ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 171

“The Debate over Human Nature and Destiny”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University

 

INDEX OF TOPICS OF THIS NEWSLETTER

            • How to Subscribe and Unsubscribe

            • Good News on My Liver Cancer Recovery

               * Providential Remission of my Liver Cancer

            • How to Contact the Center for Cancer Care

 

              THE DEBATE OVER HUMAN NATURE & DESTINY

                    (The Essay of this Newsletter)

            • Announcements of Services and Products

               *  New DVD recording of Prof. Jon Paulien’s lectures

                  on Revelation scheduled to be released by May 30, 2007.

               * Special offer on the book Immortality or Resurrection?

                  together with a special CD album.

               * Special offer on all the 6 DVD/CD albums

                  with Dr. Bacchiochi’s lectures and publications

               * Incredible New Offers on Hitachi Projectors

               * The Smallest and most Powerful Remote Presenter

               * Does your church or School Need a Screen?

               * A New Townhome Community near the campus of

                  Andrews University

               * Bed and Breakfast in London, England

               * TAGNET new Web-hosting offer

 

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GOOD NEWS ON MY LIVER CANCER RECOVERY

 

            In writing this report on the providential recovery from my colon cancer surgery and liver cancer treatments, my heart overflows with gratitude to God for giving me a new lease on life. Words fail to express my gratitude for all the prayers you have offered on my behalf. It is hard to believe  what you see on the image of the PET/CAT scan taken on April 24, 2007.  The image shows that the presence of cancer in my liver has been reduced by almost 80% after three treatments. To see the impressive color image of the PET/CAT scan, click on this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/colon/

 

            To appreciate how the Lord has answered the many prayers offered on my behalf, let me take you back to the beginning of this emotional roller coaster experience.  Two days after our family celebrated my 69th birthday on January 29, 2007, a colonoscopy revealed that I had an advanced stage of colon cancer that required immediate surgery. After the colon cancer surgery on February 20, 2007, my family members were told by the surgeon that the cancer had metastasized to the liver, infesting 90% of the organ. The prognosis was bleak. Unless God performed a miracle, I had only a few months or at most two or three years to live.

 

            My family members decided not to tell me such a devastating prognosis. They felt that such heartbreaking news would crush my spirit and prevent any possible recovery.  But, a few days later, I heard the same prognosis from the oncologist of the Cancer Treatment Center in Kalamazoo. After looking at the Cat Scan of my liver which I brought to him on a CD, the oncologist told my wife and I in frightening terms that my liver cancer was stage 4, that is, the worse stage, that allows a patient to live only for a short time, somewhere between a couple of months to a couple of years. The only treatment he could offer me was chemotherapy, which could prolong my life for a few months or years at best.

 

            The impact of the consultation was evident on my wife, Anna, face, which turned very sad.  In fact on our ride home we were both pretty silent. We were only hoping that the next day consultation at the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, would be more hopeful. Incidentally, the first thing I did when I got home was to set up an appointment with a lawyer to prepare a living will.

 

The Consultation at the Center for Cancer Care

 

           I learned about the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, from an email message I received from Vladimir Radivojevic, a Seventh-day Adventist who serves as Assistant to the President of this medical institution. He subscribes to our ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER and he wrote to reassure me of his prayers for my recovery.

 

            When I noticed in his salutation that he was the Assistant to the President of the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, I called him to find out what his center had to offer.  He reassured me that his center is staffed by leading oncologists who are conducting clinical trials on various forms of cancer. Moreover, the Center has all the latest equipment for the treatment of cancer under one roof.

 

            We set up an appointment for Wednesday, March 7 for a consultation with Dr. Seza Gulec, who is a Nuclear Oncologist and a pioneer in what is called microspheres embolization. The consultation lasted about two hours and we came out of the meeting with renewed courage and hope.  My wife was smiling again.

 

            During the two hours consultation, Dr. Gulec projected on a screen the images of my liver CAT Scan taken at Lakeland hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan. He confirmed to us that the condition of my liver cancer was serious (stage four), but curable. To prove it, he projected the images of similar cases he had treated with liver cancer worse than mine.  He explained to us how he plans to attack the cancer cells in my liver with a combined strategy of chemotherapy and microspheres embolization.  He showed us with pictures how this procedure has worked in other 15 cancer patients who have been part of his clinical study. Half way through his presentation I told Dr. Gulec: “You have made me a believer of your strategy. There is no need for us to take more of his precious time. I am ready to sign the consent form and set up the appointment.”

 

            My wife and I wish to thank God for leading to this Center for Cancer Care, which is less than one hour away from our home. What we appreciate about this Center is their clinical studies on different forms of cancer. They are committed to test new procedures for cancer patients like me, whose conditions are viewed as hopeless.

 

Microspheres Plus Chemotherapy not Usually Recommended

 

            Surprisingly, most cancer treatment centers have NO on-going clinical studies for advanced forms of liver cancer.  I spoke with oncologists from Loma Linda Medical Center, M. D. Anderson in Dallas,  and Chicago University Cancer Center. They all confirmed that they treat cancer simply with chemotherapy, not with a combined procedure of chemo and microspheres. In fact, they advised me against using such procedure, because it could destroy my liver.

 

            I reported these conversation to Seza Gulec, MD, the Nuclear Oncologist, who leads the team that is treating me. I asked him what he thought of the advice to treat my liver cancer first with chemo, and later with microspheres, if it should prove necessary. He explained to me that the reason these oncologists oppose his procedure, is because they do not know yet how the combined use of chemo and microsphere works.  He is a pioneer of this combined method. In fact, he was the main presenter on May 4-5, 2007, at the Third Annual Clinical Symposium on “Nuclear Medicine,” held in Chicago. He invited me at this symposium to share the results of my treatments with reporters.  I interacted with several doctors eager to learn about this new procedure.

 

 

How my Liver Cancer Was Treated

 

            To get a more accurate picture of the presence of cancer in my liver, Dr. Gulec asked me to take a combined PET/CAT Scan on March 19, 2007, at their Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana. The images of this scan are quite revealing.  The three dimensional images show that the left lobe of the liver was 70% affected by cancer cells, while the left lobe about 50%.  You can see the image by clicking at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/colon/ There is no question that my condition was serious.

             

            The strategy adopted by Dr. Seza Gulec consists of both chemotherapy and microspheres. On Monday, March 26, I was infused with a special brand of chemotherapy. Then on the following day, microbeads were placed with a catherer on the left lobe of the liver which was badly infected with 70% cancer cells.  I am told that these beads are like micro atomic bombs that attack aggressively cancer cells. Two weeks later, on April 9, I received a second infusion of chemotherapy.  This completed the first round consisting of two chemo and one miscrospheres procedures.

 

            On April 23, I underwent another PET/CAT scan to see what the chemo/microsphers procedures had accomplished. The results surpassed our fondest expectations. At a consultation held on April 30, Dr. Gulec showed to my wife, our daughter Loretta (who is Professor of Nursing), and myself, the difference between the PET/CAT scan image of my liver taken on March 19 before the treatments, and the image of the same scan taken a month later on April 23 after the treatments. The difference between the two is incredible. The image of April 23 shows an almost 80% reduction of cancer cells in my liver. Take a look at the image by clicking at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/colon/

 

            To eliminate the remaining cancer cells, we decided at the consutation that I would undergo two additional chemo procedures. Then I will take another PET/CAT scan to verify that my liver is free from cancer. At that time we will decide if additional treatments are necessary.

