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The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  958 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Widely-acclaimed author Mark Buchanan states that what we've really lost is "the rest of God-the rest God bestows and, with it, that part of Himself we can know only through stillness." Stillness as a virtue is a foreign concept in our society, but there is wisdom in God's own rhythm of work and rest. Jesus practiced Sabbath among those who had turned it into a dismal thin ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
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Feb 04, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading a couple good reviews of Mark Buchanan's work a year or so ago I bought a couple of his books. Upon receiving the books, though, they quickly languished on my shelves. They looked too "pop-culturey" to me to rouse me to read.

I'm glad they finally made it into my hands.

"The Rest of God" is an excellent book. Buchanan is a bit like an evangelical, male version of Annie Dillard. There is a stillness and a slowness-even a choppiness- in the way he writes.

"The Rest of God" is really a
Adam Parker
Oct 15, 2015 Adam Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I am glad that it was. Western Followers would do well to read this one. Though the writing style is a bit overly descriptive at times (in my opinion) which tends to distract from what he is trying to emphasize, the point still comes across well. There are a few times that the author seems to start down rabbit trails as well, but regardless, the message/theme ends up shining by the end of each chapter. I particularly liked the practical-liturgy fo ...more
Josh Miller
Dec 27, 2014 Josh Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Buchanan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Not only was the content of the book life-changing, it personally spoke to me at length. The message of the book is one that is glossed over by most Bible-believers and Buchanan deftly describes in an opening chapter what the book is about..."The argument of this book is that we uniquely take up his invitation by keeping Sabbath, both as a day and as an attitude."

I found myself musing deeply on the thoughts presented throughout the bo
May 02, 2016 Kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very thought provoking. Loved it.
Oct 11, 2008 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is one pastor's interpretation and application of the Sabbath.

Not a bad book. Not earth-shattering, but not bad. I found the author had some helpful insights. I also think he's as confused as the rest of us.

There are some contradictions in his ideas. For example, he states that since God rested from creating on the 7th day, so should we. No creating. Just enjoy what already exists. OK, makes sense. Then he equates his sabbatical to a year-long sabbath. OK. Then he mentions that he's
Dec 09, 2012 Bryon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never read a book about Sabbath before; about rest. And I'm not very good at it. I took about three months to read this book. Mark Buchanan is one of my favorite writers and he only comes out with a book about once a year, so I don't like to finish the book too quickly.

His writings are like Philip Yancey's. If you like Yancey, you'll like Buchanan. His books make you think about where you are with the Lord.

God's rest is provided for us to revive, rejuvenate, and give up control. If you wan
Garland Vance
My wife and I set a goal a few months ago to begin living life at a slower pace in order to better be aware of God's presence and to live in a way that values relationships, not just productivity. As part of this journey, we determined to beginning intentionally practicing a Sabbath. So we needed to learn more about it. This is why I began reading The Rest of God.

This book was incredible for several reasons. First, Mark Buchanan writes more like a poet than a writer of spiritual works. He uses b
Jun 12, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I just finished reading The Rest of God for the third time. I'm sure I'll read it again.

Yes, Buchanan is a fantastic writer (his syntax and diction are well-chosen and compelling), but what what brings me back to The Rest of God is the importance of rest (or struggle with rest) in my own life. One of the book's strengths is that it addresses the importance of rest on the Sabbath as well as throughout the week; it's about more than just what we should do on Sunday (or Saturday).

I found myself re
Feb 27, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This book was recommended to me and was the first chance I have had to read Buchanan. There are certain books which give you a glimpse of an author's state of mind when writing, for me this was one of those books. Buchanan's words are rich and inviting like a good cup of coffee on a cold winters day. It is the tenor of these words as much as the content which invites you to a place of contemplation and reflection, into as he says The Rest of God. Sabbath is something I have been pondering for so ...more
Jun 24, 2014 BDC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved, loved, loved this book. The topic of Sabbath keeping and a Sabbath lifestyle is sorely needed these days and I've found myself grappling with best ways to implement Sabbath for the past few years (young kids so rhythms change a lot). The author give some good insights and good Scriptural backing for those insights, but the real joy of this book is his beautiful prose. It was restful and pleasant just to read his words and stories. Highly recommended! (If you read a book and think 'just ge ...more
Mar 04, 2008 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book that gives great insight into the Sabbath - why God created it, how he uses it to shape and nurture us and why he commands us to keep it. I love the way Buchanan shares how to start incorporating rest into your life at the end of each chapter. It's a very readable book - although if you are like me, you may need to read it periodically to remind yourself WHY you should resist our culture's tendency to over-schedule, over-commit and in most every way avoid resting. I've r ...more
Nancy Peifer
Feb 11, 2013 Nancy Peifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've read recently, but maybe because I need Sabbath rest... Buchanan is not only a Bible scholar but a poet and a very real and humble man. His wisdom has not come easily but is shared freely and expressed beautifully. If you are weary this is a must read, but it is not a 5 easy steps to rest type book--thankfully. Readers are challenged to take an honest look at what Sabbath is, an honest look at their own life, and then decide what they need to do to obey the Sabbath command and fin ...more
Steve Watson
Jul 01, 2016 Steve Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by my spiritual director, who has this year helped me diagnose a need for better rest - to slow down, to be still, and to find the rest of me and the rest of God. I'm trying.

