To Be or Not to Be: E.G.W.

Speaker: Categories: May 14, 1994


[56min, 46sec / 29min, 51sec]


Undoubtedly many readers have at some time in life been confronted by the words, "But Ellen G. White says . . . ." Most likely that comment abruptly terminated whatever discussion was in progress! But that comment also undoubtedly left many questions unresolved, perhaps leaving some questions even more indelibly etched in the minds of those hearing.

What does one do with inspired counsel which, in retrospect, appears to have been most appropriate a century ago but which may seem somewhat irrelevant today? Does one dismiss the prophet? Does one edit the prophet's comments, seeking to make some of the written counsel applicable now, others not? And, if doing so, who should make such judgments?

In referring to the May meeting Dr. Knittel notes, “The presentation centers around the topic of the role of Ellen G. White in the church today -- her role in terms of guidance, revelation, control, church policy, institutional operations, and church membership. The thesis is developed that we have not handled the matter of Ellen G. White in a manner which has been beneficial to our church. [Rather] we have consistently used her to the advantage of the whims and caprice of corporate church leadership in general and pastoral and institutional leadership specifically."

Would you agree with Dr. Knittel's thesis? Is his observation too harsh or is it too mild? Is it true that Seventh-day Adventists have not handled the role of Ellen G. White well?


Frank Knittel, a graduate of Union College, earned his Ph.D. degree in Medieval Studies - - Language and Literature. He has served as Assistant Dean of Men at the University of Colorado; Vice-President for Student Affairs at Andrews University; Dean for four years and the President for twelve years at Southern College; and Professor at Loma Linda and La Sierra University since 1983. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Knittel also serves as pastor of the Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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