ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 190

“WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE?”

Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi

Retired Professor of Theology,  Andrews University

 

INDEX OF TOPICS OF THIS NEWSLETTER

      * How to Subscribe and Unsubscribe

      * Update on Recent Developments

 

“WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE?”

                   *This is the Essay of this Newsletter

 

                   * SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER until December 31, 2007,

                           on all the books and recordings, including Cristina

                           Piccardi’s CD and DVD Albums.

 

        * Upcoming seminars for the month of December

 

        * Incredible Offer on the new Hitachi 3000 Lumens Projector

             Only $1395.00

 

        * The Smallest and most Powerful Remote Presenter

 

        * Does your church or School Need a Screen?

 

UPDATE ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

 

Update on the Writing of POPULAR BELIEFS:  ARE THEY BIBLICAL?

 

                           The research and writing of the new book Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  has slowed down during the past month due to the many demands on my time. I did make a good start on the next chapter entitled “Mariology,” but I still need two solid weeks to complete this study.

 

                           This chapter on the devotion and worship of Mary is a most important chapter, because as TIME magazine notes in a cover story entitled “The Search for Mary,”  “both the adoration and the conflict attending Mary have risen to extraordinary levels. A grass-roots revival of faith in the Virgin is taking place worldwide. Millions of worshippers are flocking to her shrines, many of them young people. Even more remarkable are the number of claimed sightings of the Virgin, from Yugoslavia to Colorado, in the past few years.”

 

                           Surprisingly, not only Catholic church leaders but also a growing number of Protestant theologians have come to believe that “Mary might just be key to the future of ecumenism after all.”

 

                           In view of the growing popularity of the veneration and worship of Mary, it is imperative to thoroughly examine this development from a biblical perspective. This is what I intend to do on this chapter on “Mariology,” which I hope to complete by God’s grace within a couple of weeks. This is the seventh of the ten chapters of the book. This means that after this chapter I still have three more chapters to write. Most likely the topics will be: Speaking in Tongues, Once Saved Always Saved, and The Rapture (Dispensationalism) or Infant Baptism. Remember me in your prayers.  I need divine wisdom in dealing with these topics and in bringing this project to a conclusion.

 

Financing the Printing of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?

 

                           In my previous newsletters I told you that some fellow believers have promised to raise funds for the printing a large quantity of the new book Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? The idea is to offer the book to churches and individual members FREE OF CHARGE. The only expense will be the mailing cost.

 

                           So far the contributions to this project have been slow in coming. We are still a long way from reaching the goal of $200,000.00 to cover the cost of printing 100,000 copies. This is partly my reason for slowing down the research and writing of the remaining four chapters. Somehow I wonder if I should invest so much time and efforts to complete this book  by the end of February as originally planned, if by that time there are no sufficient funds to print the book? If the printing has to be delayed due to lack of sufficient funds, then there is no reason for me to give utmost priority to this project.

 

                           If you feel that this book Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? is urgently needed to help many sincere believers to understand why their popular beliefs are unbiblical and why the Adventist beliefs are biblical, you may wish to express your conviction in a tangible way by sending it your generous contribution to this project. If contribution start coming in, then I know that you want me to finish this book as soon as possible.  I will respond by giving utmost priority to this project. You can send your contribution to the following name and address: Biblical Perspectives, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103.

 

THE SABBATH SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS

 

                           After weeks of preparation, the SABBATH SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS was presented and recorded on November 16-17, 2007, at the Avon Park SDA Church, a 900 members congregation near Orlando, Florida. The church was packed with visitors from the surrounding churches. The response surpassed our fondest expectations.

 

                           In the past I  presented my Sabbath, Advent, and Lifestyle Seminars by myself with my broken Italian accent. But now, providentially the Lord has brought to my ministry a most gifted Brazilian lady, Cristina Piccardi, who touches the hearts of people with her powerful and passionate singing.

 

                           During the past four Sabbaths, Cristina has sung at rallies in Avon Park (near Orlando), Loma Linda, Hinsdale (Chicago), and San Antonio, Texas. Everywhere her powerful and passionate soprano voice has deeply moved the hearts of people.

 

                           This is what Pastor Paul Boling, the Senior Pastor of the Avon Park SDA Church, wrote about  our SABBATH SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS, that was recorded at his church on November 16-17, 2007.

 

“November 18-2007

 

                           Over the past years I have had the privilege of inviting Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi to speak at 2 churches that I  have pastored. So, I was eager to again host his seminar in the Avon Park SDA Church, of Florida Conference. 

 

                           However, the weekend visit of November 16-17, 2007 was slated to be different, because he was bringing his own guest singer, Cristina Piccardi.  This gifted vocalist added immeasurably to Dr. Bacchiocchis timely lectures.  She is extremely well trained, and she graciously brought to our congregation the most beautiful music we have ever heard, coupled with her love for God.  Our congregation was so overjoyed with her concert, and they want the team of Bacchiocchi and Piccardi to return soon!”

 

Pastor Paul Boling

Senior Pastor

Avon Park Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

Who is Cristina Piccardi?

 

                           Truly I can say that Cristina is by far the best Adventist soprano I have heard in my life. Surprisingly she is a slim, only 118 pounds, 5.6 feet high—not the typical heavy-set soprano. When my wife asked her: “How can you project such a powerful voice when you are so slim?”  She replied: “It is God’s gift.”

 

            Cristina was born in Brazil 26 years ago and came to Andrews University two years ago to accompany her husband who is studying at the seminary. She has earned degrees in voice performance both in Brazil and at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she received full scholarship during the two years of her studies, graduating in December of 2005.  

 

                           In the same year she performed in a leading role with symphonic orchestras in the USA and overseas. At the annual 2005 International Competition for Opera Singers she won the first prize as the best soprano singer of the year. Now that Pavarotti has passed away, it is encouraging to know that one of the best soprano in the world belongs to the Adventist Church.

