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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  55 reviews
What would you do for twenty-four hours if the only criteria were to pursue your deepest joy?

Dan Allender’s lyrical book about the Sabbath expels the myriad myths about this “day of rest,” starting with the one that paints the Sabbath as a day of forced quiet, spiritual exercises, and religious devotion and attendance. This, he says, is at odds with the ancient tradition o
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published 2009)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Drew Bennett
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book annoyed me at first. Then it surprised me. Then it changed me. It is a book about the practice of Sabbath. But in reality, it is a book about God’s heart for us. Words like delight, play, feasting, sensuality and rest haven’t been much a part of my experience of the Sabbath day, which means, they haven’t been a part of any other day either. Because, of course, if not on the Sabbath, then when?

Allender’s premise is, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). N
Diana Barrick
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as a christian response to my current hygge fad. I'm glad that I read it in that light because it's not necessarily a Bible study on the subject of Sabbath as there are few actual Scripture references, but the concepts and stories are there. This is a book that promotes many of the hygge concepts- without using the term-togetherness, quiet, comfort, contrast, home, food and environment. I gave this book to my dad along with a book on Danish hygge. He stated that he felt Allender is a b ...more
Richard Duncan
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took me several months to finish this book, not because it was uninteresting or unprovocative but because my son's invitation for me to enter into the world of GK Chesterton derailed my reading of dan Allender's Sabbath. But after spending a little time with Chesterton, I'm sure he would approve of Allender's book because Allender is calling us to use the Sabbath as a way to enter a world of childlike joy. (And I feel confident that Allender would approve of my reading of Chesterton.)

Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Thought provoking. Inviting. Beautifully written. Occasionally weird. Worth the time: makes me want to be more intentional in observance of sabbath & rest.
Tony Villatoro
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Some say we shouldn’t “keep” the Sabbath because Christ is our rest while others say that we must “keep” the Sabbath because it is a command from God.

Dan B. Allender, in this book, lays out a practical balance between those two mindsets.

I enjoyed this book because, although it did not tell me that I “must keep the Sabbath,” it encouraged me to figure out a day to rest. Whether that is a full day or a few hours, the author left it up to the reader to decide.

Another reason why I enjoyed this boo
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Allender's writing. His turns of phrase are poignant and powerful, often evoking tears. This book was no different.

His invitation to participate in the complex glory, mystery, and struggle that is Sabbath-keeping contrasts sharply with the rampant consumerism and disillusionment plaguing us today. Far from being a day of escape, Allender sketches a picture of a day spent basking in the delight God has in us and in creation, anticipating the greater delight when redemption is consummated a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Carpenter
There is much to like in this book. It explains, not altogether intentionally, Jesus' words, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." It covers what the Sabbath is and how it applies to us today. It thankfully escapes much gnat-strangling regarding laws and regulations and points us to the rest of God promised in Christ.

However, his emphasis on taking time to rest can override the traditional understanding of church attendance on the Lord's Day. He says we should attend church o
Susan Kendrick
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
There were several good thoughts about the Sabbath in Dan’s book. However, I found his wording distracting and his practical suggestions (make a meal the night before but use all of your best linens and china on the Sabbath - is cooking food work then but hand washing all of the best dishes and flatware not?) not helpful. It felt inherently masculine, and not in a good way. To be honest, the Bible gives broad commands regarding what Sabbath rest looks like. One family’s way of observing this res ...more
Ben Moser
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is important, although I would not suggest it be the first book someone reads about sabbath keeping.

I think that to someone less mature in their faith this book could be misconstrued in many ways. Therefore, I caution the reader to be weary. With that being said, Allender has many good insights and suggestions on what the sabbath can and should look like.

