Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University


A PERSONAL NOTE: This is the seventh installment of the Sabbath discussion between Dale Ratzlaff and myself. The discussion began on June 15 on KJSL radio station and is continuing in cyberspace. The interest for this discussion is incredible. We are adding over 50 names a day to the special mailing list of those who have requested the text of these exchanges. The list has grown to over 1000 names. Feel free to contact me at: if you wish your email address to be added to the special mailing list.

This installment includes Ratzlaff's last response which he posted on 7/5/98, and arrived yesterday while I was out of town. Since I have already dealt in my previous post with the major questions/comments posed by Ratzlaff, this time I will respond within the text itself. The text of Ratzlaff's response is reproduced as received without any alteration. I have only inserted my comments at the appropriate places.


Ratzlaff wrote:

Dr. Bacchiocchi

It is my understanding that it is your attempt or purpose in this discussion to refute what I have written in Sabbath in Crisis and I have no problem with that. However, you are taking a sentence or two here and a sentence or two there >from my book, often out of context, and without my listing my supporting data. You are also stating my conclusions in your own words which are twisted so that they may not reflect my thinking accurately. Obviously, your are free to do this. However, if I am going to take the time to engage in this discussion I must insist that we not jump all over the Bible and try to explain the text under consideration by immediately going to anther text. Rather, we must first agree-if we can-on what the Bible says in a given location. Then after we have done that, then we can bring our findings together after we have looked at all the evidence.


Bacchiocchi replies:

Your allegation that I am misrepresenting your position by quoting selected statements out of context from your book THE SABBATH IN CRISIS, takes me by surprise, because I have exercised great care in reporting your views accurately. If indeed, I have misrepresented your position, be specific and mention some instances, rather than making a general accusation.

You accuse me of jumping all over the Bible because I did not limit myself to what you have to say about the Sabbath in the book of Genesis. Please note that we are not engaged in a systematic study of the books of the Bible. In the previous installments I have examined your basic thesis that the Sabbath is not a creational institution for mankind, but a Mosaic ordinance for the Jews. The Biblical answer to this question is to be found not only in the creation account, but also in the the rest of the Bible, including the compelling witness of Christ Himself (Mark 2:27).


Ratzalff wrote:

In our discussion of the data in Genesis you took issue with the following of my conclusions:

First, you took issue with the first of our convulsions: that the Genesis record states that creation was finished in six days. I summit the following supporting evidence.

It seems clear to me from the pattern of Genesis that Creation was finished at the end of the sixth day. Each of the days of creation end with "and God saw that it was good." When we com to the end of the sixth day, however, we have "and God saw ALL THAT HE HAD MADE, and behold, it was VERY good." (Gen. 1:31) This is summary style.

Genesis 2:1 says, "Thus the heavens and the earth were COMPLETED, and all their hosts" This is said BEFORE we come to the seventh day.

The NASB translate Genesis 2:2 "And BY the seventh day God completed His work His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day FROM ALL HIS WORK WHICH HE HAD DONE.

The NIV renders it: "By the seventh day God HAD FINISHED the work he had been doing so on the seventh day he rested FROM ALL HIS WORK.

I want to limit myself to the Genesis account (for now). However, as you seem unwilling to do so please, read the following:

Exodus 20:11 "For in SIX DAYS the Lord made the heavens and the earth the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 31:17 "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in SIX DAYS the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." This is all we meant when we summarized that Creation was completed in six days.


Bacchiocchi replies:

Dale, the issue is not whether or not the material creation of this planet was completed in six days. The texts you have cited attest this fact very clearly. Rather, the issue is whether the seventh day is part of the creation week that God established for our physical and spiritual wellbeing or whether it is independent from the six days of creation. In a subtle way you are arguing that the seventh day is detached from the previous six days and consequently is it not a creational institution for mankind. This is the fundamental fallacy of your reasoning, because the whole seven days week, including the Sabbath are a divine creation.