           

                           I officially met Cristina on October 6, 2007 at Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church. I was spellbound by the three sacred songs  she sung during the communion service led by Pastor Dwight Nelson. When we met after the communion service, we both immediately felt that the Lord was bringing us together in a providential way to proclaim with words and songs our timely Adventist Message. She told me that after singing for five years in a leading role with various symphonic orchestras, she felt the call of God to leave glitzy world of the opera stage, in order to dedicate the gift of her voice to sing sacred music. This means that now we are presenting together with words and songs my powerpoint seminars on the SABBATH, SECOND  ADVENT, and CHRISTIAN LIFE STYLE.

 

                           You can enjoy a preview of Cristina’s outstanding singing by clicking at this link:  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cristina/   She sings the first stanza of THE HOLY CITY.

 

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER of the New DVD Album on the SABBATH WITH WORDS AND SONGS

 

                           To make it possible for many fellow believers and especially small churches, to benefit from the newly released  DVD Album on the SABBATH WITH WORDS AND SONGS recorded on November 16-17, 2007, we are pleased to offer you the Album as a HOLYDAY SPECIAL for only $30.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. The price is valid until December 31, 2007, and includes the airmail cost to any oversea destination.

 

                           The DVD Album consists of 3 DVD disks containing a total of 6 hours of recording, that is, the Cristina singing and my preaching done on Friday evening, Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon.  

 

                           The Friday evening program begins with Cristina’s mini Sacred Concert, and is followed by my testimony entitled “My Search for the Sabbath at a Vatican University. This is a gripping testimony delivered with 100 powerpoint slides. I share how the Lord opened the door for me to research and publish my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday at a Vatican University in Rome and since then to share the message of the Sabbath in many countries.

 

                           On Sabbath morning Cristina leads the Praise Songs and then she sings “The Lord’s Prayer” before my sermon.  My powerpoint sermon “The Sabbath as a Time for Service,” offers practical principles on how to keep the Sabbath to gain a greater blessing out of it.  

 

                           The Sabbath afternoon program is divided into two parts. In the first part Cristina offers a sacred concert and in the second part I deliver my final lecture entitled “The Sabbath Under Crossfire.” This lecture offers an update report on the latest Sabbath/Sunday developments.  

 

                           You can enjoy this informative and inspiring 6 hours seminar in the privacy of your home or church, without having to travel long distances or investing money to fly us in.

 

How to Order the New DVD Album on THE SABBATH WITH WORDS AND SONGS at the SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER of only $30.00 (instead of $100.00) until December 31, 2007.

 

        (1) Online by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=104

        (2) By calling us at (269) 471-2915

        (3) By emailing us your address and credit card information

        (4) By mailing a check for $30.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA.

                           We guarantee to AIRMAIL the DVD album immediately to ensure that it will reach you in time for Christmas.

 

WOULD YOU LIKE US TO PRESENT A SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS AT YOUR CHURCH?

 

                           Would you like us to present a SABBATH, or ADVENT, or LIFESTYLE SEMINAR with WORDS AND SONGS at your church? Every weekend is already taken until the end of April 2008, but we have openings in the latter part of the year.

 

                           If you are interested to invite Cristina Piccardi and myself for a special seminar with Words and Songs, feel free to contact us by eamil <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> or by phone (269) 471-2915. We will be glad to give you the details and the open dates.

 

 

A WORD OF EXPLANATION ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

 

                           This newsletter reminds me of several classical composers who left fragments of symphonies that for various reasons were never completed. This is what happened to me. Several years ago I felt the compulsion to write a book that would attempt to define what is a Christian Lifestyle.  I began the project in earnest writing a few chapters, but gradually the project came to halt.

 

                           The reason this project was never completed, is because several times in the course of reading and writing I have felt overwhelmed by the task that I had undertaken.  Sometimes I have felt foolish and at other times presumptuous for attempting to write on aspects of Christian living on which I have no expertise. Moreover some of the topics are complex and controversial, requiring more reading and thinking than I had time for them. 

 

                           Yet my failure to complete this project, does not diminish its importance.  I still firmly believe that there is an urgent need today to help many sincere Christians to understand and experience more fully what does it mean  “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, [while] awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

 

                           The essay you are about to read represents the introductory chapter to an envisioned book on The Christian Lifestyle that never saw the light of day.It is my hope and prayer that the thoughts presented in this introductory chapter, may inspire someone to take on the challenge to write such a much-needed book.

WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE?

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology, Andrews University.       

            What does it mean to live a Christian lifestyle in the twenty-first century?  Some might question the relevance of this question by arguing that the Christian lifestyle today is not any different from what it has always been, because it is based on the Christian faith which has not changed.  It is true that the Christian faith has not changed since it rests on Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  What has changed, however, is the historical and cultural setting in which Christians are called to live and witness for Christ. 

Anti-Christian values

            Our ancestors in Europe and America lived in a rather homogeneous world largely influenced by Christian values. Today we live in a pluralistic and materialistic society whose values are often openly and avowedly anti-Christian. For example, the Biblical condemnations of illicit sexual acts were generally accepted by our ancestors as normative for their life. Today, however, they have become for many a licence for sexual experimentation.   This is evidenced by the introduction and use of “softer terms.”  Fornication is now referred to as “pre-marital sex” with the accent on the “pre” rather than on the marital.  Adultery is now called “extra-marital sex,” implying an additional experience  like some extra-professional activities. Homosexuality has gradually been softened from serious perversion through “deviation” to  “gay-variation.”  Pornographic literature and films are now available to “mature audiences” or “adults.”

            In his book The Christian Manifesto, the late Christian apologist and philosopher Francis Schaeffer notes that Christians have failed to see that the change in values is a symptom of a much larger problem,  namely, “a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.”1  He goes one to explain that, “The shift has been away fromŲ a worldview that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory (even if they were not individually Christian) toward something completely different–toward a worldview based upon the idea that the final reality is impersonal matter or energy shaped into its present form by impersonal chance.  They have not seen that this worldview has taken the place of the one that had previously dominated Northern European culture, including the United States, which was at least Christian in memory.”2

            The gradual shift that has taken place during this past century away from a theistic  view of the world in which God is the ultimate reality from whom we derive and to whom we are morally accountable, toward  a materialistic  view of the world in which matter is the ultimate reality from which we derive but to which we are not morally  accountable, has produced the secular values that dominate our society today.  The criterium for what is right or wrong, is no longer divine revelation but human feeling and pleasure.  If a certain action makes a person feel good and gives pleasure, then it is right.