Moving forward I plan to implement many aspect of this book in to my regular sabbath routine.
Jon Robinson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This book contained several thoughts and insights I really appreciated. A great deal of what Allender wrote about Sabbath will stay with me. There were also a few psychological/emotional points he made that actually helped me to excavate a number of never-before-seen insights about myself that helped me deal with several issues and struggles that I have until now not been able to resolve. For that content I am very grateful.
Holly Greenidge
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one I should probably keep going back to. It jumped out at me when I was at Powell's, and now I also have it on kindle. Picked up before I had any idea who Dan Allender was. Seems like another lifetime :)
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Within this meaningful and thought-provoking narrative, join Dan Allender's exploration of Sabbath and his challenge of application. Learn the depth of the concept and that we have been practicing it wrong all along.
Josh Morgan
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

Back in my first year of undergrad, I spent a couple of weeks intently trying to keep a traditional Sabbath: I would do no homework or studying on a Sunday and spend time in prayer, in nature, and reading non-school-related books (I can't say non-academic--I read those for fun :) ). That didn't last long. I have a lot of trouble not being busy. It's very hard for me to take a break and just have fun (you should see ho
Rachel Dawson
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-rad-reads, faith
I am a HUGE fan of Sabbath (and believe all Christians should be!) and really, really loved this thoughtful, approachable, beautifully written look at what it truly means to delight in the Sabbath. Allender focused on four main components: sensual glory and beauty, ritual, communal feasting, and playfulness -- just love that. This book is really rich, helpful, and absolutely worth reading if you've wrestled with how to do Sabbath well or if you have no clue what it even means to have a Sabbath ( ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blog-review
Wish I could provide a glowing review of Dan B. Allender’s, Sabbath, but my grade rests firmly in the B- range. One of seven books in The Ancient Practices Series (published by Thomas Nelson), I admire the intent behind the text, which is to challenge modern Christians’ understanding (and practice) of the Sabbath in hopes of inspiring a return to a genuine engagement of this precious day. To this extent, I held high expectations of Sabbath, hoping to find a biblical grounding and a sprinkling of ...more
LaDonna Harris
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all believers
This book is a slightly warm, gooey chocolate fudge brownie, fresh from the oven, served with steaming hot coffee on the deck midafternoon on a cool fall day. For those of my readers who don’t like chocolate or coffee, I don’t know how to describe this book for you. I’m sorry.

I have been reading on this topic for a number of months and seem to be gobbling up the information like I would the brownie and coffee mentioned above.

I would give you some quotes from the book, but I don’t know where to b
Stephanie Berbec
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, theology, grad-school
If we’re to be honest, most of us give little, if any, regard to the fourth commandment: Sabbath. Our assumption is that it’s an easily fulfilled commandment that can be crossed off the list, weekly. Namely, Sabbath has become associated with church on Sunday and/or having the day off. According to Allender, this is not a Sabbath. Rather, Allender presents an alternative perspective challenging the so-called norms of what it means to really Sabbath without all the legalistic connotations typical ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is part of the eight book Ancient Practices series under the general editorship of Phyllis Tickle. Others have included Fasting by Scot McKnight and Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher.

Dan B. Allender, of Mars Hill Graduate school, has a Masters from Westminster Theological Seminary and a PhD in Counselling Psychology from Michigan State University, so is well placed to look at this important topic of Sabbath from the theological and pastoral aspects. This is a well written book, it it ligh
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Although I had not read any of Dan Allender's previous works, I knew of his reputation, and I both hoped for and expected great things from this book, SABBATH. I was not disappointed.

Reading this book really challenged my thinking on both the purpose and the pleasure of Sabbath. Allender encourages us to take delight in this God-created day, not to spend it in pious, legalistic solemnity. After all, God is pleased when we relish in Him and His creation.

"Sabbath is not about time off or a break i
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
A discussion of the value of various rest practices under the heading of "Sabbath."

The author has many compelling points. He does well talking about both the difficulties in life which come from, are exacerbated by, or from which we run away through our cults of busyness and work as well as the work and benefits that come from intentional periods of rest. One does not generally think about all the ways that we need rest, reflection, etc. and how we in many ways are afraid of grappling with the q
Ben Zajdel
Remembering the Sabbath is probably the most ignored commandment, and therefore one of the most misunderstood. Dan Allender tries to remedy that in his book Sabbath, part of the Ancient Practices Series. It is a simple study of a practice that God instituted at the beginning of time.

Allender begins the book by describing the pillars of Sabbath--sensual glory, holy time, communal feast, and play day. He is careful to define what Sabbath is not, and warns not to drift into legalism when practicin
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Preparing to lead a discussion among working people at my Lutheran congregation, I chose to focus on the theme of "sabbath." I do not have sabbath habits, nor have I ever really worked to develop an understanding of what sabbath means. When I mentioned this to my sister, she pulled this book from her collection and mailed it to me, straightaway.

