PREFACE to the First Edition
Christopher J. Patton
This book is dedicated to all those who leave the salvation of mankind where it belongs in the hands of God. Because they trust God to love humanity enough to save it, they are liberated to the opportunity of loving their neighbor in sincerity and tolerance. These are the practitioners of unconditional love who today look to the future wholeness of mankind in God. They look beyond the now rampant divisions of a proud species bound by false knowledge.
To you and those who aspire to be like you, this book is dedicated. If you respect the Bible enough to change your own ideas to conform to God's will revealed in it, you are about to start a profitable journey. If you have rarely or never read the Bible, I hope that this book will open your eyes to respect it more when you have finished it.
To those who doubt or worse, I think your doubt or poor opinion of the Bible is most likely due to the ignorance, abuses and errors of those who sincerely or hypocritically claim to teach it. These self-proclaimed representatives of God put their own words into the mouth of God and so distort what the Bible actually says. To be fair, I must admit that the Bible is difficult to understand and that most who have followed it are sincere.
I wish to stress that I do not think that this is the last word on the subjects covered. I do practice what I understand, and I feel that I must share what I understand. For that which is true, I thank God who revealed it to me. For that which time may prove to be less, perhaps much less than perfect, I must take sole responsibility. I have waited years to begin to write because I am somewhat aware of the responsibility of any-one who presupposes to teach God's Word. I respect the courage of anyone who so knowingly puts his life on the line in God's service.
There are many teachers to thank. Too many to list, in fact. But, yes, I must in all fairness list one. Without her help I doubt that this book would have been written, or if it was written, that you would have the patience to read it. I had an English teacher in the seventh grade, 1963, in Nashua, NH. Her name was Miss Wolfe. I don't know where she is, but she had the patience to teach me what grammar I have learned. So, Miss Wolfe, wherever you are, this one's for you, too.
Christopher J. Patton
March 6, 1989