1987 - Aversion To the Truth Continues

Our aversion to the truth of Minneapolis [where the 1888 message was proclaimed] is not lessened with the passing of time. In 1987 George R. Knight authored From 1888 to Apostasy: The Case of A. T. Jones. This was his first of several books about 1888. He states in the preface that his primary purpose is “to develop Jones’s biography.” However some book reviews published in 1988 seriously question this purpose. One reviewer says: “He [Knight] is being totally irresponsible as a biographer. … [The book] is very much worth reading, provided that one can constantly check the source material against the text. … What he has written … is an indictment of Jones” (Adventist Currents, April 1988). Another reviewer says: “There is misuse of documentation as well as subtle undermining of Jones’s early messages on righteousness by faith. … Knight also manipulates his documentation in such a way to leave a false impression upon the reader” (A Critique, LMN Publishing, 1988).

Yet another reviewer observes: “While reading this book, I began to wonder if Knight wrote this biography to discredit Jones. … While there is a considerable amount of useful information in this book, that information seems so ‘tainted’ by ‘interpretation’ that it raises questions about its reliability or accuracy as biography” (Spectrum, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 61).

The perceptive insight of these reviewers was confirmed by Knight himself when he said in a published statement: “I was doing my best to demonstrate that Jones was aberrant from beginning to end” (Adventist Currents, April 1988).

Knight pours upon Jones multiplied aspersions and imputations of bad motives and heresies. Yet Jones is the only Seventh-day Adventist minister in history who shared with his colleague, E. J. Waggoner, what Ellen White said were “heavenly credentials” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 543).

This generation must decide whether to believe Ellen White, who counsels us regarding Jones and Waggoner: “I would speak in warning to those who have stood for years resisting light and cherishing the spirit of opposition. How long will you hate and despise the messengers of God’s righteousness? God has given them His message. They bear the word of the Lord” (1888 Materials, p. 1341).

The Seventh-day Adventist church needs to learn what Ellen White states about the message and the messengers in our Adventist history.

(Quoted from article: "Do We Love the Truth About "1888"? by Donald K. Short, September / October 2004).