What you fail to understand, Dale, is that you cannot divide the creative accomplishments of the first six days, from that of the seventh day. On the seventh day God did not create material things but He did created a day to invite the human family to celebrate the completion and perfection of His creation. This is why we read in Genesis 2:2: "and on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done."

Dale, if as you insist, creation was completed on the sixth day, then why does Genesis 2:2 tells us that God finished His creation on the seventh day? A responsible Bible student seeks to harmonize apparent contradictory statements. The apparent contradiction is easily resolved when we recognize that the obvious function of the seventh day in the creation account is to conclude God's creation by proclaiming it absolutely complete and perfect.

This meaning of the seventh day is expressed especially through the septenary structure of the narrative. The story of creation (Gen. 1:1 to 2:3) reveals an amazing symmetry built around the number seven (and multiples) which is used both to structure the narrative and to relate many of its details. For example, in Hebrew Genesis 1:1 has seven words, and the second verse fourteen- twice seven. The three nouns that occur in the first verse, namely God ('Elohim), heavens (shamayim), earth ('eres) are repeated in the story as follows: God thirty-five times, that is, five times seven; earth twenty-one times, that is, three times seven; similarly heavens (or firmament~raqia'), twenty-one times, that is, three times seven. There are also seven references to light ('or) in the account of the fourth day (Gen. 1 :14-18) and seven times the expression it was good occurs (note the seventh time is very good-(Gen. 1:31]).

It is particularly significant that the seventh and last section (Gen. 2 :2-3) which deals with the seventh day has in Hebrew "three consecutive sentences (three for emphasis), each of which consists of seven words and contains in the middle the expression the seventh day":

1. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done (v. 2a-seven words in Hebrew).

2. And he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. (v. 2b-seven words in Hebrew).

3. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it (v. 3a- seven words in Hebrew).

It is noteworthy that the number seven not only is a recurring motif in the story of creation, but it also provides the actual frame for the structure of the whole narrative. After the introductory statement (Gen. 1:1), the story is arranged in seven sections, each corresponding to one of the seven days of creation. The recurring sentence "and there was evening and there was morning, one day . . . a second day . . . a third day ... etc.," marks the logical division of the story that reaches its climatic moment in the seventh day. The latter is repeated three times, undoubtedly to emphasize its function as the goal, conclusion and perfection of the whole creation.

This organization of the story in six days which reach their culmination in the seventh day (which is repeated thrice for added emphasis) shows, as Jesuit Professor Nicola Negretti persuasively demonstrates in his comprehensive structural analysis of this section (doctoral dissertation), that the purpose of the septenary structure is to finalize into the seventh day the accomplishments of the six intermediate days. (For references and discussion see my book DIVINE REST pp. 62-67).

This brief excursus into how the septenary structure of the creation story heightens the function of the seventh day as the completion of God's creation, hopefully will help you, Dale, understand that your attempt to distinguish between the creative accomplishments of the six days from those of the seventh day, breaks the organic unity of the narrative.


Ratzlaff writes:

It is my understanding that you accept my conclusions 2 through 4 which are:

2. God rested on the seventh day.

3. God blessed the seventh day.

4. God sanctified the seventh day.

After my conclusion number 5, you went on and on page after page. I felt you were trying to read in to this concussion more than was warranted. As I read my Bible it is almost exactly a quote. My conclusion number five follows. Then I will show my evidence for it.

5. The reason God sanctified the seventh day was because He rested on it. Genesis 2:3 states, "And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

Do you still disagree with conclusion five?


Bacchiocchi replies:

Dale, I do not disagree with what the Bible says, I disagree with your interpretation of the blessing and sanctification of the seventh day. As I stated in my pevious response, you argue that what God sanctified is not the seventh day as such, but the "conditions of that day were sanctified and blessed" (p. 24). By "the conditions" you mean the condition that existed on "the first day after creation was completed" (p. 24). In other words, for you the sanctification of the seventh day refers primarily to the "conditions" of completion and celebration of the creation seventh day, rather than to God setting aside the seventh day for mankind to experience in a special way His sanctifying presence.

