and kind of crotchety (he is the editor for Wendell Berry's books so... you can just picture that) with big generalizations like "All computer technologies promote arrogance." Um... you know what else promotes arrogance? Thinking you're too good to use computer technologies. So, those sections were weaker. But the first half was like life-changing and definitely worth reading, and for a work of theology it was quite readable!

  • KA
    2019-03-22 21:36

    An incredibly important book; I'd love to see churches of all denominations take this on in adult Sunday schools, book studies, and other small groups. Wirzba challenges all aspects of modern, Western culture, both within and outside the church; some topics he covers are education, food, environmentalism, and human and animal suffering. Each topic is rooted in the ground of worshipful delight in creation, and Wirzba respectfully draws on Jewish theology as well as Christian thinking throughout the past 2000 years. Could have benefited from more story-telling (one of the few stories he recounts involves his family's relationship with their raspberry patch, and it is a vibrant and memorable illustration of his point), but the ideas alone are worth reading the book for even if the writing is a little dry in points.

  • Steve
    2019-04-19 18:00


  • Abigail
    2019-03-21 18:56

    This is a fantastic book that I see myself continually reading as a way to center myself in what is truly central to life lived fully in Christ.

  • Martin
    2019-03-27 19:55

    Wirzba writes on the meaning of the sabbath, a timely topic in today's rushed life. By placing a discussion on the sabbath within God's own delight on the day of rest, and within the Ten Commandments, he places a reflection of the sabbath within a reflection on created orders. The sabbath is a day of joy and delight of God's gifts of life to us, because it was God's own response to a creation well made. It is not just a break from hectic work and schedules, it has meaning for everything we do; a focus of gratitude, a deep desire to give thanks to God. Our choices and schedules at all times need to reflect this deep gratitude, the 'costly ways of God's grace' (p22). The misery of animals, creation, workers stand in contrast to finding delight and praise. Dominion can only be effective if there is 'informed affection' (p32). The sabbath is not a day when all stops, but a day where everything is celebrated (p33), our total dependence on God with all the kindness and sacrifices needed to sustain our lives, incl. earthworms, plants, families, teachers... Forsaking the sabbath is to think we can live by ourselves, it is a matter of life and death (p41). With Moltmann he argues that the Christian Sunday is the messianic extension of the sabbath, is is not that the meaning of the sabbath is abolished in Christ, instead, with the 'incarnation of God in Christ the whole of creation is given a redemptive focus' (p42). The goal of all of life is to find rest in God. The road is through the cross and it is sin that prevents each member to become what God has intended them to be (p51). Transformation is possible by entering into the life of God by following Christ's commandments. An affirmation of the goodness in creation could also include pain and suffering, self interested yearning is ingratitude. Delight is when we know we do not have to secure the world through our hands or reason. Many layers of support and relationships are needed to make life possible, arguing against any form of arrogance and ignorance. A rejection of the reality of pain and suffering, a yearning to escape is no basis for a life of delight. Members of the body of Christ never face their suffering alone. We learn interdependence when we fully welcome others. That is what Wirzba calls 'Sabbath discipline': to be trained in strengthening and celebration of our relationships. Wirzba continues with an application of Sabbath principles of delight and relationship to work, homes, education, environment, worship and economies in a language of oikos/household, citing approvingly of scholars such as theologian Christopher Wright, ecological economist Herman Daly as well as Wendell Berry. The solutions Wirzba proposes tend towards the local and community and detailed understanding of ecological relationships.. One example that illustrates, page 162: 'big chains give us cheap goods, their cheapness hide too many hidden costs that diminish creations' delight'. Wirzba is further suspicious of technology, academia, the urban, efficiency and management paradigms.Wirzba linked the meaning of the sabbath to the whole of life. It is a book full of wonderful insights and provides a much-needed antidote to a one day a week Christianity, focussed on individual consumption of religious goods and services. Linking Christian living or ethic to creation order is a project mired with difficulty, however. In our broken and fallen world, where even our best works and intentions are full of sin, how can we even start to claim that we know how to reflect the image of God in the cosmos? It will always be provisional at best, always subject to revision, always open to change as He is making something new! A fall-back on conservativism is always close when speaking about creation orders, it is easy to reaffirm the old in reaction to the liberalism of market economies, technology, education etc. The sabbath mist indeed be thought through much more consciously, but Jesus Christ is Lord also of the sabbath. It is in Him where a search for Christian living start as He is the road to our Father. Living the sabbath starts in Christ, in creation, cross and resurrection and His promises of the what is yet to come. This is theme where I would have loved to see more of in Wirzba's book. Well-written, a great topic and easy to read, recommended!