Nominal Christian Society

            The problem is compounded by the fact that today Christians have to contend not only with the anti-Christian values of our secular society, but also with something more insidious, namely, a nominal Christian society that lives by the same secular and  anti-Christian values held by non-Christians.  Christians divorce is at approximately the same rate as non-Christians.  Christians consume alcoholic beverages at about the same level as non-Christians.  Christians watch movies which portray violence, infidelity and perversion like the non-Christians.  Christians dress, dance,  gamble and adorn themselves like the non-Christians. Christians listen to the same rock music and attend the same rock concerts frequented by  non-Christians.  In most communities Christians behave so much like their non-Christian neighbors that they are indistinguishable from them, apart perhaps from their going to church.

            The outcome of this trend is that many sincere Christians are confused about what does it mean to live as Christians today. The confusion is keenly felt especially among those Christians who belong to churches that have historically upheld a high moral standard of Christian conduct. 

            Our own Seventh-day Adventist Church is a case in point.  Historically our Adventist church has emphasized the importance of living pure and healthy lives in preparation for the soon-Coming Savior. This means choosing amusements and entertainments that meet the highest standard of taste and beauty; dressing in a simple and modest way; avoiding the use of outward adornments such as earrings and necklaces; adopting the most healthful diet possible; abstaining from the unclean foods identified in the Scripture as well as from alcoholic beverages and drugs harmful to our bodies.            

Creeping Compromise

            In theory, these principles of Christian behavior are still part of our Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental beliefs.  In practice, however, there is an increasing number of Adventists who are neglecting or even rejecting their church standards, choosing instead to eat, drink, dress, dance, divorce, remarry, adorn their bodies and amuse themselves like the rest of the world. Their argument is that the church standards are restrictive, outdated and engender legalism.  They interpreted the freedom of the Gospel as freedom to live their Christian life in accordance to  societal trends and practices.

            The compromise in church standards causes considerable pain to those Adventists who are committed to live their Christian faith according to the teaching of their church.  In a sense they feel betrayed by those who wish to be members of the Adventist church while at the same time living like the rest of the world.  These fellow believers  approach me constantly in person and/or by letters to share their concern and to ask what can be done to stop the creeping compromise. Some feel that our church leaders must deal with the problem by taking a stronger stand against those who do not live in accordance to church standards.           

Church Rules  are not Enough

            There is no doubt in my mind that church leaders do play an important role in upholding high moral standards.  The history of Israel teaches us that leadership can make a great difference in the moral life of the people.  Repeatedly we are told that bad kings led the people into apostasy, and that good kings brought about spiritual revival and reformation.  Today, however, we live in a different society where individualism prevails.  Many are not inclined to accept moral standards of Christian living imposed on them arbitrarily by church leaders. 

            An example is the Roman Catholic Church who in recent years has hardened her position on contraception, abortion, celibacy, and divorce, yet it has failed to persuade the majority of its members. Surveys indicate that the vast majority of Catholics ignore or reject the official policy of their Catholic church on these matters.  The same hold true in Protestant churches where church members often ignore the official pronouncements of their church leaders. This erosion of respect for the authority of religious and civil institutions should concern us, because it fosters deeper uncertainty and doubt.

            In my view the solution is to be found not in simplistic ecclesiastical rules or pronouncements about how Christians ought to live, but rather in studying and discovering together what the Bible has to say about the Christian faith and practice.  It is important that believers become Biblical informed and convinced about the rightness or wrongness of certain actions.

             Today it is no longer sufficient for a pastor or a denominational paper to tell church members, for example: “Don’t drink alcoholic beverages because it is sinful.”  The response of many individualistic minded members will be, “Who says it and why?”  What we need today is to present  convincing Biblical and medical reasons for the imperative of total abstinence.  This is what I have attempted to do in my book Wine in the Bible.  It is only to the extent that Christians are able to understand and accept the fact that the consumption of alcohol and drugs violates Biblical principles given by God to ensure their physical and spiritual wellbeing, that they will feel compelled to live abstinent lifestyle.

            This is the conviction that has motivated me to write several books on significant aspects of the Christian lifestyle. During the past 25 years of teaching and preaching around the world countless times I have seen radical changes in the lifestyle of people who became convinced by the Scripture and convicted by the Holy Spirit that certain habits or actions were wrong.  There are many sincere Christians across denominational lines who want to know how to live in accordance with the principles that God has revealed in the Bible. They appreciate when someone takes time to show them from the Bible and from personal example how to live the Christian life.  I meet these sincere people practically everywhere I share my itinerant ministry.  It is to these sincere Christians that this book is humbly dedicated.

Sincere but Wrong

            I have learned through my ministry that unfortunately there are many sincere Christians who are sincerely doing what is wrong.  To illustrate this point I will give few examples. There are Christians who  sincerely believe that there is nothing wrong in pre-marital sex as long as they love their partner. They sincerely believe that a Christian can be a homosexual or a lesbian as long as they are committed to their partner.   They sincerely believe that Christians can watch violent or sexy movies as long as they do not become emotional involved.  They sincerely believe that they can listen to rock music as long as the beat is not too strong or the words are not too profane.

            They sincerely believe that they can divorce their marital partner, if they no longer find fulfilment in their relationship. They sincerely believe that they can consume a moderate amount of alcohol and drugs, as long as they do not become addicted.  They sincerely believe that women can serve as the head of the home and of the church, as long as they are competent to do the job.  They sincerely believe that they can spend their Sabbath Day seeking for pleasure and profit, as long as they do not disturb the privacy and peace of others.  They sincerely believe that they can wear different kind of jewelry as long as it is not too gaudy or too expensive. These are the people who frequently ask me: “What is wrong with . . .?”