Dale, please note that nowhere the Bible suggests that the sanctification of the seventh day at creation refers to the sanctification of the conditions that existed "the first day after creation was completed" (p. 24). God did not sanctify "conditions" but the seventh day itself by "resting": "because on it God rested from all his work" (Gen 2:4). As I explained in my previous post, the SHABAT-rest of God in Gen 2:2-3 is a rest of CESSATION and not a NUAH-rest of RELAXATION as that found in Exodus 20:11. In other words, God sanctified the seventh day by desisting from creating in order to be with His creatures. The sanctification of the seventh day is God's commitment to make this day the channel through which His sanctifying presence can be experience by His creatures.


Ratzlaff wrote:

It my understanding that you agree with conclusions 6 through 9 which are:

6. The seventh-day account does NOT have the formula "and there was evening and there was morning, a seventh day" as do the six days of creation.

7. The creation record is carefully constructed.

8. There is no mention of the word "Sabbath" in the book of Genesis.

9. There is no command for mankind to rest in the Genesis account.

10. Nothing is expressly mentioned regarding man in the seventh-day-creation rest.

After conclusion 10 you write at length trying to explain WHY nothing is mentioned about man resting. At this point I am not concerned about why, just what. When we limit ourselves to WHAT it says we must, I hope, agree that nothing is mentioned in the Genesis account about man resting. Note carefully my wording, "Nothing is EXPRESSLY mentioned regarding man in the seventh-day creation rest.

Do you still disagree with conclusion number 10?


Bacchiocchi replies:

Dale, your method is very subtle. I am prepared to agree with the fact that "Nothing is EXPRESSLY mentioned regarding man in the seventh-day creation rest," but I reject your implications of this statement. Your problem is that you do not understand why there is no command for mankind to keep the Sabbath in the creation story. You interpret the absence of a command to observe the Sabbath as an indication that Sabbath is not a creational ordinance for mankind, but a temporary institution introduced later by Moses for Israel alone.

This is your gratuitous interpretation. The reason is, as already stated in my previous posts, that Genesis is not a book of commands, but a book of origins. It simply tells us how everything began, including the Sabbath. Its origin is traced to the divine act which blessed and sanctified the seventh day at the completion of creation. It is evident that God did not bless and sanctify the seventh day to be a blessing to the day itself, but to those who would use the day to experience His sanctifying presence. A correct understanding of the blessing and sanctification of the seventh day, presupposes its human purpose and function.

None of the Ten Commandments are ever mentioned in Genesis, yet we know that their principles were known because we are told, for example: "Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Gen 26:5). Furthermore, could God have given any stronger revelation of the moral nature of the Sabbath than by making it a rule of His divine conduct? Is a principle established by divine example less binding than one enunciated by a divine command? Do not actions speak louder than words?


Ratzlaff wrote:

Continuing with my conclusions:

11. The seventh-day "rest" of God was most likely characterized by His delight in His new creation and by open fellowship with Adam and Eve in the sin-free, perfect environment of Eden.

12. The conditions which characterized the "rest" of God would probably have continued had it not been for mans sin.

13. The seventh day of Gen. 2:2, 3 may have been a regular day as were the first six days of creation, or it may have been an indefinite period of time.

14. The fact that the Genesis account is so carefully constructed indicates that the omission of "and there was evening and there was morning, a seventh day" was intentional.

After conclusion number 14, you go to great length to prove that the seventh day was a 24 hour day.

My method is to hold open any alternate interpretations and make no lasting conclusions this early in our study. I think you are reading more into this than I meant. That is why it is important to let me state what I mean. Let me quote >from Sabbath in Crisis page 21-23 so you will get the context of what I say.

"One characteristic of that perfect world was that God had freely provided everything needed for the happiness of Adam and Eve. There was nothing for Adam and Eve to do but to enjoy Gods gracious provision and fellowship with their Creator. From the Genesis account we cannot determine how long it was before Adam and Eve sinned. One thing, however, we can be sure of: it was after the close of creations seventh day. That day stands out in Scripture as the one day when everything was in right relationship to God. The world sparkled with the freshness of a tropical morning. Adam and Eve held open fellowship with their Maker. Sin and its resulting curse were still unknown.