Fourteen chapters, with fourteen invitations to sabbath liturgy. Here they are.

1) Work: One Thing Before You Stop
-work as worship, as making Christ known
2) A Beautiful Mind: Stopping to Think Anew
3) The Rest of God: Stopping to Find What's Missing
4) In God's Time: Stopping to See God's Bigness
-every year you gr
Therese Allen
Oct 07, 2015 Therese Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book IS life-changing. I'll read it again, for sure. The only criticism I have for Mark Buchanan is that I read the phrase "God and Jesus"...When I hear non believers say this, I say to myself,"So they don't know that Jesus IS God; they don't believe it, I guess..." In the context of this book, it seemed perhaps an oversight by the author and editor(s)...Mr. Buchanan was referring to the Father in these passages. It's true that we can't completely understand the Trinity this side of Heaven. ...more
Dean Anderson
I'm finished, but I didn't finish the book. It's okay, it has some good content. (I especially liked the point about the difference between the treatment of the Sabbath in Exodus and Deuteronomy). But there is just something about Buchanan's style and his exceedingly long illustrations that made me decide to quit about two thirds of the way through.
Jun 19, 2016 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Observing the Sabbath as a day is a conviction Demetrius and I have held for about the last 8 years. We came from a very highly outreach and service-oriented church, where Thursday night was the only time set aside for family time. Every other night was Bible college classes, Bible Study, Wednesday church, College Youth Group meeting, service crews, and home groups! There was no such thing as Sabbath rest and we saw people burn out on that lifestyle. When we moved to Vancouver we started reading ...more
Nicholas Maulucci
Feb 12, 2015 Nicholas Maulucci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent book. recommended for pastors. my thoughts are too many and complicated to one-finger type them on my kindle.
John Kaess
Feb 13, 2014 John Kaess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-re-read
One of my favorite books, worth re-reading once a year. Extremely well written with life changing and needed ideas about rest, and that God designed us to need rest, thinking it so important that it was a part of the 10 commandments, just like not murdering.
When I picked up The Rest of God I was hoping to sink my teeth into some deep Sabbath Theology. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

This book is broken into 14 chapters, each of which ends with a "Sabbath Liturgy". To be clear, the liturgy is not what /should/ be done on the Sabbath, in fact the author warns against a legalist approach. These liturgies are ideas, techniques, and suggestions you can apply to your own Sabbath in order to discover what spiritual rest means to you.

Because of th
Robert Miner
Nov 21, 2014 Robert Miner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, transparent presentation of a neglected topic, both here in the Middle East, as well as in Europe.
We've neglected the practice of the sabbath to our own detriment. Our landscape is cluttered with burnt-out pastors, over-stressed elders, unfocused disciples, and joyless followers of Christ.
Both Buchanan and I agree, there must be a relationship between these two practices.
In our central European (German speaking) work ethic, we exercise disciple only for work, to "turn on", however
Sep 22, 2011 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book, on many levels. Buchanan is a writer who's easy to read. His ideas are somewhat provocative, while still being accessible and digestible. I have to say, my thoughts on Sabbath were antiquated and warped. Once I read this, it just plain makes sense. Perhaps my biggest takeaway though is that the Sabbath, while in many ways a test-run of the hereafter, is very much here and now a time to embrace that which is most life-giving. Rather than seeing the Sabbath as an obligatory "holy ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like Mark Buchanan speaks. It is neither theological nor argumentative. While the word of God is described as a sword that pierces the heart, this book Is like a blanket that wraps around you and comforts you until you go away feeling different.
Rather than making "good points," he provides vivid descriptions of life and engaging stories.