 

The Lord is Giving me a New Lease on Life

 

            It is hard for me to believe that the Lord is giving me a new lease on life in a most unexpected way.  Two months ago the prognosis was bleak: only a few months to live. Today the prognosis is hopeful. The battle against the liver cancer is being won and the Lord is pleased to add years to my life to make it possible for me to continue my ministry of biblical research and proclamation of Bible truths in many parts of the world.

 

Seven Important Lessons Learned from this Cancer Experience

 

            This cancer experience has taught me seven important lessons which I would like to share with you.

 

            First, life and health are a divine gift that we cannot take for granted. Every day we ought to thank God for a new opportunity to live and to serve Him.

 

            Second, when confronted with a disease regarded as incurable,  we need to maintain a positive outlook, trusting in God’s ability to heal us.  If we allow discouragement to overtake us, our capacity to fight disease is greatly impaired.  Throughout my whole experience, I never lost faith in God’s ability to heal me.

 

            Third, the prayers of fellow believers are heard and answered by God.   Let us claim the promise of James 5:16:  “Pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effect.” Only eternity will reveal how the prayers of countless believers in different parts of the world, have contributed to my healing process.

 

            Fourth, do not accept the first diagnose and/or the first proposed treatment with unquestionable trust.  Remember that your local doctor or specialist, may have a limited understanding of your medical problem. Ask God to lead you to a specialist who can diagnose your medical condition and offer you the help that you need.  I believe that the Lord led us to the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, because He knew that there I could receive a chemo/microsphere treatment not readily available elsewhere.

 

            Fifth, be willing to use both the conventional and unconventional resources available to you.  Some Adventists warned me against all forms of radiation therapy, urging me to use exclusively supplementary natural products.   Some believers on our campus who have followed this advice, are already resting in their tomb, awaiting resurrection morning.  I believe in the efficacy of some natural product to strengthen the immune system.  In fact I am taking several of them every day.  But I also believe in benefiting from the dedicated research of scientists whom the Lord has led to find better treatments for “killer” diseases.

 

            Sixth, our ultimate goal is not to seek desperately to prolong our life, but to live every day, honoring God in all our endeavors. Ultimately, what counts is not how long we lived, but how we lived.  How many lives have we touched with the love of God?  What legacy are we leaving to our family members and fellow believers?  Great men of God like Paul lived a relatively short and painful life, yet his teachings and commitment to the mission of the church, are still influencing million of Christians.

 

            Seven, seek to understand what lesson is the Lord trying to teach you through your disease. In my case I sensed that the unexpected diagnosis of cancer in my colon and liver, was a wake up call from God, telling me:  “It is time to slow down Sam. At 69 years of age, you are no longer a teenager. You can no longer afford to work during the week 15 hours a day, and then fly every weekend to conduct seminars.”  I plan to take heed to this wake up call, by changing my life style.  I will devote more time to exercise and rest,  and reduce my travels to only two weekend seminars every month. 

 

How to Contact the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana

 

            Several subscribers have asked me how to contact the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana.  Until now I have hesitated to provide any information, because I wanted to see my results of the chemo/microspheres treatments. Before recommending this Center, I wanted to be sure that their clinical studies do produce the results they promised.

 

            The Pet/Cat scans done on Arpil 23, 2007, have dispelled any doubt, since they show an almost 80% reduction in the cancer activity in my liver.  Click at this link to see the image that speak for itself http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/colon/

 

            To express my gratitude to God for leading me to this unique Center for Cancer Care, I decided to forward the name, address, and phone number of any cancer patient contacting me, directly to Vladimir Radivojevic, a Seventh-day Adventist who serves as Assistant to the President. Vladimir has reassured me that he will go the second mile to help any cancer patient I will forward him.

 

            For example, at this time the Center does not have yet a shuttle service to the South Bend, airport, which is 30 miles away. But Vladimir has reassured me that he will arrange personally for any arriving patient to be picked up at the South Bend airport. He will also reserve a FREE room at the Care House, a most comfortable place where I have stayed several times.

 

            If you or a person you know needs cancer treatment, feel free to email me their name, address, and phone number. My email is <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> I will forward your information to Vladimir, who will contact you directly. He will put you in contact with an oncologist who will be able to tell you if you qualify for one of the several clinical cancer studies being currently conducted.

 

            Some of the cancer patients I met, have come to the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, after being unsuccessfully treated at major cancer centers in different parts of the USA. Like me, they have experienced positive results and have an encouraging experience to share. 

 

            The Center is a modern stone structure built four years ago. It is attached to the Goshen General Hospital that was totally renovated and inaugurated on April 16, 2007.  The Center for Cancer Care houses under one roof all the sophisticated equipment needed for cancer treatment. You will be esspecially pleased by the friendly, caring, and compassionate attitude of the doctors and supporting staff.

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY AND JUNE

 

            Gradually I am rescheduling some of the invitations I had to cancel because of the colon cancer surgery and liver treatments. Here is a list of the upcoming weekend seminars for the months of May and June:

 

MAY 11-12: UPLAND INDONESIAN SDA CHURCH

Location: The church is located close to Loma Linda, at 11100 Cedar Avenue, Bloomington, CA 92316.

For directions and information call Pastor Gary Strunk at 909-790-6042

 

MAY 25-26: MURRIETTA SPRINGS SDA CHURCH

Location: The church is located half way between Los Angeles and San Diego at 32477 Starbuck Circle, Murrietta, CA 92562

For directions and information call Pastor Lyndon Parsons at 951-313-1668.

 

JUNE 8-9: TYLER (TEXAS) SDA CHURCH

Location: 2935 S. Southeast Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701.

For directions and information call Pastor Elton DeMoraes at 903-258-5757

 

JUNE 29-30: ENGLAND - CHELMSFORD SDA CHURCH

Location: 43 Roman Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2  OHA.

For directions and information call Elder Cliff Hilton at 01376 334 848

 

JULY 6-7:ENGLAND - TOTTENHAM W GREEN SDA CHURCH

Location: 253-255 West Green Road, Tottenham, London N15 SED

For directions and information call Elder Orville Baxter at 01992 621 599

 

“The Debate over Human Nature and Destiny”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University

 

            The belief in conscious life after death is one of the greatest deception of our times. Such a belief is promoted today not only by the Catholic and Protestant teachings on the immortality of the soul, but also by the polished image of mediums and psychics, the sophisticated “scientific” research into near-death experiences, and the popular New Age channeling craze with the alleged spirits of the past.

 

            Over a century ago Ellen White predicted: “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions” (Great Controversy, p. 588). Both of these errors are spreading today like wildfire. The vast majority of people have come to believe Satan’s lie that no matter what they do, they “shall not die” (Gen 3:4) but become like gods by living for ever. This lie has fostered a host of heresies such as spiritualism, communication with the spirits of the dead, praying for the dead, the intercession of the saints, purgatory, eternal hellfire, the worship of Mary, indulgences, etc. All of these heretical beliefs fall automatically like dominos when the belief in conscious life after death is proven to be foreign to scripture.