            One wonders: “How can so many Christians be sincere and yet sincerely wrong on different aspects of Christian living?” It would seem to me that the problem is largely due to a lack of understanding of the claims of the Gospels in our daily lives.  The concern of many Evangelical theologians, preachers and evangelists has been to emphasize how we are saved, rather than how do we live our new life in Christ. To put it differently, the concern has been to teach people how to become Christians, rather than to train them on how to live the Christian life. To be more  specific, we have failed to help people understand how the acceptance of the Gospel affects the way we eat, drink, dress, adorn and amuse ourselves, as well as  the way we relate to such larger issues as abortion, poverty,  pollution, nuclear war, and social injustices. 

            Teaching and discipling new converts into the practice of Christian living is largely neglected today.  Why? Apparently because many assume that it is more important to teach people how to accept Jesus as their Savior than to teach them how to become a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17) by the power of the risen Christ (Phil 3: 10).  Many assume that once people have accepted by faith Jesus as their Savior, they will automatically learn how to live their new life in Christ.  Obviously this is not true.  We shall discuss below the need to teach new converts by word and example how to live their Christian life.   

The Legacy of the Reformation

            The tendency among Evangelical Christians to deal more with  faith and less with good works, may be partly the legacy of the Reformation.  One of the great watchword of the Reformation was Sola fide, “by faith alone.”  The Reformers rediscovered and rightly emphasized that “Justification,” or acceptance with God, must be regarded not as a human achievement through good works but as a divine gift of unmerited grace through the atoning death of Christ, received by trusting in Him alone. 

            On this central truth of the Gospel there can be no compromise. But, although justification is by faith alone, this faith is not alone.  If it is an authentic faith it will inevitably bring forth good works.  We must avoid the danger of constructing a relationship with Christ based exclusively either on  faith or on works.  The two must be kept together as the two sides of the same coin.  This has been a concern of our own Seventh-day Adventist Church, namely, to help people experience the reality of salvation by leaving clean, healthy and holy lives.  As Adventists we strongly believe that  faith is the root of our Christian experience while good works are the fruit.  Both of them must be present in an authentic Christian life.  A tree must bear fruit or else Christ will condemn it.

The Necessity of Good Works

            Our Adventist conviction on the necessity of good works to validate the authenticity of our redeemed relationship with Christ is based on the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. In the Gospels Jesus repeatedly emphasizes the importance of good works in the life of those who follow Him.  It is not the one who confesses Christ by calling Him “Lord, Lord” but the one who “does the will of my Father who is in heaven” that will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 7:21). In the parable of the “Sheep and goats” Jesus teaches that on the Day of Judgment our attitude toward Him will be revealed and judged by, not by what we have professed to be but by what we have practiced in terms of deeds of love to the least of His brothers and sisters (Matt 25:34-41).

            The apostles place the same emphasis on the necessity of good works in the life of a Christian.  We are all familiar with the well-known statement of James that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17, NIV).  Similarly Paul teaches that we have been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10, NIV). What ultimately counts, Paul says,  is not circumcision or uncircumcision, “but keeping the commandments of God” ( 1 Cor 7:19); or as he puts it in Galatians 5:6 “faith working through love.” 

            In his apocalyptic vision  John saw that the saints who endured to the end were “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12).  This passage indicates that Christians who have the faith of Jesus keep His commandments. The two go together. As Christ says:  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

            Unfortunately faith and works have not always been kept together in Evangelical thinking and practice.  The tendency has been to maximize faith and minimize works.  This may explain why there is  a vast amount of literature expanding how we are saved by grace through faith in the atoning death of Jesus and very little literature explaining how we live as saved Christian. 

            There is general agreement that we are saved by grace through faith in Christi Jesus. The disagreement begins once we start defining what does it mean to be saved in terms of lifestyle?  In other words, what are the good works that issue from a living and authentic faith?   Sad to say in this area there is little agreement and consequently a very limited amount of religious literature.

            I discovered this fact when searching for books dealing with practical aspects of Christian living.  In the computerized catalogue of our Andrews University library which holds over 200,000 religious publications I found only half-a-dozen books dealing with practical aspects of Christian living and even these I found to be generic rather than specific.

Fear of Legalism

            Perhaps it is the fear of being labelled as “legalists” that has kept many Evangelicals authors from addressing some of the specific aspects of Christian living. Even in our own Adventist church there has been a tendency in recent years to avoid teaching, writing  and preaching on “church standards.”  I have searched in vain in our recent official publications for articles dealing with such issues as music, divorce, remarriage,  pre-marital and extra-marital sex, dress, adornment,  competitive sports, dancing, and movies.  Yet these have been important church standards in the history of our Adventist church. 

            The reluctance to teach members how to live the Christian life  derives from the fear that such teaching can cause a sense of guilt and insecurity in the mind of those who do not live up to God’s expectations.   To avoid troubling consciences many writers and pastors choose to dwell on the “doing and dying” of Jesus or to put differently, on His unconditional love and forgiveness.  The message seems to be: “You do not need to feel  insecure about your salvation because Christ has done it all. He accepts you  no matter what you are.  Just trust in His doing and dying for you and you are saved.”  This message is true but incomplete.  The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus accepts us as we are but  He will also empower us to become what we ought be.

              To be faithful to the Biblical mandate, we must teach people not only how to profess their faith and love for Christ but also how to practice such faith and love in their daily living.  We must show people not only how to commit their lives to Christ but also how to maintain a dynamic relationship with Him.  Our relationship with Christ has at least four components: doctrinal, devotional, ecclesiastical and ethical. 

Doctrinal Relationship

Our relationship with Christ is doctrinal because it is based on certain fundamental Biblical doctrines about who Christ is, what He has done for us on the Cross, what He is doing for us in the heavenly sanctuary, what he will do for us at His second coming and what He wants to do in us and for us now. Unless our relationship with Christ is securely grounded on sound Biblical doctrines, we can become victims of extremes in our lifestyle.