Probably the thing he does best in the book is describe what Sabbath practically can look like. Perhaps he assumes that if you're reading the boo
Jul 17, 2016 Nile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book on how to find rest in God. The author does a good job dealing with the attitude and heart issues as well as the practical side of taking rest. We live in a culture that praises busyness and there is a lot that we miss out on when we don't set apart and sanctify time to rest in God.

I was hoping to find a little more content on proving the need for Christians to observe the sabbath. I come from a church culture that does not practice the sabbath. This book assumes that sabbath is good
Sarah King
Dec 12, 2015 Sarah King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a blessing to me at a time when I really needed it. It redeemed my view of the sabbath and reminded me that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath-- meaning we are free to do things that are fun, that bring us joy and life, on the sabbath! It helped me think through what is most refreshing to me, and begin to set aside time for those things. I would recommend it to all the workaholics I know.
Jul 11, 2014 Marlise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So refreshing and insightful. I like Buchanan's eloquent yet concise style.

There are times in our lives when certain books hold more weight than others. I was needing rest and not finding it because of my own striving for it... Mark helped me navigate and cut a path straight through to that rest.

The book lay around my house for 3 weeks while 4 of us (my parents were visiting) snatched it and read pieces as we were able. There was much to talk about, think about, pray about, repent from, and run
Deann Doolittle
This book couldn't have fallen into my lap at a better time in my life. It was exactly what I needed to read among all the craziness in my life right now. Helped me see things in a better light in order to have a better life. Really going to strife to do some of the things in this book. Definitely would recommend reading it to anyone that struggles with busyness and getting your priorities right.
Jul 26, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this look at Sabbath rest - not in a legalistic fashion, but in remembering to simply rest in Him. Buchan has a lovely way with words, pastoral experience, and an openness that I enjoy in his books. The Rest of God for me was a timely reminder that like Mary, this Martha needs more time at the foot of my Savior.
Dec 10, 2015 Josiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
This book, as others have mentioned, sat on my shelf for some time. However it was poignant, if not providential I picked it up when I did. I was disabled by a balance loss in my right ear. Doctors told me rest, slowing down and taking my time would help me adjust and potentially help me regain some balance back. Mark's journey became personal for me from page one. It wasn't until he first mentions the verse Isaiah 30:15 though God got my attention. However critical a reader can be concerning se ...more
Aug 09, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
The author begins each chapter kind of in a poetic, aesthetic way with stories of his life or something about beauty and creation. There are many good books on The Sabbath and this is one of them for sure. A thought I had as I read about sabbatical was, is sabbatical really a biblical concept? Sabbath surely is. He wrote about the luxury of taking a sabbatical (he was on one when he wrote the book.) People outside the ministry bubble don't have that luxury. I had the thought, "If those in minist ...more
Matt Moran
"Sabbath-keeping requires two orientations. One is Godward. The other is timeward"

There are some gems here. I would recommend it as a good book to read about the Sabbath, but I wouldn't make this the only book or the first one.

This is not theological at all. It is meant to provoke the imagination. Because of that I wish the author used fewer Biblical stories, because his creative interpretations of the stories often have no relation to authorial intent.

I've seen some people compare Mark Buchanan
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  • Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest
  • Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting
  • Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
  • Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry
  • Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
  • Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians
  • The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man
  • Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World
  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us
  • Renovation of the Heart
  • Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing?
  • Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
  • Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
  • The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days
  • Sacred Pathways
  • Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight
  • Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality
  • After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters
Mark Buchanan lives in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife, Cheryl. They have three young adult children, Adam, Sarah, and Nicola. He was a longtime pastor, an author of many books, and now serves as a professor at Ambrose University College in Calgary.
More about Mark Buchanan...

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“The examen is a form of personal inventory. At day’s end, spend time in prayerful reflection on your day: your comings and goings, routines and disruptions, work and play, discoveries and disappointments. Think about who you met, or missed. Think about your moments of aloneness. In all, ask two questions: when was I most alive, most present, most filled and fulfilled today? And when was I most taxed, stressed, distracted, depleted today? A simpler, and more spiritually focused, version of those questions: when did I feel closest to God, and when farthest?” 5 likes
“In a culture where busyness is a fetish and stillness is laziness, rest is sloth. But without rest, we miss the rest of God: the rest he invites us to enter more fully so that we might know him more deeply. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Some knowing is never pursued, only received. And for that, you need to be still. Sabbath is both a day and an attitude to nurture such stillness. It is both time on a calendar and a disposition of the heart. It is a day we enter, but just as much a way we see. Sabbath imparts the rest of God—actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God— the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness.” 1 likes
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