 

            In my book Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny, I have shown that the belief in conscious life after death derives from a Greek (Platonic) dualistic view of human nature which is negated by the Bible. The dualistic view maintains that human nature consists of a material, mortal body and a spiritual, immortal soul. The latter survives the death of the body and transits to heaven, or purgatory, or hell. At the resurrection, the soul is reunited with the body. This dualistic conception of human nature has had an enormous impact on Christian life and thought, affecting people’s view of human life, this present world, redemption, and the world to come.

 

            To challenge the prevailing deception of conscious life after death and the host of heresies derived from it, I have devoted one year of my life to diligently examine what the Bible actually teaches regarding the make up of human nature.  The findings of my research have been published in my book Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny, which has been favorably reviewed by dozen of scholars of different denominations. You can read a samply of their comments at the end of the newsletter. The fundamental question that I am addressing is this: Is human nature dualistic, consisting of a mortal body and an immortal soul that leaves the body at death? Or, is human nature wholistic, consisting of an indivisible person where the soul is the animating principle of the body, both of which cease to exist at death until the resurrection?

 

The Importance of this Bible Study

 

            What Christians believe about the make-up of their human nature largely determines what they believe about their ultimate destiny.   Those who believe their nature is dualistic, that is, consisting of a material, mortal body and a spiritual, immortal soul, generally envision a destiny where their immortal souls will survive the death of their body and will spend eternity either in the bliss of paradise or in the torment of hell. For some, like Catholics and others, the possibility also exists that pardonable souls can be purified  in purgatory before ascending to Paradise.

 

            On the other hand, those who believe their nature is wholistic,  consisting of an indivisible whole where body, soul, and spirit are only characteristics of the same person, generally envision a destiny where their total mortal  person will be resurrected either to eternal life or eternal death.  The two different destinies envisioned by a dualistic or wholistic view of human nature could be characterized, as suggested by the title of the book,  Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead?

 

Objectives of This Study

 

            The  objectives of this study are twofold. The first is to establish the Biblical view of human nature.  We shall learn that the Bible sees human nature as an indivisible unity.  This truth has been accepted in recent years by many scholars of all persuasions. In the Bible there is no dividing of a person into body and soul, or body, soul, and spirit.  All of these are components or characteristics of the same person. The dichotomy of body and soul derives from Platonism and not from Biblical revelation. The Biblical view of human nature is wholistic or monistic, not dualistic.  The Platonic view of the body as the prison of the soul is foreign to the Bible and has done great harm to Christian spirituality, soteriology,  and eschatology.

 

            The second objective of this Bible study is to examine how the Biblical view of human nature relates to our present life and ultimate destiny. There is a tendency in scholarly studies to examine in isolation either the Biblical view of human nature (Biblical anthropology) or that of human destiny (Biblical eschatology). Seldom are attempts made to study the correlation between the two.  Yet, the two cannot be studied in isolation because the Biblical view of human nature determines the view of human destiny.

 

Dualistic View of Human Nature is Under Massive Attacks

 

            The Biblical view of human nature and destiny has attracted considerable scholarly attention in recent years. Leading scholars of different religious persuasions have addressed this question in articles and books.  A survey of the studies produced during the last fifty years or so, reveals that the traditional dualistic view of human nature has come under massive attack.

 

            Scholars seem to outdo one another in challenging traditional dualism and in affirming Biblical wholism.  Reading the scholarly literature in this field, one almost gets the impression that Christianity is coming out of a stupor and is suddenly discovering that for too long it has held to a view of human nature derived from Platonic dualism rather than from Biblical wholism.

 

            Unfortunately, our Seventh-day Adventist Church has largely failed to capitalize on the widespread scholarly rejection of the dualistic view of human nature. In researching for my book Immortality or Resurrection? I could not find a single Adventist publication that capitalizes on recent scholarly studies that expose the deception of conscious life after death. In many ways my book represents an attempt to make up for this missed opportunity by helping Christians at large recognize that our fundamental Adventist belief in the unconscious state of the dead, is finally being accepted as a biblical teaching by numerous Bible scholars of different persuasions.  Somebody counted over 400 scholars cited in my book.They include such wellknown scholars as George Eldon Ladd, Oscar Culmann, John R, Stott, and Clark Pinnock.

                       

Two Basic Views of Human Nature and Destiny

 

            There are two basic Christian visions of human destiny which originate from two fundamentally different views of human nature. The first is based on the belief of the immortality of the soul, and the second on the belief of the resurrection of the body. 

           

Classical Dualism

 

            The classical view of human nature is largely derived from the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.  The emphasis of these philosophies is on the distinction between the material and spiritual components of human nature.  In Platonic thought, human nature has both a material and a spiritual component. The material component is the body, which is temporary and essentially evil; and the spiritual component is the soul (psyche) or the mind (nous),  which are eternal and good.

 

            The human body is transient and mortal while the human soul is permanent and immortal.  At death, the soul is released from the prison house of the body where it was entombed for a time. Historically popular Christian thought has  been deeply influenced by this dualistic, un-Biblical understanding of human nature. The far-reaching implications of the classical view of human nature for Christian beliefs and practices is inestimable. We reflect upon them shortly.

           

Biblical Wholism

 

            The Biblical view of human nature is essentially wholistic or monistic.  The emphasis in the Bible is on the unity of body, soul, and spirit, each being part of an indivisible organism.  Since the Biblical wholistic view of human nature is explained at great length in my book  Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny,  In this Bible study I simply refer here to two significant differences with the classical view.  The first is that the wholistic view of human nature is predicated on the belief that the material creation of this world, including that of  the human body, is “very good” (Gen 1:31).  There is no dualism or contradiction between the material and the spiritual, the body and the soul, the flesh and the spirit, because they are all  part of God’s good creation. Redemption is the restoration of the whole person, body and soul, and not the salvation of the soul apart from the body.

 

            A second contrast with the classical view is that human nature was not created innately immortal, but with the capacity of becoming immortal. Human beings do not possess a mortal body and an immortal soul; they have a wholistic mortal body and soul which can become immortal.   Immortality or eternal life is  God’s gift to those who accept His provision of salvation.  Those who reject  God’s plan for their salvation ultimately will experience eternal destruction, not eternal torment in an ever-burning hellfire. The reason is simple.  Immortality is given as a recompense to the saved, not as a retribution to the unsaved.

 

            Here is God’s Good News. Although Adam and Eve were created mortal (with the possibility of becoming immortal by partaking of the Tree of Life) and we today are born mortal, we can receive immortality if we accept God’s gift of eternal life.  Immortality is a divine gift and not an innate human possession.  It is conditional upon our willingness to accept God’s gracious provision for the  salvation of our total nature, body and soul.  Thus the Biblical view is also referred to as conditional immortality, because it is offered on God’s terms and conditions.

 

The Body-Soul Debate

 

            The belief in conscious life after death is propagated today in sophisticated ways through mediums, psychics, “scientific” research into near-death experiences, and New Age channeling with the spirits of the past. The outcome of all of this is that the body-soul question is attracting unprecedented attention even in the scholarly community. A survey of the scholarly literature produced in recent years clearly shows that this question is being hotly debated by leading scholars of different religious persuasions.