Bacchiocchi replies:

You are correct in assuming in statement number 11 that God most likely spent the seventh day of creation delighting in His creation and fellowshipping with Adam and Even. But, your statement number 12 is wrong in assuming that the function of the seventh day "rest" of God in the creation story, is to establish a "condition" of eternal delight. The function of the CESSATION-REST of God in the creation story is dramatize the fact that God viewed His creation complete and perfect.

This is essentially the meaning of the Hebrew verb shabat which is twice translated "rested." Its more accurate rendering is "to stop, to desist, to cease from doing." In fact, to express rest from physical exhaustion the Hebrew employs a different verb, namely nuah, which is also generally translated in English "to rest." The latter, in fact, occurs in Exodus 20:11 where God's pattern of work-rest in creation is given as the basis for the commandment to work six days and to rest on the seventh.

In Genesis 2, however, the verb shabat is used because the function of God's rest is different. It fulfills a cosmological rather than an anthropological function. In other words, it serves to explain not why man should rest but rather how God felt about His creation: He regarded it as complete and perfect, and to acknowledge it-God stopped. This function of God's rest has been recognized by numerous scholars like Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer whom I quote in DIVINE REST pp. 67. We might say that by confronting His creation with His cessation-rest, God proclaimed the Good News that there was no need to put additional finishing touches on what He had created, since He regarded all of it "very good" (Gen. 1:31).

Your statement 13 also is wrong in allowing the possibility that the seventh day "may have been an indefinite period of time." As already stated, nowhere in the Bible is a numerical day used symbolically to represent an indefinite period of time. Furthermore, the commandment to observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the creation seventh-day in which God rested, would make no sense if the latter was a symbolic, indefinite period of time.


Ratzlaff wrote:

We now come to an important question. Did God intend for this "rest" to end at the close of the literal seventh day? According to the Genesis record "the heavens and the earth were completed" on the sixth day (Gen. 2:1). Gods work of creation was completed, at least for this world. Adam and Eve had not yet sinned, so the open fellowship and communion which characterized that first seventh day continued. Therefore we may conclude that the conditions and characteristics of that first seventh day were designed by God to continue and would have continued had it not been for the sin of Adam and Eve. It was not Gods design or intent that the open, face-to-face communion with man come to an end. It was not His design that the ground be cursed. No, it was the entrance of sin which interrupted Edens perfection. "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God" (Isa. 59:2). By creating Adam and Eve with the power of choice, God allowed for the possibility of sin, but it was certainly not His will that sin should exist.

Could this be the reason why the Genesis record omits "and there was evening and there was morning, a seventh day"? This does not deny that the first seventh day had an evening and a morning, nor does it deny there was another day that followed the first seventh day. However, the essence of creations seventh-day rest or the conditions that existed on that seventh day were intended to remain.

The Genesis account mentions nothing about man resting. From what would our first parents have rested? Work did not enter until after they sinned. Work was part of the curse of sin.

Because youhave eaten from the treež Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your lifež By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread (Gen. 3:17- 19).

The rest of that first seventh day was characterized by our first parents freely accepting what God had so graciously provided.


Bacchiocchi replies:

You seem to be suggesting, Dale, that if Adam and Eve had not sinned they would have experienced every day the conditions and characteristics of the seventh day, because "work did not enter until after they sinned. Work was part of the curse of sin." I disagree with you on this because work was part of the blessings given before sin: "And God blessed them, and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it . ." (Gen 1:28). "Subduing" presupposes work. "And the Lord God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it" (Gen 2:15).

The pattern of six days of work and the seventh for rest is part of God's creational plan for mankind. The Fall did not introduce work but made work burdensome. This truth is plainly stated in the Bible. What amazes me, Dale, is your desperate way to find loopholes in the Bible to negate the creational origin and universal function of the Sabbath. If you do not wish to observe the Sabbath, that is your prerogative. But, please do not attempt to fabbricate a Biblical justification for your decision to disregard the Sabbath.