What a gift! My learning began with the first page and never stopped, chapter upon chapter. Dan Allender reminded me that keeping the sabbath is a comman
Tim Beck
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
"the sabbath is not merely a good idea, it's a commandment."

in America, we tend to puff up our chests, proudly proclaiming how busy we are. really? how absurd is that? why do we resist slowing down and spending time at rest in quiet? why do so many resist the idea of sabbath?

we would all say that we crave it - but we seldom make the appropriate changes.

i anticipated finding in Dan Allendar's book Sabbath some practical ways to take a sabbath day of rest. i was sadly disappointed.

over and over (a
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dan Allender’s thought-provoking book Sabbath will not:

Give you a list of things you can and can’t do on Sundays,
Give you a tool to pat yourself on the back because you’re such a good Christian for not shopping or eating out on Sundays,
Give you an easy out for keeping the fourth commandment.
What it will give you is a very nuanced, deeply thoughtful invitation to really meditate on and consider what the concept of Sabbath means at its heart and what God’s vision for it is, rather than seeing it a
Adam Shields
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short review: If I had to pick one book to read on the Sabbath. This would be it. (Ok it is only book I have read on the Sabbath, but it was very good.) The central theme of the book is that Sabbath was not created for utilitarian purposes (we need the rest) but for delight. God did not rest on the seventh day because he was tired, but because he wanted to delight in his creation. At the same time, Allender does not at all minimize the Sabbath. He is quite up front in his question about why the ...more
Jenny Wells
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book five stars. It is a book I wanted to read again even as I finished it. It's what I believe and want to live...that life in God means a day a week to remember his abundance and life in the embracing of play, justice, and feasting. I was challenged to not use the day just to rest...a practice that was not bringing life, especially to the children whose unfettered hearts need not rest, but are able to embrace fullness with such ease.

I couldn't give it five stars because i
Kelly Hovey
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
For the first time in my life, I am excited about the Sabbath. Allender's book offers a deeply compelling image of what Sabbath can be. More than a defense of the Sabbath, This book is a vision of a life lived in tune with God's rhythms, a vision I cannot ignore. Sabbath is a bit of a meandering creek, but stick with it and you will find a river of life.

I appreciated the insights from Allender's own practices of Sabbath but as someone who grew up with Sunday morning church followed by football
Dec 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
This was a very good read, but it ignored all but one verse on the Sabbath. If the other verses were added, the main message of the book is obviously not based on Scripture:

Isaiah 58:13-14

13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LO
Andy Mitchell

Not the first word that comes to my mind when I think about Sabbath, a once-weekly remembrance of God’s resting on the seventh day of creation.

But in this book, Dan Allender paints a beautiful picture of the implications of experiencing Sabbath as God intended.

If you feel overworked, pressed for time, fearful, or just plain bored, then this book is for you.

Some books offer quick fixes.

This book demands a lifelong commitment to Sabbath as the fourth commandment, one intended for today as
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
When it comes to the Sabbath, Dan Allender steers clear off both legalism and indifference. Sabbath, according to him, is an invitation to stop and delight in what God has done in the past and is doing in the present.

This delight is experienced with all our senses in activities that include, but are not limited to: enjoying food, drinking wine, listening to good music, worship, sex, reading, conversations, going for a walk and being quiet, all while experiencing holiness and God’s presence in e
MariAn Nyce
This book is part of THE ANCIENT PRACTICES SERIES. i quote:
"Sabbath is not about time off or a break in routine. It is not a mini vacation to give us a respite so we are better prepared to go back to work. The Sabbath is far more than a diversion; it is meant to be an encounter with God's Delight."