            One danger we must guard against is legalism, the attempt to win or earn salvation by good works.  The Bible teaches us that salvation is a divine gift and not a human achievement.  We engage in spiritual exercises such as Bible study, meditation and prayer not to earn or merit salvation, but to experience the reality of salvation.

            Closely related to the danger of legalism is pharisaism, the pretense of being more spiritual than one really is.  Christian Pharisees perform  their devotional exercises to impress others about their holiness, rather than to express their  faith and love to Jesus.  They pretends to be saints when in reality they are only sanctimonious.

            Another danger to avoid is isolationism., the attempt to serve Christ by withdrawing from the secular society into private communities of fellow-minded believers. Some reason that is it easier to live the Christian life and perform our spiritual exercises away the negative influences of our secular society. But the Bible teaches us that our spiritual exercises should serve not as a pretext to isolate ourselves from the world, but as a means to equip us to serve in the world (John 17:15).

Devotional Relationship

            Our relationship with Christ is also devotional, because it entails our adoration and commitment to Him expressed through devotional exercises.  The term “devotion” expresses better than the term “piety” our response to Christ's call, because it connotes not merely pious deeds but also a total commitment to Jesus Christ.  In another article I have examine three important devotional exercises which can help us cultivate our relationship with Christ:prayer, meditation and Bible reading.

Ecclesiastical Relationship

            Our relationship with Christ is also ecclesiastical in the sense that it involves fellowship the members of Christ’s church.  In the New Testament there is an organic unity between Christ and His church.  The church is seen as the body of Christ, that is, the new organism which He chose to manifest His presence and to accomplish His saving mission. Church members are compared to parts of the body. “When each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love” (Eph 4:16). 

            The point of this metaphor is that there is an indivisible unity between Christ and His church. Consequently we experience the fellowship of Christ as we fellowship with fellow believers.  We need to examine our Christian responsibility toward the church in a future Endtime Issues Newsletter.

Ethical Relationship

            Our relationship with Christ is also ethical because Christ calls us to follow Him by living our daily lives in accordance with the moral example and principles He has revealed to us in His Word.

            Some may view with disfavor the study of practical aspects of Christian living.  They may even dare to say that such study promotes  works-righteousness. The possibility of negative criticism has never deterred me from studying and sharing Biblical teachings relevants to our lives today.

            The truth of the matter is that today more than ever before we need to help Christians understand how to live their Christian life in an anti-Christian secular society.  For many today Christianity has become a cultural heritage or a religious subject to investigate, rather than a call “to live sober, upright and godly lives in this world” (Tit 2:12).

            Many respected evangelical theologians are recognizing the decline of practical piety in Christian living and are addressing it in their writings. They lament the “crisis of piety” or “the loss of piety.”3 In his book The Crisis of Piety Donald G. Bloesch, a highly respected evangelical theologian,  writes: “Our age presently finds itself in a crisis of faith.  Too many people have only a speculative and not an experiential knowledge of the truth of faith. . . . It cannot be denied that modern Protestantism is troubled by the demise of genuine piety.”4 

            Walter Wagoner notes the loss of piety especially in Protestant seminaries which have largely ceased to be a “worshipping, praying communities.”5   In his view the concern of theological seminaries today is to produce scholars of religion rather than men of piety.  Wayne Oates  believes that there is a “conspiracy of silence about personal religion” not only in theological schools but in church life in general.6

Christian Life and Salvation

            It is encouraging to hear the voices of evangelical theologians calling for spiritual renewal not merely by changing the shape and form of liturgy, but primarily by calling Christians to live out the Gospel in their daily life.  This has been a fundamental concern and conviction of  Seventh-day Adventism, namely, the way we live our Christian life is vital to the process of salvation because it reveals and validates our love and faith commitment to Christ.

            In the past Adventists have been accused of legalism  for  emphasizing the role of practical godliness in salvation. Today some evangelical theologians have come to recognize that this is the only way to save the church from capitulating to the secular culture of our time. 

            Donald G. Bloesch admits: “We need a fresh understanding of the decisive role of the Christian life in our salvation.  . . .  The Christian life must be viewed as being something more than a by-product and sign of salvation procured for us by Jesus Christ. It should be understood as the appropriation of this salvation in faith  and love. . . . If the church is to maintain itself in a secular age it must again sound the call to consecrated devotion and holiness.  It must place the accent not upon organizational efficiency but rather upon the spiritually disciplined life.  Only in this way will it avoid a total capitulation to the culture.”7

            The recognition of the decisive role the Christian life plays in our salvation is first important step in the right direction.  The next equally important step is to help people understand what is a Christian lifestyle and how to live it. When individual  respond to Christ’s calling and declare themselves to be His follower, they will never be the same again. They have become a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17),  walking “in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).

Teaching by Discipling

            Learning to walk is not easy.  It takes a lot of effort on the part of the child as well as the constant watch and coaching of parents.  Similarly learning to “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4) takes time, effort and help. In New Testament times new converts learned how to live the Christian life by becoming disciples. Discipleship was a model which predominated in the society of that time.

            At the time of Jesus a disciple (in Greek mathetes) was a person who learned a trade, a skill or a philosophy by living close to the Master. For example, a young man who wanted to learn a trade often lived in the craftsman house, sweeping the floors and cleaning the tools and watching the craftsman.  As the lad showed diligence, the craftsman would gradually teach him the technical skills of the trade. 

            The same was true of a student who wanted to learn from a distinguished philosopher.  He would ask the master if he would accept him as a disciple, for masters always chose their disciples. If the master agreed, the young man would commit himself not only to listen but also to serve the master almost like a slave.  He might do the cooking, washing and cleaning for the Master.  This was not seen as exploitation of the student class.  To the contrary, it was seen as a privilege for the disciple to be close to the master and observe how the master lived out his philosophy in his daily life.  A disciple was never an unwilling student because it was considered an honor to be a disciple of a great master.  He lived close to the master in order to learn his skills, his wisdom and conform his life to the teaching of his master.

