"There Remains a Sabbath Rest for the People of God": A Biblical, Theological, and Historical Defense of Sabbath Rest as a Creation Ordinance
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This dissertation argues that weekly Sabbath rest is a creation ordinance supported by both biblical-theological and historical evidence, and has ecclesial and personal implications. Furthermore, this dissertation is proposing a mediating position between traditional sabbatarian and non-sabbatarian positions. Historically, the sabbatarians have argued for Sabbath rest being a creation ordinance and non-sabbatarians have argued the opposite. This proposal offers a third option that grounds weekly rest in creation (showing some similarities with sabbatarians), but also highlights the radical transformation of rest found in Christ (showing some similarity with non-sabbatarians while avoiding their idea that fulfillment in Christ exhausts the biblical instruction about weekly rest). This mediating position will allow for avoiding both the legalistic tendencies of traditional sabbatarian theology and the antinomian tendencies that can be found in some non-sabbatarian positions. For the purposes of this dissertation, a creation ordinance is defined as a normative, but not uniformly observed, universal pattern, exceptions to which must fulfill and contribute to the pattern’s fulfillment, moreover, the pattern must be confirmed, not negated or abrogated, by later biblical revelation.