Many definitions of Sabbath abound in this book as he freely shares his own patterns of Sabbath rest. I like this especially and I quote:
"Sabbath celebrates the God who frees the heart from slavery"

Carol Kuniholm
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Allender does a great job of repositioning Sabbath - not about rules, not even about rest, but about finding a way to see time, work, relationships, ourselves through God's eyes, not our own. As Allender defines it, Sabbath becomes an opportunity for rebooting - finding our way clear of the world's programming and realigning ourselves with God's vision instead.
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotional, paige
This book challenged me to rethink how I spend my Sabbath-- whether that's Saturday, Sunday, or a different day all together. It was a different view of the matter than I've usually heard, and it gave me a lot to think about. Play, feasting, and community are the main elements of Sabbath that I tend to forget about. There have been times in my life when I've lived this, unintentionally, but now I'll think about how I can better live the Sabbath as God intends me to-- joyfully and fully.
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksneeze
Some parts of it I LOVED. Others were thought-provoking, and I'm still formulating my verdict. One thing is certain: if Allender's thoughts are taken to heart, this book will prove disruptive to most American lives. His thesis is that practicing Sabbath is not defined primarily by what we omit but by how we fill the day, with delight.
Megan Taylor
Jul 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I was torn on how to rate this book. It's easy to read and well-written, hence the three stars. But I didn't agree with what the author said. His ideas on the Sabbath seemed rather "hipster", focusing on senses and experiences. In a way it challenged me to think beyond my idea of Sabbath as just attending church services, but I wasn't really convinced that his way of doing it was actually better.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
More philosophical than a Biblical exploration of the Sabbath, but I really appreciated the idea of entering the Sabbath with delight. I'd be interested in knowing what it looks like for other people with little children.
Timothy Maples
Feb 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Rather than a strictly theological or doctrinal examination of the Christian sabbath, this book looks at the topic from a personal or practical point of view. There is much here that can help individual Christians redirect their sabbath focus Godward, regardless of their denominational, or non-denominational, leanings. I think the book misses an opportunity for discussion by generally ignoring the corporate nature of the sabbath and its major components, the Word and sacraments, and opting for a ...more
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
A fresh premise; the Sabbath is a day for practicing the joy of being in the afterlife in the presence of God, rather than following pious rituals of a day of "rest".
Jameel Brenneman
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Promotes an important and often overlooked aspect of faith. Examines why it has been so overlooked. Challenges you to seek joy and delight without reservation. May come close to hedonism at parts, but an important discussion nonetheless.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it

I agree that people were "built" to have a day of rest but I don't think that this book dealt with the ancient Jewish practice of sabbath as much as the author's practice of sabbath.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Found this to be an excellent an helpful book. I questioned one or two things but would highly recommend this!!!
Joshua D.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Allender is part Reformed theologian, part mystic - a combination I normally enjoy. However, this book just missed it a little for me. It's useful for an idea here and there on Sabbath-keeping, as well as rest in general. But Mark Buchanan's "The Rest of God" does the same thing, and much better.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished Dan Allender's beautiful and insightful book on Sabbath rest. What a refreshing the view of the delight that God would have us take in this regular rhythm of rest. This book offers such a rich understanding of Sabbath shalom, considering topics such as joy, rest, community, delight, and justice. I highly recommend this book.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Highly
Recommended to Jennifer by: It came to me.
Shelves: religion

This book is really having me reconsider the Sabbath and how me and my family attend it.

"The Sabbath is not merely an event that happens in time; it defines the nature of time and how we are to live it."

"The only paramteter that is to guide our Sattath is delight. Will this be a merely a break or a joy? Will this lead my heart to a wonder or routine? Will I be mor greatful or just happy the I got something done? Delight requires the courage to be attentive, intentional and diligent."
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, y-2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Sabbath means so many different things to people and is so often a set of rules or merely a day of religious observance. Allender reminds us that it was intended for so much more. It is a day to be anticipated and celebrated. After all, it is an amazing opportunity to commune with our mysterious Father God. This book will open your imagination as to what Sabbath can be, and get you reaching for God's desires for your own personal Sabbath tradition.
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Dan B. Allender, Ph.D, is a fly fisherman who also serves as president and professor of counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School near Seattle, Washington. He is a therapist in private practice, and a frequent speaker and seminar leader. Dan received his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. He is the author of To Be Told: ...more
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“We live in a day when our sense are so dull that we need extreme sports, bingeing, or dangerous pastimes to give us a sense we are alive. We crave reality — both pain and pleasure — so much that many young people cut themselves, saying, 'I just wanted to feel something.” 2 likes
“Time has become a precious commodity and the ultimate scarcity for millions of Americans. A 1996 Wall Street Journal survey found 40% of Americans saying that lack of time was a bigger problem for them than lack of money.”6” 1 likes
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