Ratzlaff wrote:

While some have argued that all the "days" of creation are long, indefinite periods of time, the text of Genesis does not support such arguments. If the first six days of creation are accepted as regular days, it can be assumed that the seventh day would also be a regular day.

On the other hand we must remember that the seventh day does not have the formula, "and there was evening and there was morning, a seventh day." And, in the very next verse, Moses uses the word "day" for an indefinite period of time at least six days long.

This is the account of the heavens and the earth in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven (Gen. 2:4).

Therefore, at this point in our study, we should accept the seventh day of Genesis 2:2,3 as a regular day with the possibility of its also being an indefinite period of time. Both are possible interpretations drawn from the facts of the Genesis account. One of these interpretations will probably fit our theology of the Sabbath better than the other; however, at this point we are only gathering evidence and looking at possible interpretations.


Bacchiocchi replies:

You continue to insist and persists in arguing for the possibility that the seventh day was "an indefinite period of time." You appeal to Gen 2:4 which speaks of "the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven." Please note that in this text "day" is not numbered. To support your argument you need to find one example in the Bible where "day" preceded by a number is used figuratively to denote an indefinite period of time. Because such an example does not exist in the Bible, your interpretation is based on fantasy rather than a Biblical fact.

The Biblical fact is that God "rested the seventh day" (Ex 20:11); and "on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" (Ex 31:17). Nowhere the Bible suggest that the seventh day in which God rested was an indefinite period of time. Why not accept this Biblical fact and stop arguing against such clear teaching?


Ratzlaff wrote:

My conclusion number 15 is:

15. When man sinned, he was excluded from Gods presence and God began His "work" of redemption to restore man back to Himself.

After this conclusion you state: "The problem lies in the way you interpret Christ's redemptive work to negate the continuity of the Sabbath in the NT."

I am not here discussing the Sabbath in the New Testament!

To support conclusion 15 I quote the following from Sabbath in Crisis. P. 23, 24.

"The beginning of a new work
The Genesis account does not mention an end to Gods seventh-day rest. [please note that I am not saying that the seventh-day did not end, nor that there was a new week that started at the close of that first seventh day] Rather it is presented as an ongoing state by the omission of the formula "and there was evening and morning, a seventh day." Nevertheless, it does mention a new "work" which God started immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. We read that "the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21). This event was the beginning of a "work" which would continue throughout the centuries until its significance would become fully revealed in the death of Christ. The death of that first lamb, while not mentioned as such in the Genesis account, was the acorn of the great truth which, through the following centuries, would grow into the great, spreading oak of righteousness by faith. It pointed forward to Christs substitutionary life and death for lost mankind. Naked Adam and Eve were clothed with robes made from the skin of the slain lambū a substitute who gave his life. Millennia later Paul would put this same truth in these words:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal. 3:27).

Jesus would say, Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal. They said therefore to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent" (Jn. 6:27- 29).

The work of redemption was the work which God started when man sinned and was driven from Edens rest. This work would continue until man was restored to Gods true rest.

In His Joy,

Dale Ratzlaff


Bacchiocchi replies:

Again, in a very astute way, you introduce the concept here that the work of redemption that began after the Fall, fulfills the intent of the Sabbath. You develop this concept more fully in Chapters 7 and 8 of THE SABBATH IN CRISIS where you argue that Christ by His provocatory method of Sabbathkeeping paved the way for the abandonment of the Sabbath, because He offered the salvation-rest to which the Sabbath pointed.

You write: "The thrust of Jesus' arguments is not so much in defining appropriate Sabbath conduct as in showing how the old covenant law points to him. When taken as a whole and considering the context, Jesus' response to the Pharisees lays THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE CHANGES"(p. 112).

