A Brief History of Sunday: From the New Testament to the New Creation
In this book noted Christian historian Justo González tells the story of how and why Christians have worshiped on Sunday from the earliest days of the church to the present.
After discussing the views and practices relating to Sunday in the ancient church, González turns to Constantine and how his policies affected Sunday observances. He then recounts the long process, beginning in the Middle Ages and culminating with Puritanism, whereby Christians came to think of and strictly observe Sunday as the Sabbath. Finally, González looks at the current state of things, exploring especially how the explosive growth of the church in the Majority World has affected the observance of Sunday worldwide.
Readers of this book will rediscover the joy and excitement of Sunday as the early church celebrated it and will find inspiration in an age of increasing indifference and hostility to Christianity.
Mark Noll -- author of Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind "As he has in many other books, Justo Gonzalez here puts to excellent use his singular combination of biblical, historical, theological, ecumenical, and cultural wisdom to explore a subject at the heart of individual Christian life, corporate Christian community, and public Christian witness. As it tracks variations, shifts, and controversies in 'Sabbath' observance from pre-Christian days to the present, this learned but wonderfully accessible book explains why corporate worship on 'the Lord's day' should still be as encouraging as it has been so consistently for so many in the past."Randall Balmer -- Dartmouth College "In his Brief History of Sunday Justo L. Gonzalez demonstrates both an impressive command of history and a dexterous handling of sources. He concludes, provocatively, that Christian observance of Sunday in the twenty-first century might actually benefit from a reversion to the pre-Constantinian model, when Christianity was not the favored faith. This is a very good, informative, and lively book."Kimberly Bracken Long -- Columbia Theological Seminary "With the extensive knowledge of an accomplished historian and the graceful skill of a storyteller, Justo Gonzalez traverses the long and complex history of Sunday clearly and accessibly. Not only does he deepen our understanding of how we came to do the things we do, but he also offers a vision of the church's future where Protestants and Catholics alike rediscover the ancient meaning of Sunday--a day of joy when we celebrate Christ's resurrection, eagerly and actively anticipating the coming of the new creation."
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