 

            The central issue is whether the soul can survive and function apart from the body. In other words, is human nature so constituted that at death the soul, that is, the conscious part, leaves the body and continues to exist while its “container” disintegrates?  Traditionally, the vast majority of Christians have answered this question in the affirmative.  They have believed that between death and the final resurrection of the body, God preserves the existence of their human disembodied souls.  At the resurrection, their material bodies are reunited with their spiritual souls, thus intensifying the pleasure of paradise or the pain of hell.

 

            This traditional and popular view has come under massive attack in recent years. An increasing number of leading evangelical scholars are abandoning the classical, dualistic view of human nature which sees the body as mortal, belonging to the lower world of nature, and the soul as immortal, belonging to the spiritual realm and surviving the death of the body.  Instead, they are accepting the Biblical wholistic view of human nature in which the whole person, body and soul, experiences death and resurrection. 

 

            Several factors have contributed to the abandonment of the classical dualism on the part of many scholars. One of them  is a renewed study of the Biblical view of human nature. A close examination of the basic Biblical terms used for man (body, soul, spirit, flesh, mind, and heart)  has led many scholars to recognize that these do not indicate independent components, but the whole person seen from different view points.  “Recent scholarship has recognized,”  writes  Eldon Ladd, “that  such terms as body, soul, and spirit are not different, separable faculties of man but different ways of viewing the whole man.”

 

             Virtually any part of the body can be used in the Bible to represent the whole human being. There is no dichotomy between a mortal body and an immortal soul that survives and functions apart from the body.  Both body and soul, flesh and spirit in the Bible are part of the same person and do not “come apart” at death.

           

Dualism under Attack

 

            Numerous Biblical scholars in recent times have argued that Old and New Testament writers do not operate with a dualistic view of human nature, but with a monistic or wholistic one.  The outcome of these studies is that many today are questioning  or even rejecting the notion that Scripture teaches the existence of souls apart from bodies after death.

 

            Church historians support these conclusions by claiming that a dualistic view of human nature and the belief in the survival of disembodied souls were brought into the Christianity by Church Fathers who were influenced by Plato’s dualistic philosophy.  This explains why these beliefs became widely accepted in the Christian church  even though they are foreign to the teachings of the Bible.

 

            Philosophers and scientists also have contributed to the massive assault against the traditional dualistic view of human nature. Philosophers have attacked traditional arguments that the soul is an immortal substance that survives the death of the body. They have proposed alternative theories  according to which the soul is an aspect of the human body and not a separate component.

 

            Scientists, too, have challenged the belief in the independent existence of the soul by showing that human consciousness is dependent on and influenced by the brain. At death, the brain ceases to function and all forms of consciousness stop.  To scientists the cessation of all mental functions at death suggests it is highly unlikely that the mental functions ascribed to the soul can be carried out after death.

 

            These concerted attacks on dualism by Biblical scholars, church historians, philosophers, and scientists have led liberal and even some conservative Christians to reject the traditional dualistic view of human nature. In his book Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting,  John W. Cooper summarizes the outcome of this development, saying: “Liberals rejected it [dualism] as old-fashioned and no longer intellectually tenable.  And some conservatives Protestants argued that since we ought to follow the Scripture alone and not human traditions, if anthropological dualism is a human tradition not based on Scripture, we ought to reform our confessions and purge them of such accretions of the Greek mind.  The soul-body distinction has come under attack from many directions.”

 

Dualists  Are Concerned

 

            These developments have raised serious concerns on the part of those who find their traditional dualistic understanding of human nature severely challenged and undermined. Cooper’s book represents one of many attempts to reaffirm the traditional dualistic view by responding to the attacks on dualism. The reason for this response is well expressed by Cooper: “If what they [scholars] are saying is true, then two disturbing conclusions immediately follow.  First, a doctrine affirmed by most of the Christian church since its beginning is false.  A second consequence is more personal and existential–what millions of Christians believe will happen when they die is also a delusion.”

           

                  There is no question that modern Biblical scholarship is causing great “existential anxiety” to millions of sincere Christians who believe in their disembodied souls going to heaven at death. Any challenge to traditionally cherished beliefs can be devastating. Yet,  Christians who are committed to the normative authority of Scripture must be willing to reexamine traditional beliefs, and change them if proven to be unbiblical. 

 

            Strong emotional reactions are to be expected from those whose beliefs are challenged by Biblical scholarship. Oscar Cullmann, for example, found himself bitterly attacked by many who strongly objected to his book Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead? Incidentally,  the book is largely drawn from the Ingersoll Lecture on the Immortality of Man delivered in 1955 at Harvard University’s Andover Chapel. He wrote:  “No other publication of mine has provoked such enthusiasm or such violent hostility.”  In fact, the criticism became so intense and so many took offense at his statements that he deliberately decided to keep silent for a time.  I should add that Cullmann was not impressed by the attacks against his book because he claims they were based not on exegetical arguments, but on emotional, psychological, and sentimental considerations.

           

Tactics of Harassment

 

            In some cases, the reaction has taken the form of harassment.  Respected Canadian theologian Clark Pinnock (he wrote the Foreword to my book)  mentions some of the “tactics of harassment” used to discredit those evangelical scholars who have abandoned the traditional dualistic view of human nature and its related doctrine of eternal torment in a fiery hell. One of the tactics has been to associate such scholars with  liberals or sectarians like the Adventists.  Pinnock writes: “It seems that a new criterion for truth has been discovered which says that if Adventists or liberals hold any view, that view must be wrong.  Apparently a truth claim can be decided by its association and does not need to be tested by public criteria in open debate. Such an argument, though useless in intelligent discussion, can be effective with the ignorant who are fooled by such rhetoric.”

 

            Despite the tactics of harassment, the Biblical wholistic view of human nature which negates the natural immortality of the soul and, consequently, the eternal torment of the unsaved in hell, is gaining ground among evangelicals.  Its public endorsement by John R. W. Stott, a highly respected British theologian and popular preacher, is certainly encouraging the trend.  “In a delicious piece of irony,” writes Pinnock, “this is creating a measure of accreditation by association, countering the same tactics used against it.  It has become all but impossible to claim that only heretics and near-heretics [like Seventh-day Adventists] hold the position, though I am sure some will dismiss Stott’s orthodoxy precisely on this ground.”

 

            Stott himself expresses anxiety over the divisive consequences of his new views in the evangelical community where he is a renowned leader.  He writes: “I am hesitant to have written these things, partly because I have great respect for longstanding tradition which claims to be a true interpretation of Scripture, and do not lightly set it aside, and partly because the unity of the worldwide evangelical community has always meant much to me.  But the issue is too important to be suppressed, and I am grateful to you (David Edwards) for challenging me to declare my present mind.  I do not dogmatize about the position to which I have come.  I hold it tentatively.  But I do plead for frank dialogue among evangelicals on the basis of Scripture.”

