Archives For Sunday

 

With Rest and With Celebration
 
A Review of

A Brief History of Sunday:
From the New Testament to the New Creation
Justo González

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Alisa Williams
 
 
 

*** This review originally appeared on
SpectrumMagazine.org

 Reprinted with permission of the reviewer.

 
Growing up Seventh-day Adventist, it always seemed strange to me that the majority of Christians worship on Sunday. Though I attended Adventist schools from kindergarten through university, and we often discussed the importance and “rightness” of Saturday as the proper day of worship, the why behind Sunday worship and the how it came to be were never addressed. I remember asking the questions, but the abrupt, “well other Christians are just WRONG” and the more toxic (and inaccurate), “it’s the Catholics fault,” weren’t helpful to my understanding. Over the years, I’ve heard references to Constantine’s role in Sunday worship, but it all seemed a bit muddy.

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A Brief Review of

Sunday: A History of the First Day
from Babylonia to the Super Bowl
.
Craig Harline.
Now Available in Paperback!
Yale UP, 2011.
Buy now:
[ Amazon ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jasmine Wilson.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked at McDonald’s. I was the new person that summer, and even though I had indicated I did not want to work on Sunday, I was told by the manager that that’s the day everyone wanted off, and I pretty much would not get hired unless I agreed I could work that day. I ended up agreeing to work Sunday morning, especially since my church had services Saturday night I could attend.

This anecdote illustrates a number of fascinating things about how we treat the day Sunday in the contemporary world. First, it still has some aspects of sacredness and resting, prompting many, religious or not, to try not to work on that day. Second, there is no longer the legalism of past decades and centuries in which working on Sunday led to social ostracism, since it was one of the pastor’s favorite sermon topics. These are a few of the many points Craig Harline articulates in his book, Sunday: A history of the First Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl.
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