Most evangelical churches no longer observe today the annual Biblical Festivals, partly as a result of the radical anti-feasts attitude of the Puritans, who swept away all religious holy days except the Lord's Day. The Puritans viewed the church calendar, which was filled with saints' days and Marian feasts instituted by the Roman Catholic Church, as indicative of the apostasy into which the church had fallen.
To rid the church of all the pagan superstitions which had become part of the popular piety, the Puritans in Colonial America did away with all the annual holy days. In doing so, however, they left Christians without a religious calendar to commemorate the great saving acts of God.
In God's Festivals in Scripture and History Samuele Bacchiocchi challenges Christians to bring about worship renewal by developing a church calendar patterned after the religious calendar God gave to Israel. Such a calendar would celebrate during the course of the year the redemptive accomplishments of Christ's first and second Advents. We cannot preach the whole Bible in one sermon. We cannot celebrate the whole story of redemption in one Sabbath. A church calendar patterned after the calendar of Israel can help to do justice to all the great saving acts of God.
"God's Festivals in Scripture and History offers tremendous insights into the meaning and relevance for today to the Biblical Festivals. The book challenges Christians to bring about worship renewal by celebrating the great saving acts of God."
Leo Ranzolin, General Vice-President, G.C., SDA
"God's Festivals in Scripture and History draws attention to the ancient Biblical liturgical calendar and religious festivals and offers helpful suggestions for contemporizing Christian worship, life and faith."
N. E. Andreasen, Ph. D., President, ANDREWS UNIVERSITY
"God's Festivals in Scripture and History is an interesting and timely book which meets a real need. Such a thorough and solid study of this subject from an Adventist perspective has been long overdue."
Jon Paulien, Ph. D. Professor of NT, ANDREWS UNIVERSITY
"God's Festivals in Scripture and History demonstrates that Passover and Pentecost are far more Biblical holy days for Christians to celebrate, than many religious holidays currently observed."
Benjamin D. Shoun, D. Min., Associate Dean SDA Theological Seminary, ANDREWS UNIVERSITY
The inspiration to write GOD'S FESTIVALS IN SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY came to me from contacts with former ministers and members of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) who have invited me to share with them my research on the Sabbath. On numerous occasions they asked me if I would consider researching the annual Holy Days with the same thoroughness I investigated the weekly Sabbath. They reassured me that they would welcome the conclusions of my research, whether favorable or unfavorable to their position. Their request was motivated by the fact that early in 1995 the leadership of the WCG declared the Sabbath and the annual Holy Days to be part of the Old Covenant, and consequently no longer obligatory for Christians today. Over 50,000 members and 500 pastors have left the WCG as a result of these doctrinal changes.
I began my research intending to prove that the observance of the annual Holy Days terminated at the Cross, since they were connected with the sacrificial system. I was surprised to find several supportive statements for the annual Feasts in the writings of Ellen White. For example, in her book Patriarchs and Prophets, she writes: "Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles--a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them" (p. 540). I was even more surprised to discover that the Feasts typify not only the redemptive accomplishments of Christ's first Advent, but also the consummation of redemption to be accomplished by Christ at His second Advent. Discoveries such as these led me to reexamine the continuity and relevance of the annual Feasts for our Christian life today.
This book is especially relevant today when the worship service in many Adventist churches
is running out of steam. . . .
--Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.