  • Dan Muthui
    2019-04-18 22:38

    Wirzba confronts today’s culture (of work, food production, economic structures etc) describing it as devoid of rest and delight. He attempts to lift the meaning of Sabbath off the one day at the end of the week when human beings withdraw from activities in order to “rest”- if indeed they do, and defines it as a lifestyle of delight that can be attained when we withdraw to redefine our lifestyles and its effects not only on our state of being but also the environment. While his proposals are timely and indeed worthy of consideration, and while he has taken a great deal of space to articulate the issues and what needs to be done for Sabbath to be experienced, he does not suggest how. This leaves room for criticism and claim that his options are abstract, irrelevant and unfeasible in today’s world. However I think, the issues he raises should challenge today’s ways of life, especially in the developed world.

  • Colby
    2019-04-03 17:37

    I'll admit a certain bias, having had the pleasure of learning with Dr. Wirzba in class, but this is simply one of the finest books on the Sabbath. I read it in parallel with Heschel's Sabbath and Brueggemann's Sabbath as Resistance to prepare for a recent retreat (also two fine books). Living the Sabbath strikes an excellent balance of the theological and practical, interweaving the two in a deeply organic and transparent way.Wirzba takes a sabbath worldview and applies it imaginatively and thoughtfully to all the aspects of every day life. In the first half of the book he traces a semi historical development from Scriptural and Jewish roots to the modern worship practice. Then he turns a critical eye to work, rest, consumption, production and economics, examining each through the lens of Sabbath.This is a must read resource both for Christian living and any teaching, preaching or writing on Sabbath.

  • Sandy H
    2019-04-13 22:51

    I found this book to be very scolding. Had it been the first book I'd read about Sabbath I'm not sure it would've made me desire to have a practice of Sabbath keeping. Other books accomplished far more in that direction for me. He far too often indulged in hyperbole to make a point and instead killed his overall credibility for me. I'd been doing my best to stay engaged until he totally lost me on the subject of architecture, implying that every single American house was built the same way and applying the worst possible interpretation to floor plans without any actual facts to back it up. He did that in most of the book for just about every topic he took on. I skimmed the last half of the book just to get it read.It's too bad. He makes some good points but they're buried in so much diatribe I stopped paying attention after awhile.

  • Matthew Dickerson
    2019-04-11 00:01

    I have enjoyed, and learned from, several of Wirzba's essays dealing with agrarian philosophy, and I also found to be very helpful and challenging his previous book The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age , so I have been looking forward to reading this new one. I haven't been disappointed. It is both insightful and challenging. The sort of book that should be read carefully by anybody who cares and is willing to think about what it could mean to live a life that is nourished by "rhythms of rest and delight".

  • Casey
    2019-04-10 21:01

    This was the first book I read as I began my research on my Masters project on Sabbath Mission. I fell in love with it within the first few pages and have returned to it again and again. This is a well written, accessible book about the transformative power of the Sabbath for our daily lives. If you wanted to read one book about Sabbath, I’d recommend this in a heartbeat.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-12 21:55

    Sabbath is a way of life, not a day off. Our frenetic society has placed US at the center of everything, and we have failed to trust in God's goodness as we abuse ourselves and His creation. This is a book I will need to read again and again. For now, I will practice taking delight in God's wonderful gifts!

  • Nathan Klinger
    2019-03-30 17:37

    A perspective every Christian should read. This is probably the most holistic book written on the Sabbath that I know of. The Sabbath is not merely a day one sets aside or a theological concept; it is a mindset and a way of life.

  • Rae
    2019-04-10 23:40

    We as a society have misplaced the tradition of keeping the Sabbath...not just on Sunday (or Saturday, as the case may be) but during the week also. Wirzba explains how to maintain a Sabbath attitude while attending to our duties on a weekday basis.

  • Tim
    2019-04-08 21:36

    Great conception of making Sabbath the paradigm Christian's live in everyday. It is not always easy prose to work through however. It is even better as I reflect back on it at the end of the year.

  • Gary
    2019-04-09 21:45

    skimmed--has some great parts

  • Lisa Morrow
    2019-04-13 18:49

    A beautiful book to read on sabbath living.

  • Candice
    2019-04-17 15:46

    I actually didn't quite finish this one before I had to return it to the library, but it is a more theological and scriptural exploration than the philosophical Allender Sabbath book.

  • Jonathan
    2019-04-10 20:46

    What an excellent book! Not a technical, "how-to" book - but something more fluid and organic - essentially written how we should also live and worship!