            In the New Testament the same word disciple  is applied to Christians because they were expected to learn  their Master’s teaching in order to pattern their lives after His.  This required a considerable investment of time and resources both on the part of the disciple as well as of the trainer (discipler).  The training of new disciples was not usually done publicly during  a three weeks crash crusade, but personally over a period of time by those who were already mature disciples.

            This was true especially when Christianity reached beyond the boundaries of Judaism into the pagan world.  Baptisms, then, were  performed, not daily, but usually yearly, at Easter time. The reason being that it took at least a year to prepare for baptism  a new convert from paganism. New converts received daily instruction from mature Christians on how to live the Christian life.

            Paul offers us a good example of the considerable personal investment he made in discipling new converts.  He reminds the church at Thessalonica how he taught them by word and example after their conversion.  He says: “We were ready to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also ourselves, because you had become dear to us.  For you remember our labor and toil, brethren;  we worked night and day . . . while we preached to you the gospel of God.  You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers; for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess 2:812).   

            In this passage Paul reveals his concern to teach his new converts not only by precept but also by example how to lead a life worthy of God’s calling. The apostle recognized the importance of role modeling two thousand years before psychologists established this truth by experimenting with laboratory rats. He was convinced that the most effective way to teach new converts how to live the Christian life was by being a good role model.  Unabashedly he says: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 4:9). And again, “Be imitators of me,  as I am of Christ”(1 Cor 11:1).

Discipleship Today

            The Biblical model of discipleship to train new converts on how to live the Christian life is still relevant for us today.  We live in an age when we like to see things happening fast. We are proud of our fast food restaurants, fast microwave cooking, instant communication, fast jet travel, fast computers, fast printers, fast production of all sort of goods. Our culture places a high priority on speed.

            Thus it is not surprising that when  persons respond to an altar call to accept Jesus, we try to process them as fast as possible into church membership. We take them through a short prayer, a compressed series of Bible studies on the fundamental beliefs of the church, then we baptize them and give them a warm handshake to welcome them into church membership. After that they either sink or swim depending on their resources.

            Very few new converts are taught the Biblical principles of Christian conduct and even fewer are shown how to live out those principles in actual life situations.  Yet when new believers accept Christ they are at the critical moment of their life when they are open to the radical changes in their lifestyle.  But they need some mature Christian that can show them what changes need to be made. For example, someone needs to show them how to lead the family into a meaningful daily worship experience, how to pray,  how to stop using alcohol and drugs, how to prepare healthy meals, how to dress modestly, how to choose wholesome types of entertainment, how to become involved in the programs of the church. 

            Sometimes what new converts need most is not indoctrination but a demonstration of how to live the Christian life. There are skills in Christian living that can best be learned by the example of a godly Christian.  It is has been rightly said that Christianity is more caught than taught.

            Discipling new converts in the Christian life requires a considerable personal investment of time and energy of one believer for the spiritual wellbeing of another. Those who understand and live their Christian life effectively are best equipped to share their experience with younger believers.  Discipleship is costly, but is the tested way that works.

            There are two essential components in a Christian lifestyle: faith and works,  being and doing, faith and action.  The practical way in which we live our Christian life is important because it validates our faith and love for Christ.  Learning to live the Christian life, however, is not easy. It requires considerable investment of time and efforts on the part of new converts as well as of mature Christians willing to help them.

An Unfulfilled Dream          

            A few years ago I dreamed about writing a book on the basic components of the Christian lifestyle. In other words, I wanted to consider what are some of the nuts and bolts of Christian living.

            My plan was to divide the book  into two parts.  In the first part I intended to reflect upon some private aspects of the Christian lifestyle. These will include the devotional life, outward appearance, stewardship, marriage, entertainment, diet, drinking, music, health, work and rest.  In the second part I planned to write on some of the public aspects  of Christian living.  These would include the Christian responsibility toward the church,  the state,  the environment, social issues, and sexual issues.

            I must confess that the reason this project was never completed, is because several times in the course of reading and writing I have felt overwhelmed by the task that I had undertaken.  Sometimes I have felt foolish and at other times presumptuous for attempting to write on aspects of Christian living on which I have no expertise. Moreover some of the topics are complex and controversial, requiring more reading and thinking than I had time to do.  Yet my failure to complete this project, does not diminish the importance of lifestyle in the Bible.

Importance of Lifestyle in the Bible

            The Bible has more to say about  how to live than most people realize. The Old Testament prophets constantly challenge the people to live in accordance to God’s instructions.  Micah, for example, reminds to those who were wondering what they should do to please God, that “He [the Lord] has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic 6:8).

            The New Testament writers share the same concern. They wrote their letters not to convert unbelievers but to help believers understand how to live as redeemed children of God in an unredeemed world.  In fact, most of the letters were written to address some specific lifestyle problems of certain Christian communities.

            For example, in his  first letter to the Corinthians Paul addresses such specific problems of Christian living that had been reported to him, as, sexual immorality, lawsuits within the church, marriage and celibacy, food offered to idols, participation in idols feasts, the veiling of women, abuses at the Lord’s Supper and the proper use of spiritual gifts.

            The guidance provided by these letters was essential to help preserve the purity of the Christian faith and practice.  Their importance increased after the departure of the apostles as false teachers arose promoting heretical teachings and practices.  To refute them the early church brought together the teachings of Jesus as found in the four Gospels and of the teaching of the apostles as found in the remaining 23 books of the New Testament.  These books were accepted as canonical, that is, normative to define Christian beliefs and practice.

            Today we call the books of the Bible as “canon,” which means ruler, standard, or guideline. We speak of the “canon” of the Old Testament and of the “canon” of the New Testament. By this we mean that both the Old and New Testaments serve the church  as the “canon” or standard by which we define our Christian beliefs and practices.

The Bible Is a Source Book, not a Church Manual

            The problem is that the books of the Bible do not provide us with an organized topical treatment of all the issues confronting Christians today.  In other words, there is no  section in the Bible dealing exclusively with the subject of marriage and another section dealing with divorce, or abortion, or diet, or music, or entertainment or worship.  What we have in the Bible is more of a source book  than a church manual or catechism.