           

            Stott’s plea for a  “frank dialogue among evangelicals on the basis of Scripture” may be very difficult if not impossible, to realize. The reason is simple. Evangelicals are conditioned by their denominational traditional teachings, just as much as the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. In theory, they appeal to Sola Scriptura, but in practice, Evangelicals often  interpret Scripture in accordance with their traditional denominational teachings. If new Biblical research challenges traditional doctrines, in most cases, Evangelical churches will choose to stand for tradition rather than for Sola Scriptura.  The real difference between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics is that the latter are at least honest about the normative authority of their ecclesiastical tradition.

 

            To be an “Evangelical” means to uphold certain fundamental traditional doctrines without questioning.  Anyone who dares to question the Biblical validity of a traditional doctrine can become suspect as a “heretic.”  In a major conference held in 1989 to discuss what it means to be an evangelical, serious questions were raised as to whether such persons like John Stott or Philip Hughes should be considered evangelical, since they had adopted the view of conditional immortality and the annihilation of the unsaved.  The vote to exclude such theologians failed only narrowly.

 

                  Why are evangelicals so adamant in refusing to reconsider the Biblical teachings on human nature and destiny? After all, they have taken the liberty of changing other old traditional teachings.  Perhaps one reason for their insistence on holding to the dualistic view is that it impacts on so many other doctrines.

 

            We noted erlier that what Christians believe about the make-up of human nature largely determines what they believe about human destiny. To abandon dualism also entails abandoning a whole cluster of doctrines resulting from it.  This may be called  “the domino effect.” If one doctrine falls, several others fall as well.  To clarify this point, we briefly consider some of the doctrinal and practical implications of classical dualism. This should alert the reader to its complex ramifications.

 

IMPLICATIONS OF DUALISM

 

Doctrinal Implications

 

            The classical dualistic view of human nature has enormous doctrinal and practical implications.  Doctrinally, a host of beliefs derive from or are largely dependent upon classical dualism.  For example, the belief in the transition of the soul at the moment of death to paradise, hell, or purgatory rests on the belief that the soul is immortal by nature and survives the body at death. This means that, if inherent immortality of the soul should prove to be an unbiblical conception, then popular beliefs about paradise, purgatory, and hell have to be radically modified or even rejected.

 

            The belief that at death the souls of the saints ascend to the beatitude of Paradise has fostered the Catholic and Orthodox belief in the intercessory role of Mary and of the saints. If the souls of the saints are in heaven, it is feasible to assume that they can intercede on behalf of needy sinners on this earth. Thus, devout Christians pray to Mary and the saints to intercede on  their behalf.  Such a practice runs contrary to the Biblical teaching that “there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). More important still, if the soul does not survive and cannot function apart from the body, then the whole teaching of the intercessory role of Mary and the saints must be rejected as an ecclesiastical fabrication. Truly, a re-examination of the Biblical view of human nature can have frightening consequences for long-cherished Christian beliefs.

 

            Similarly, the belief that at death the souls of those who are pardonable transit to  purgatory has led to the teaching that the church on earth has the jurisdiction to apply the merits of Christ and of the saints to souls suffering in purgatory.  This is accomplished through the granting of indulgences, that is, the remission of the temporal punishment due to forgiven sin.  Such a belief led to the scandalous sale of indulgences which sparked the Protestant Reformation.

 

            The Reformers eliminated the doctrine of purgatory as unbiblical, but they retained the doctrine of the immediate transit after death of individual souls to a state of perfect blessedness (heaven) or to a state of continuous punishment (hell). Again, if the belief in the survival and functioning of the soul apart from the body is proven to be unbiblical, then popular beliefs about purgatory, indulgences, and transit  of the souls to heaven or  to hell must be rejected also as ecclesiastical fabrications.

 

            The work that the Reformers began by eliminating purgatory now would have to be completed by redefining paradise and hell according to Scripture and not ecclesiastical traditions. It is unlikely that such a monumental task can be undertaken by any Protestant church today.  Any attempt to modify or reject traditional doctrines is often interpreted as a betrayal of the faith and can cause division and fragmentation. This is a very high price that most churches are not willing to pay.

           

Immortality of the Soul Weakens Second Advent

 

            Traditional dualism also has contributed to weakening the Advent Hope. The belief in the ascension of souls to heaven can obscure and eclipse the expectation of the Second Advent.  If at death the soul of the believer goes up immediately to the beatitude of Paradise to be with the Lord, one hardly can have any real sense of expectation for Christ to come down to  resurrect the sleeping saints.  The primary concern of these Christians is to reach paradise immediately, albeit as a disembodied soul.  This concern leaves barely any interest in the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the body.

 

            To believe in the immortality of the soul means one regards at least part of oneself as immortal in the sense of being incapable of passing out of existence. Such a belief encourages confidence in oneself and in the possibility of one’s soul going up to the Lord.  On the other hand, to believe in the resurrection of the body means that one does not believe in self or in disembodied souls going to the Lord; rather one believes in Christ who will return to raise the dead and transform the living.  This means  believing in the coming down of the Lord to this earth to meet embodied believers instead of  in the going up of disembodied souls to heaven to meet the Lord.

 

            In the New Testament the Parousia stresses a final consummation realized by a movement of Christ’s coming down to mankind rather than individual souls going up to Him.  The Advent Hope is not “a pie in the sky when you die” but a real meeting upon this earth between embodied believers and Christ on the glorious day of His return.  Out of that real meeting will come a transformation affecting humanity and nature.  This great expectation is obscured and erased by the belief in individual immortality and heavenly bliss immediately after death.

 

            Another significant implication of the individualistic hope for immediate immortality is that it overrides the Biblical corporate hope for an ultimate restoration of this creation and its creatures (Rom 8:19-23; 1 Cor 15:24-28).  When the only future that really counts is the individual soul’s survival after death, the anguish of mankind can have only a peripheral interest and the value of God’s redemption for this whole world is largely ignored. The ultimate result of this belief is, as noted by Abraham Kuyper, that “by far the majority of Christians do not think much beyond their own death.”

 

Misconceptions About the World to Come

 

            Classical dualism also has fostered wrong ideas about the world to come. The popular concept of paradise as a spiritual retreat center somewhere up in space, where glorified souls will spend eternity in everlasting contemplation and meditation, has been inspired more by Platonic dualism than by Biblical realism. For Plato, the material components of this world were evil and, consequently, not worthy of survival.  The aim was to reach the spiritual realm where souls liberated from the prison-house of a material body enjoy eternal bliss. 

           

            During the course of our study, we shall see that both the Old and New Testaments reject the dualism between the material world below and the spiritual realm above.  The final salvation inaugurated by the coming of the Lord is regarded in Scripture not as an escape from but a transformation of this earth.  The Biblical view of the world to come is not a spiritual heavenly retreat inhabited by glorified souls, but this physical earthly planet populated by resurrected saints (Is 66:22; Rev 21:1).

 

Practical Implications

 

            At a more practical level, the classical dualistic view of human nature has fostered the cultivation of the soul in detachment from the body and the suppression of physical appetites and healthy natural impulses. Contrary to the Biblical view of the goodness of God’s creation, including the physical pleasures of the body, medieval spirituality promoted the mortification of the flesh as a way to achieve the divine goal of holiness. The saints were ascetic persons who devoted themselves primarily to vita contemplativa, detaching themselves from the vita activa.  Since the salvation of the soul was seen as more important than the preservation of the body, the physical needs of the body often intentionally were neglected or even suppressed. 

