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The Ellen G. White Writings

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    A Questionable Use of the Book

    W. C. White, in one of his communications in 1912 regarding The Great Controversy, expressed his misgivings as to the outcome of a course that would lead our ministers to favor the historical areas of The Great Controversy over well-accepted standard works of history. We quote from his letter to Elder W. W. Eastman:EGWW 132.4

    It seems to me, Bro. Eastman, that we must hold fast our confidence in the great Adventist movement of 1844, and we should not be easily moved from the positions held by the leaders in that movement and by the pioneers of our own denomination.EGWW 132.5

    At the same time, I believe we should encourage our editors, our ministers, and the teachers in our schools, and the rank and file of our people, as far as they have time and opportunity, to be thorough Bible students and faithful students of history so that they may know for themselves, and so that they can prove to people who do not accept our denominational books as authority, the points that we hold as a people. It is my conviction that those who write for our denominational papers regarding prophecy and its fulfillment ought to be encouraged to give deep and faithful study to the subjects about which they write, and to use in their arguments references and quotations from those historians which will be accepted by the readers as authority.EGWW 133.1

    It may be all right for a preacher in presenting Biblical expositions to his congregations to quote from Daniel and Revelation and Great Controversy as well expressed statement of his views; but it could hardly be wise for him to quote from them as authoritative histories to prove his points. I think you will discern the reasonableness of this proposition. A Presbyterian who was endeavoring to prove the soundness of his theories to a congregation of Methodists would not be expected to depend largely upon Presbyterian writers to prove his points.... In all our work we must study to follow methods that are most effective.EGWW 133.2

    When it comes to the matter of writing out expositions of doctrine or of prophecy, still greater care must be taken by the writer than by the preacher to select those authorities which will be accepted as authorities by the critical and studious reader.EGWW 133.3

    If I understand the matter correctly, Brother----has been writing articles on prophecy and its fulfillment in which he uses D&R and “Great Controversy” as authority to prove his points. This I should consider to be a very poor policy.—W. C. White Letter to W. W. Eastman, Nov. 4, 1912.EGWW 133.4

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