by Adventist Today News Team
The editorial in the March 14 issue of the Adventist Review took aim at “the well-intentioned but misguided fringes” of the Adventist movement. Bill Knott, the editor and executive publisher of a periodical that began publishing before the denomination formed, declared, “This magazine, for 164 years the journal of literate Adventists, will not be intimidated by those too fearful to read.”
“A tiny minority of Adventists is now wielding unwarranted influence” in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the editorial stated and condemned “their anti-intellectualism … cloaked in memorized and repeated pieties.” The specific issue that triggered Knott’s ire is the idea that is being promoted by some fringe voices “stoutly insisting that no reputable thought leader should read, own, or cite [any] 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.”
Knott pointed out that the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church clearly did not observe this rule. Ellen White’s personal library is fully documented and includes a large number of books by non-Adventist authors. James White, founder of the Adventist Review, almost continuously advertised a book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a transcendentalist whose views clearly differ from Adventist doctrine, Knott wrote.
“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,” Knott said. “The faith of Jesus has always been—and should always be—a robust, resilient, and engaging faith that does not hesitate to understand the ideas around us, but tests them all by the clear and timeless Word of God.”