 

            The dichotomy between body and soul, the physical and the spiritual, is still present in the thinking of many Christians today.  Many still associate redemption with the human soul rather than the human body. We describe the missionary work of the church as that of “saving souls.”  The implication seems to be that the souls are more important than the bodies. Conrad Bergendoff rightly notes that “The Gospels give no basis for a theory of redemption which saves souls apart from the bodies to which they belong.  What God has joined together, philosophers and theologians should not put apart.  But they have been guilty of divorcing the bodies and souls of men which God made one at creation, and their guilt is not  diminished by their plea that thus salvation would be facilitated.  Until we have a theory of redemption which meets the whole need of man we have failed to understand the purpose of Him who became incarnate that He might be able to save humanity.”

             

            Dualism in Liturgy.  The influence of dualism can be seen even more often in many Christian hymns, prayers, and poems. The opening sentence of the burial prayer found in The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England is starkly dualistic:  “Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of His great mercy to take unto Himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground.” A phrase in another prayer in the same Office betrays a clear dualistic contempt for physical existence:  “With whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity.”

 

            The Platonic notion of the release of the soul from the prison-house of the body is clearly set forth in the lines of the Christian poet, John Donne:  “When bodies to their grave, souls from the graves remove.” Many of our hymns are thinly disguised dualistic poems. How often we are asked to view this present life as a “weary pilgrimage” and to look for the eventual escape to heaven, “up above the sky.”

 

            Examples of hymns that manifest hostility toward this earthly life, religious escapism, and other-worldliness easily can be found in the hymnals  of most Christian denominations. Some hymns portray this earth as a prison from which the believer is released to ascend to the heavenly home: “My Father’s house is built on high, Far, far above the starry sky;  When from this earthly prison free, That heav’nly mansion mine shall be.”  Other hymns describe the Christian as a stranger who can hardly wait to leave this world:  “Here in this country so dark and dreary, I long have wandered forlorn and weary.”  “I’m but a stranger here, Heaven is my home; Earth is a desert drear, Heaven is my home.”  “I want to live above the world . . . on heaven’s tableland.” 

 

            Christians who believe the words of such hymns may be disappointed one day to discover that their eternal home is not “above the world . . . on heaven’s tableland,” but down here on this earth.  This is the planet that God has created, redeemed, and ultimately will restore for our eternal habitation. The Biblical vision of the world to come is explored in chapter 7 of Immortality or Resurrection?

 

              The far-reaching doctrinal and practical implications of the dualistic view of human nature that we have just considered should serve to impress the reader with the importance of the subject under consideration. What we  address in this book is not a mere academic question but a fundamental Biblical teaching that impacts directly or indirectly on a host of Christian beliefs and practices.

 

IMPLICATIONS OF BIBLICAL WHOLISM

 

Positive View of Physical and Spiritual

 

            Like classical dualism, Biblical wholism affects our understanding of ourselves, this present world, redemption, and our ultimate destiny.  Since during the course of  this study we examine at some length various doctrinal and practical implications of Biblical wholism, I only allude to some of them here.

 

            The Biblical wholistic view of human nature, according to which our body and soul are an indissoluble unit, created and redeemed by God, challenges us to view positively both the physical and spiritual aspects of life.  We honor God not only with our mind but also with our body, because our body is “a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19). Scripture admonishes us to present our “bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1).  This means that the way we treat our bodies reflects the spiritual condition of our souls. If we pollute our bodies with tobacco, drugs, or  unhealthy food, we cause not only the physical pollution of our bodies, but also the spiritual pollution of our souls.

 

            Henlee H. Barnette notes that “what people do to, for, and with others and their environment depends largely upon what they think of God, nature, themselves, and their destiny.”   When Christians view themselves and the present world wholistically as the object of God’s good creation and redemption, they will be both convinced and compelled to act as God’s stewards of their bodies as well as of the created order.

 

Concern for the Whole Person

 

            Biblical wholism challenges us to be concerned about the whole person. In its preaching and teaching, the church must meet not only the spiritual needs of the soul but also the physical needs of the body. This means teaching people how to maintain emotional and physical health.  It means that church programs should not neglect the needs of the body.  Proper diet, exercise, and outdoor activities should be encouraged as an important part of Christian living.

 

            Accepting the Biblical wholistic view of human nature means to  opt for a wholistic approach in our evangelistic and missionary endeavors.  This approach consists not only in saving the “souls” of people but also in improving their  living conditions by working in such areas as health, diet, education.  The  aim should be to serve the world and not to avoid it.  The issues of social justice, war, racism, poverty, and economic imbalance should be of concern to those who believe that God is working to restore the whole person and the whole world.

 

            Christian education should promote the development of the whole person. This means that the school’s program should aim at the development of the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of life. A good physical-education program should be considered as important as its academic and religious programs. Parents and teachers should be concerned about teaching good eating habits, the proper care of the body, and a regular program of physical exercise.

 

            The Biblical concept of the whole person also has implications for medicine.  Medical science recently has developed what is known as holistic medicine.  Holistic health practitioners “emphasize the necessity for looking at the whole person, including physical condition, nutrition, emotional make up, spiritual state, life-style values, and environment.”18  At the 1975 graduation exercise of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Jerome D. Frank told the graduates: “Any treatment of an illness that does not also minister to the human spirit is grossly deficient.” Healing and the maintenance of physical health must always involve the total person.

           

Cosmic Redemption

 

            The Biblical wholistic view of human nature presupposes  also a cosmic view of redemption that encompasses the body and  the soul, the material and the spiritual world. The separation between body and soul or spirit has often paralleled the division between the realm of creation and the realm of redemption. The latter has  been associated to a large extent in both Catholicism and Protestantism with the salvation of individual souls at the expense of the physical and cosmic dimensions of redemption.  The saints often are portrayed as pilgrims who live on earth but are detached from the world and whose souls at death immediately leave their material bodies to ascend to an abstract place called “heaven.” This view reflects classical dualism but fails, as we shall see during the course of this study, to represent the wholistic Biblical view of the human and subhuman creation.

 

            Previously we noted that traditional dualism has produced an attitude of contempt toward the body and the natural world. This other-worldliness is reflected in such hymns as  “This World Is Not My Home,”  and“I’m  but a stranger here, Heaven is my home; Earth is a desert drear, Heaven is my home.”  Such an attitude of disdain toward our planet is absent from the Psalms, the Hebrew hymnal, where the central theme is the praise of God for His magnificent works. In  Psalm 139:14,  David says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth very well.”  Here the Psalmist praises God for his wonderful body, a fact well known to his soul (mind). This is a good example of wholistic thinking, where body and soul are part of God’s marvellous creation.

 

             In Psalm 92, the Psalmist urges one to praise God with musical instruments, because, he says, “Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by thy work; at the work of thy hands I sing for joy.  How great are thy works, O Lord!” (Ps 92:4-5).  The Psalmist’s rejoicing over his wonderful body and marvelous creation  is based upon his wholistic conception of the created world as an integral part of the whole drama of creation and redemption.