            This means that we cannot treat the Bible as a set of moral recipes.  If we have a problem, we cannot turn to one passage or one page of the Bible to find out all what the Bible has to say about that subject.  This  “proof text” approach is selective, subjective and often uses texts out of context.

            We must use the Bible as a source book.  Instead of focusing on one or even few particular texts, we need to look at the total sweep of the Biblical teaching on any given subject.  Our concern must be to define the underlying principles and then to consider their application today.

            Certain subjects like abortion, pollution,  or movies are not directly addressed in the Bible, since they were not an issue in Bible times. Yet the Bible does provide some general principles that relate to these issues. Thus we must endeavor to distill from the Bible those general principles that can guide us in defining our Christian responsibility toward some of the unique issues of our time.

            Though I never completed my book on Christian Lifestyle, I still firmly believe that there is an urgent need today to help many sincere Christians to understand and experience more fully “how to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, [while] awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). May this brief introduction to the vast subject of What is a Christian Lifestyle?  inspire many to reflect upon it during 2008.

 

ENDNOTES

            1. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works,  vol. 5: A Christian View of the West (Westchester, Illinois, 1982), p. 423.

            2.  Ibid.

            3.  Edward Farley, Requiem For a Lost Piety (Philadelphia, 1966); Edward W. Brueseke, “The Parish Ministry in a Crisis of Faith,” Ministers’ Quarterly (Fall, 1996), pp.13-17.

            4.  Donald G. Bloesch, The Crisis of Piety. Essays Towards a Theology of the Christian Life (Grand Rapids, 1968), pp.13, 37.

            5.  Walter Wagoner, “Winds and Windmills: A Weather Report on Seminary Education in the USA,” Bulletin of the Department of Theology of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, VI, no. 4)Summer, 1996), 6.  See also by the same author, The Seminary: Protestant and Catholic, Ų(New York, 1966).

            6.  Frank Stagg, E. Glenn Hinson, Wayne E. Oates, Glossolalia (Nashville,1967), p. 82.  See also George MacLeod, “Nearing the Eleventh Hour?”  in The Coracle (December 1966), p. 13.

            7.  Donald G. Bloesch (note 4), pp. 42-74.      

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER ON 12 DVD/CD ALBUMS FOR ONLY $150.00, INSTEAD OF THE REGULAR PRICE OF $1150.00

        This offer may sound too good to be true. Until December 31, 2007, we are offering together as a package all the 12 DVD/CD albums, containing Cristina Piccardi’s DVD and CD albums, the new Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs, Prof. Jon Paulien’s DVD album on Simply Revelation, Prof. Graeme Bradford’s DVD Album on More than a Prophet, and my own 9 DVD albums on such topics as The Mark and Number of the Beast, Cracking the Da Vinci Code, The Passion of Christ, the Abundant Life Seminar, the Sabbath and Advent Seminars. Until now these recordings were sold separately, costing considerably more.  To make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, I have decided to offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $1150.00.  The offer is good until December 31, 2007.

The Package Includes the Following 12 Albums:

1) DVD Album wih Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs recorded at the Avon Park SDA Church on November 16-17, 2007. The album contains three DVD disks with 6 hours of recordings.

2) DVD and CD Albums containing Cristina Piccardi’s sacred songs. The CD Album “Rejoice in the Lord” contains 11 songs. The DVD Album “Sing Unto the Lord” contains 10 songs. 

3) Prof. Jon Paulien’s newly released DVD ALBUM video seminar on Simply Revelation.

4) Prof. Jon Paulien’s CD ALBUM with a dozen of his books, and all his articles.

5) Prof. Graeme Bradford’s DVD ALBUM with a two hours video lecture on Ellen White. He shares the highlights of his book More than a Prophet. The album contains also Prof. Bradford’s the publications and articles.

6) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s newly recorded DVD ALBUM called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR.  The album contains 2 video powerpoint lectures: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages and How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. These two lectures summarize the highlights of Bacchiocchi’s two books Wine in the Bible and The Marriage Covenant. Two separate files with 225 powerpoint slides are included.

7) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM containing 10 video powerpoint lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent.  Some of the lectures show the documents Prof. Bacchiocchi found in Vatican libraries on the role of the papacy in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This album contains the popular powerpoint SABBATH/ADVENT seminars Prof. Bacchiocchi presents in many countries.

8) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM on Cracking the Da Vinci Code. The album contains a two hours video lecture, professionally taped with a vitual studio as a background. A separate file with 200 powerpoint slides is included.

9) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM on The Mark and the Number of the Beast. The album contains the two hours video lecture and a separate powerpoint file with the 200 slides used for the lecture.

10) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s  CD ALBUM with all his books and powerpoint lectures. The album consists of two disks. The first disk has all his 18 books and over 200 articles. The second disk has the slides and script of 25 of Prof. Bacchiocci’s popular PowerPoint presentations.

11) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s  DVD ALBUM on The Passion of Christ.  The album contains the 2 hours live interview conducted by 3ABN on Prof. Bacchiocchi’s book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History.

12) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s MP3 AUDIO ALBUM which contains 2 disks with 22 AUDIO lectures on vital biblical beliefs and practices. Ideal for listening in your car while driving.

        You can see the picture of all the 12 ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this link:http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

How to Order the Package of the 12 Albums:

        You can order the complete package of 12 DVD/CD Albums for only $150.00,  instead of the regular price of $1150.00, in four different ways:

(1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.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 $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

NEWLY RELEASED ALBUM WITH CRISTINA PICCARDI CD AND DVD ALBUM

           It is for me a real honor and privilege to offer you two newly released recordings of Cristina’s singing at Andrews University. The recording consists of two disks. The first is a CD and the second is a DVD. Cristina powerful and passionate singing will help you to appreciate more fully God’s love and saving grace for your life. Here is a brief description of the CD and DVD recording.

THE FIRST DISK is an AUDIO CD recording entitled REJOICE IN THE LORD. It contains 11 audio Gospel songs like How Great Thou Art, He Shall Feed His Flock, Softly and Tenderly, The Holy City, etc. This is an audio recording that you can play in your car CD player, or on any CD players you have in your home.