What you fail to understand, Dale, is the growing meaning and function of the Sabbath during the course of salvation history. The meaning and scope of the Sabbath in Scripture grows with the unfolding of the plan of salvation. HISTORICALLY, the Sabbath began as the commemoration and celebration of the completion of creation (Gen 2:2-3). Later it became the commemoration of the providential way the Lord delivered Israel from Egypt (Deut 5:15). SOTERIOLOGICALLY, the Sabbath became the symbol of messianic redemption through the themes of rest, liberation and sabbatical structures of time (See DIVINE REST pp. 133-145). In the NT the coming of Christ is seen as the actualization, the realization of the redemptive typology of the Sabbath. Through His redemptive mission, Christ offers to believers the expected Sabbatical "release" (Luke 4:18) and "rest" (Matt 11:28).The physical act of resting becomes the means through which one experiences the spiritual rest. We cease from our daily work to allow God to work in us more freely and fully.

ESCHATOLOGICALLY the Sabbath points us to the final restoration rest that "remains for the people of God" (Heb 4:9). Thus, the Sabbath is viewed as a time to experience the present blessings of salvation which, however, will be fully realized in that final Sabbath, when, as eloquently expressed by Augustine, "we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise."

It is because the Sabbath has a three dimensional perspective (creation, redemption, and final restoration) that its meaning and function remains for the people of God (Heb 4:9).

Dale, the more I read your book and internet comments, the more I sense that you have tried desperately to fabbricate a theological justification for the abrogation of the Sabbath to cover up your personal crisis. Had you experienced the physical, mental, and spiritual renewal that the Sabbath is designed to provide, you would have never written THE SABBATH IN CRISIS. Remember the Sabbath is not in crisis, because it is a divine institution and God is never in crisis. WE, human beings experience crises when we violate the principles that God has revealed. I am reminded of Ezekiel 20:13 where the prophet says: "The house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not walk in my statutes but rejected my ordinances, by whose observance man shall live; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned."

Note, Dale, how the prophet equates rebellion with Sabbath profanation. The reason is simple. The person who wilfully ignores God on His Holy Day, ultimately ignores God everyday. This is the crisis of Christianity today because most Christians have made their Lord's Day, their holiday, a day to seek for pleasure and profit rather than for the presence and peace of God. Social analysts tell us that Western Europe, for example, lives today in the POST-CHRISTIAN era, because less than 10% of Christians go to church. Indeed the profanation of the Sabbath reflects the very crisis of Christianity today.

In a speech delivered on November 13, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln emphasized this vital function of the Sabbath, saying: "As we keep or break the Sabbath day, we nobly save or meanly lose the last and best hope by which man arises." Obviously for Abraham Lincoln the Sabbath day meant Sunday. Puritans applied the name and the precept of the Sabbath to Sunday. This does not detract from the fact that one of America's outstanding presidents recognized in the Sabbath precept the last best hope that can renew and elevate human beings.

As a church historian I am reminded that many false doctrines originated from "crisis" situations. It was the crisis caused by the imperial Hadrianic legislation (A. D. 135) that prohibited categorially the practice of Judaism in general and of Sabbathkeeping in particular, that led many Christians to abandon the Sabbath and to adopt the dies solis, the Day of the Sun. It was the crisis of sexual lust that led Augustine to develop the doctrine of (massa perditionis) total depravity, predestination, and original sin transmitted through sexual procreation. It was the crisis of failing to find acceptance with God through rigorous penances, that led Luther to develop the doctrine of justification by faith ALONE. He went as far as adding the word "alone" to Rom 3:28, to provide a more compelling justification for his personal crisis. In the Bible "faith" is never alone; it is always manifested through works (Gal 5:6). It must have been a personal crisis, Dale, that led you to reduce the Sabbath to an Old Covenant ceremony nailed to the Cross, no longer needed to cultivate your relationship with the Lord.

The solution to your personal crisis, Dale, is not to fabbricate a theology to justify it, but to seek the enabling and trasforming power of the Spirit, "in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit" (Rom 8:4).

It is my sincere hope and prayer, Dale, that this discussion may provide you and many other sincere people like you, the opportunity to search your heart and find out for yourself if you are living in harmony with the principles that God has revealed for our wellbeing.

Christian regards

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,
Professor of Theology and Church History, Andrews University