 

Biblical Realism

 

            The Biblical wholistic view of human nature also impacts on our  view of the world to come. Chapter 7 of Immortality or Resurrection? explains that the Bible does not envision the world to come as an ethereal paradise where glorified souls will spend eternity wearing white robes, singing, plucking harps, praying, chasing clouds, and drinking milk of ambrosia.  Instead, the Bible speaks of the resurrected saints inhabiting  this planet earth, which will be purified, transformed, and perfected at and through the coming of the Lord (2 Pet 3:11-13; Rom 8:19-25; Rev 21:1).  The “new heavens and a new earth” (Is 65:17) are not a remote and inconsequential spiritual retreat somewhere off in space; rather, they are the present heaven and earth renewed to their original perfection.

 

            Believers enter the new earth not as disembodied souls but as resurrected bodily persons (Rev 20:4; John 5:28-29; 1 Thess 4:14-17).  Though nothing unclean shall enter the New Jerusalem, we are told that “the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, . . . they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations” (Rev 21:24, 26).  These verses suggest that everything of real value in the old heaven and earth, including the achievements of man’s inventive, artistic, and intellectual prowess, will find a place in the eternal order.  The very image of “the city” conveys the idea of activity, vitality, creativity, and real relationships.

 

            It is regrettable that this fundamentally concrete, earthly view of God’s new world portrayed in the Scripture has largely been lost and replaced in popular piety with an ethereal, spiritualized concept of heaven.  The latter has been influenced by Platonic dualism rather than by Biblical realism.

 

Conclusion

 

            Historically, two major, radically different views of human nature have been held. One is designated as classical dualism and the other as Biblical wholism.  The dualistic view maintains that human nature consists of a material, mortal body and a spiritual, immortal soul. The latter survives the death of the body and transits to heaven, or  purgatory, or hell.  At the resurrection, the soul is reunited with the body. This dualistic conception has had an enormous impact on Christian life and thought, affecting people’s view of human life, this present world, redemption, and the world to come.

 

            In modern times, classical dualism has come under attack from Biblical scholars, church historians, philosophers, and scientists. Biblical scholars have examined the anthropological terms and texts and have concluded that the Biblical view of human nature is not dualistic at all; it is clearly wholistic.  Many voices from different directions are affirming today that dualism is out and wholism is in.

 

            The preceding survey of the ongoing debate over the Biblical view of human nature has shown the fundamental importance of this subject for the whole structure of Christian beliefs and practices. It is this conviction that motivated me to devote one years of my life to diligently examine what the Bible actually teaches on this vital subject that is so fundamental to our Adventist faith. In future newslettters I plan to post some of the highlights of this research.  At this time I would like to offer Immortality of Resurrection?  to interested readers.  See below for details on how to order the book with the accompanying CD album.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE BOOK IMMORTALITY OR RESURRECTION? A BIBLICAL STUDY OF HUMAN NATURE AND DESTINY.

 

            This newsletter on “The Debate Over Human Nature and Destiny” offers a unique opportunity to extend to our subscribers a special offer on the book Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny.  The newsletter you have just read was excerpted from the introductory chapter of the book.

 

            This timely book has been favorably reviewed by scholars of different persuasions.  They acclaim this study as  a much needed, breakthrough research that unmasks with compelling Biblical reasoning the great deception of conscious life after death. Some Adventist scholars feel that this is the most important book I have written. You can read a sampling of comments from Adventist and non-Adventist scholars by clicking at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/immortality/  At this link you will also see the picture of the book and read a description of its content.

 

                What inspired me to write this book is the widespread belief in conscious existence after death which is taking today America by storm.   This widespread deception should be of major concern to Bible believing Christians, especially Adventists, because it has fostered a host of heresies. For example, spiritualism, the communication with the spirits of the dead, the praying for the dead in purgatory, eternal hellfire, the intercession of the saints, the worship of Mary, indulgences, the mortification of the body to save the soul, the ethereal view of heaven where glorified souls spend eternity in everlasting adoration, are but a few of the many popular heresies that derive from the unbiblical belief in the immortality of the soul.

 

       To meet the challenge of these heresies, I devote a full year of my life to a painstaking investigation of the Biblical teaching on human nature and destiny. My goal in writing Immortality or Resurrection?  has been to challenge Christians of all persuasions to recover the Biblical wholistic view of human nature and destiny. The Bible teaches that the body and soul, the flesh and spirit, are not detachable components that come apart at death, but an indissoluble unity, created, redeemed, and ultimately restored by God. 

 

               This study will help you to understand how the Biblical wholistic view of human nature, affects our understanding of this present life and the vision of the world to come. This is a book you can give with confidence to friends interested to learn about God’s plan for our present life and future destiny.

 

               As a special bonus we are offering with Immortality or Resurrection? the CD album which contains all my 17 books, over 200 articles, and the slides and script of 22 powerpoint lectures. With the Acrobat search engine you can immediately locate all what I have written on any topic, including the subject of the state of the dead. The CD album regularly sells by itself for $100.00, but you will receive it at a nominal price with the book.

 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR IMMORTALITY OR RESURRECTION?

 

One copy of Immortality or Resurrection? together with the CD album containing all my publications and powerpoint presentations for only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $125.00.

 

Two copies of Immortality or Resurrection? together with the CD album containing all my publications and powerpoint presentations for only $60.00, instead of the regular price of $150.00.

 

Ten copies of Immortality or Resurrection? together with the CD album containing all my publications and powerpoint presentations for only $100.00, instead of the regular price of $350.00.

 

Four Ways to Order Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny

 

               (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/immortality/                (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

               (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

               (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE OFFER ON PROF. JON PAULIEN’S LIVE VIDEO RECORDING

 

               Prof. Jon Paulien is one of the most respected Adventist scholars. Besides serving as the chairman of the New Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, he writes and lectures extensively in many parts of the world. He is rightly regarded as a leading Adventist authority on the book of Revelation which he has taught at the Seminary for the past 20 years.

 

               The constant demand for Prof. Paulien’s CD albums with his publications and articles,  led me to discuss with him the possibility of producing a live video recording of a mini Revelation Seminar, which he chose to call Simply Revelation. 

 

               The preparation of this video recording has taken several months. The Simply Revelation seminar consists of four one-hour live video lectures, which have just been recorded in the studio of Andrews University. An impressive virtual studio provides the background of the lectures. Each lecture is delivered with 40 to 50 powerpoint slides.  I have spent long hours looking for suitable pictures to illustrate the text of each slide in order to enhance the visual effect of each lecture.

 

               In the first video lecture Prof. Paulien discusses the proper method to interpret Revelation.  In the following three lectures he focuses on the essential messages of Revelation and their relevance for today. This mini Revelation seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation.

 

               As you know the Book of Revelation has been the hunting ground for all sorts of bizarre interpretations. Some preachers and evangelists use Revelation as a pretext to promote their fancifull ideas. Prof. Paulien is committed to be true to the text. He finds the key to understand the imagery of Revelation in other OT prophetic books, which conditioned the thinking of John the Revelator.