THE SECOND  DISK  is  a VIDEO DVD recording entitled SING UNTO THE LORD.  It contains 12  sacred familiar songs that were recorded live at  Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church, in Michigan. This is a video recording that you can enjoy in your living room and play in your church.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2007

      The special HOLIDAY OFFER for the new Album with Cristina’s CD and DVD recordings is only $30.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

How to Order Cristina’s CD/DVD ALBUM:

        (1) Online by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=103

        (2) By calling us at (269) 471-2915

        (3) By emailing us your address and credit card information

        (4) 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.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER ON  PROF. JON PAULIEN’S LIVE DVD SEMINAR ON SIMPLY REVELATION

           You may have noticed that the new 2008 Daily Devotional Book The Gospel from Patmos, is authored by Prof. Jon Paulien. He has done a masterful job in expanding each verse of the Revelation into a daily devotional thought.      

           To help you appreciate more fully  Paulien’s Daily Devotional, we offer you his DVD album on SIMPLY REVELATION that was released few months ago.  We have been airmailing the DVD album to church leaders, pastors, and lay Adventists in different part of the world. Several pastors have already shown the lectures to their congregations.  They wrote to me saying that viewing the lectures were truly an enlightening experience for their members.

      My wife and I viewed Simply Revelation on our TV on a Sabbath afternoon. Though I had already watched Prof. Paulien’s lectures during the taping session which I paid for, I was spellbound to hear him again offering so many refreshing insights into the most difficult book of the Bible. For me it is a thrilling experience listening to a scholar like Prof. Paulien, who knows what he is talking about.

           Prof. Paulien is rightly regarded as a leading Adventist authority on the book of Revelation which he has taught at the Seminary for the past 25 years. His doctoral dissertation as well as several of his books deal specifically with the Book of Revelation.

           The constant demand for Prof. Paulien’s CD album 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. As suggested by its title,  Simply Revelation aims to present simply the message of Revelation–not to read into Revelation sensational, but senseless views.

           The preparation of this video recording took 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 about 50 powerpoint slides.   This mini Revelation seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Be sure to inform your pastor about the newly released Simply Revelation, if he is not aware of it.

           You will be pleased to know that we have placed on a separate file all the powerpoint slides and the script of the live lecture.  This means that if you are a pastor or a lay member who want to use Prof. Paulien’s Simply Revelation Seminar, you can pick and choose the powerpoint slides that you like.

           The file with the powerpoint slides is placed on Prof. Paulien’s CD album containing all his publications and articles.  The reason is that there was no memory left on the DVD disks.  In spite of my pleas, Prof. Paulien was so full of the subject that he used the full 60 minutes of each lecture, leaving no space for the slides’ file.

           This has been a very expensive project, both in time and money. I sponsored it financially because I believe that many will be blessed by Paulien’s fresh insights into Revelation.  The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you can order it now at the SPEPCIAL HOLIDAY PRICE UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2007 for only $30.00.  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. Paulien’s four live video lectures on Simply Revelation and his CD album with all his publications and the powerpoint slides of Simply Revelation, for only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00.

        As an additional incentive, I am offering you together with Prof. Paulien’s DVD/CD albums, also my own popular DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for an additional $20.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. This means that you can order the DVD and CD albums by Prof, Paulien, together with my DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00.

        This research on The Mark and Number of the Beast, was commissioned by Prof. Paulien himself. He asked me to trace historically the origin and use of the Pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei and of the number 666. I spent six months conducting this investigation which was professionally taped at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium. I use 200 powerpoint slides to deliver this informative two hours lecture which is warmly received by Adventist church leaders and pastors in many parts of the world. For a detailed description of this DVD album click: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Beast/BeastPromo

Special Offer on Paulien/Bacchiocchi’s Albums:

* ONE DVD Album of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the introductory price of $30.00, instead of $100.00. 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 $50.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation,  ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, and ONE DVD Album with Bacchiocchi’s two hours video lecture on The Mark and Number of the Beast for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

Four Ways to Order Paulien/Bacchiocchi’s Albums:

           (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 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS FOR THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER

           Gradually I am rescheduling some of the invitations I had to cancel because of liver-cancer treatments. Here is a list of the upcoming weekend seminars for the months of December 2007 and January 2008

DECEMBER 7-8: HINSDALE FIL-AM ADVENTIST CHURCH

Location: 9 East 59th Street, Hinsdale, Illinois 60421

For information and directions contact Pastor Ramon Baldovino at (630) 241-9360.

DECEMBER 14-15: VALLEY VIEW SDA CHURCH

Location: 6630 F. M. 1516,  Concerse, Texas 78109 (San Antonio)

For information and directions contact Pastor Jerry Bandy at (210) 637-5275.

DECEMBER 21-23: FRIENDS OF THE SABBATH CONFERENCE IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY

Location: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort Hotel, 1800 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40511

For information and directions contact  Pastor Jim O’Brien at (513) 755-0040.

 

JANUARY 11-12: BROCKTON PORTUGUESE  SDA CHURCH

Location: 65 West Elm Street, Brockton, Massachussetts

For information and directions contact Pastor Felix Monteiro at (857) 204-3231

JANUARY 18-19: LOMA LINDA INDONESIAN SDA CHURCH

Location: 10827 California Street, Redlands, California 92373.

For information and directions contact Pastor Albert Pardede at (909) 796-2206

FEBRUARY 1-2: TORONTO EAST SDA CHURCH

Location: 170 Westwood Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K 2B1

For information and directions contact Pastor David Rogers at (905) 417-5468 or (416) 705-7665

INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS

        HITACHI has just released the new CP-X400 3000 lumens projector, which replaces the CP-X444.  The new projector has an impressive high resolution, low fan noise, and a wealth of connectivity options. The most impressive feature of this projector is the incredible price of only $1395.00 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-X400 HIGH RESOLUTION 3000 LUMENS - Only $1395.00

          This is the lowest price for an HITACHI 3000 lumens projector.

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, 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 best suits your church, 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.