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The ‘Adventist Review’ Stands Up for Learning

In his March 14 editorial, “Reclaiming the Library,” Adventist Review editor Bill Knott writes

…tiny minority of Adventists is now wielding unwarranted influence on the church’s educational, pastoral, and publishing ministries by stoutly insisting that no reputable thought leader should read, own, or cite from a book by a non-Adventist author. They have invaded pastors’ offices, disrupted worship services, and left a trail of litter across a smattering of Web sites.


Their position is clearly wrong, for by their test none of the church’s founders, including Ellen White herself, should have any credibility. The libraries of Ellen and James White, Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews, John Loughborough, and every major Adventist officer or thought leader since the mid-nineteenth century have been filled with volumes by non-Adventist authors, well read and frequently dusted off. It is precisely Adventism’s engagement with the ideas, opinions, beliefs, and philosophies of the age that make this movement’s faith statements so compelling and ultimately victorious. We are winning the contest of ideas—which, of course, requires that we know what others are thinking. Weary of the soulless ideologies and isms of the contemporary world, millions of men and women around the globe are turning to the clearly biblical and rational ideas on which our faith rests.


Now is no time to allow the well-intentioned but misguided fringes of this movement to distract us from the mission given us by Jesus, even when their anti-intellectualism is cloaked in memorized and repeated pieties.


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