 

               The South Pacific Division has asked Prof. Paullien to lead out in the preparation of a new Revelation Seminar. A preliminary version has been approved and will soon be tested by selected pastors. In many ways this mini video seminar Simply Revelation, serves to introduce interested Bible students to the full scale seminar that should be released in the near future.

 

               The video editing of Simply Revelation should be completed by the end of May 2007.  This means that by the end of this month we expect to ship to you the new DVD album of Simply Revelation.  The album has two DVD disks, each containing two live, video lectures illustrated with powerpoint slides.

 

               This has been an expensive project, both in time and money.  The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you can order it now until May 31, at the pre-release price for only $50.00.  The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination. 

 

               If you have not ordered before the CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, we will be glad to add it to your DVD order for only $20.00, instead of the regular price of $60.00. This means that you can order both the DVD album with Prof. Pailien’s four live video lectures on Revelation and the CD album with all his publications, for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00.

 

PRE-RELEASE OFFER OF PROF. PAULIEN DVD ALBUM

 

ONE DVD Album of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the pre-release price of $50.00, instead of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

TWO DVD Albums of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the pre-release price of $70.00, instead of $200.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

• ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation and ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

FOUR WAYS TO ORDER

 

               (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/revelation/ 

               (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

               (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

               (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE 6 DVD/CD ALBUMS WITH ALL OF DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS

 

           This offer may sound too good to be true, but it is true.  Many have taken advantage of this incredible offer. To make it possible for many others to take advantage of this offer, I decided to exend it until ntil May 31, 2007.  You can order the complete package of all my DVD and CD recordings, consisting of 6 Albums, for only $100.00, instead of the regular price of $700.00. This is a one-time incredible offer.

 

          You can see the picture of all the SIX ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:

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          You can order the complete package of 6 DVD and CD Albums for only $100.00,  instead of the regular price of $700.00, in four different ways:

       

        (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/holidayoffer.htm

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $100.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE LATEST DVD ALBUM WITH THE SABBATH AND SECOND ADVENT POWERPOINT SEMINARS

 

            While grounded by cancer treatments, I decided to offer my popular powerpoint Sabbath and  Advent Seminars at a special price. These two seminars have been professionally recorded by a TV crew here at Andrews University. This means that you do not have to wait for me to come to your church.  If your church has a DVD player and a projector, the whole congregation can enjoy these timely messages immediately.                     

            The DVD ALBUM consists of 10 DVD powerpoint lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent which I presents in churches and schools across North America and overseas.  Each lecture is delivered with about 100 powerpoint slides professionally prepared.  If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of my seminars, you will enjoy listening to my passionate and compelling presentation of the Sabbath and Second Advent in the privacy of your home. 

 

             You can preview a few minutes of these timely messages, simply by clicking on this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/preview.html  If you have DSL service, the downloading time is less than two minutes. To view these digital clips, your computer must have QUICK TIME software. If you need to install QUICK TIME, you can download it freely from the web simply by clicking http://www.apple.com/quicktime/mac.html

 

            You will be impressed by the clarity of the 1000 slides used for the 10 lectures. The reason for their clarity is that the editor spent a month to insert manually each slide during the editing process. This has been an expensive project, costing me over $10,000.00. I have worked on this project during the past 10 years, making three different recordings. My goal has been to offer clear, visual, and compelling lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent.

 

Topics Covered by the latest DVD Album:

            • The gripping testimony of my search for the Sabbath at a Vatican University in Rome:

            • The discoveries I made in Vatican libraries on the change from Sabbath to Sunday in early Christianity. You will see some of the documents and pictures of the Popes largely responsible for promoting the abandonment of the Sabbath and the adoption of Sunday.

            • Practical principles on how to keep the Sabbath to experience mental, physical, and spiritual renewal.

            • An update report on the recent Sabbath/Sunday developments. You will learn about the latest attacks against the Sabbath and the unprecedented rediscovery of the Sabbath by scholars, church leaders, and congregations of different denominations.

            • An informative Bible Study on the certainty and imminence of Christ’s Return. The lecture discusses the unprecedented fulfilment of end-time prophecies.

            • A practical meditation on how to live in the joyful expectancy of a soon-coming Savior.

            • As an extra bonus the album includes also a two-hours sacred concert entitled THE SABBATH IN SONGS. With the help of two gifted lyric tenors, I presents the message and blessings of the Sabbath for today with words and songs.  I do the speaking and the two tenors do the singing. The recording was professionally done at a TV studio in South Bend, Indiana.

 

            The history of this DVD album goes back about 10 years, when Amazing Facts first recorded only 4 lectures at the Sacramento Central SDA Church. In seeking to improve the visual quality of the lectures, a new recording was done about 5 years later in Dallas, Texas, by our Adventist Media Center. Since then, I worked hard to increase the number of the lectures and to produce about 500 new powerpoint slides to enhance the visual quality of the presentations. This called for a new recording that was done recently at Andrews University.

 

Special Offer and Order Information

 

            Your special offer on this latest recording, consisting of 10 DVD powerpoint lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent,  is only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $150.00.  The special $50.00 price includes the airmail expenses to any foreign country.

 

            You can order the latest DVD Album on the SABBATH and  SECOND ADVENT for only $50.00,  instead of the regular price of $150.00, in four different ways:

          

            (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=48

 

            (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

            (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

            (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $50.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS

 

          HITACHI has given us an additional discount on some of their projectors to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. This is the special offer on the following three models:

 

CP-X260 HIGH RESOLUTION 2500 LUMENS - Only $1095.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2500 lumens was $2395.00.

 

CP-X444 HIGH RESOLUTION 3200 LUMENS - Only $1695.00

          Previous SDA price for the 3200 lumens was $3295.00.

 

CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS Only $3795.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00.

 

WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty worth about $285.00.

 

You can order the HITACHI projectors online by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=24

 

If you have a problem ordering online, call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. Your order will be processed immediately.

 

THE SMALLEST AND MOST POWERFUL REMOTE PRESENTER

 

            If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.

 

            The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.

 

            You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=67

 

            If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

DOES YOUR CHURCH OR SCHOOL NEED A SCREEN?

 

            If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30% discount.

 

            The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that you need, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.

 

A NEW TOWNHOME COMMUNITY NEAR TO THE CAMPUS OF ANDREWS UNIVERSITY

 

            If you are planning to move to Andrews University, you will be pleased to learn about a new Townhome Community being developed less than a mile away from the campus of Andrews University.

 

            For a description and a picture of the Townhome Units, click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/danny

 

BED & BREAKFAST FACILITIES IN LONDON, ENGLAND

 

            If your travel plans call for a stop in London, you will be pleased to learn about a most gracious Adventist couple that offer the best accommodation and breakfast I have ever enjoyed. It has become my home away from home when in London.  See details at: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Promotions/BED&BREAKFAST.htm

 

TAGNET SPECIAL NEW WEB HOSTING OFFER FOR ADVENTIST CHURCHES AND MEMBERS

 

            TAGnet provides an incredible number of webhosting services to our churches and members. This newsletter comes to you through their gracious and efficient service. For detail information, visit their website at http://www.netadventist.org or   http://home.tagnet.org/ You may also call their office 800 - 9TAGNET. They are ready and eager to help you.