Are We Addicted to “The Great Controversy”?

What is Ellen White’s most popular book? The answer to that question probably depends on whether one thinks of her English language publications or also includes her books in all other languages. My guess is that Steps to Christ, which she wrote in 1892, comes out as number one. And her book about the ministry of Jesus Christ—the Desire of Ages (1898)—may well come in second place. But The Great Controversy, in its final edition of 1911, may also be her most widely distributed book. And, if it is not yet at the very top, it may soon be, if the Great Controversy Project 2.0 that is vigorously promoted by the General Conference will be successful. On the website that is dedicated to this ambiguous project, church members worldwide are called upon to distribute millions of copies of this book during 2023 and 2024 “in preparation of Jesus’ return.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thank you to Reinder Bruinsma for writing what might the most important piece published on Spectrum this year. Obviously, we now must consider the key concepts that are markers in “The Great Controversy” over good and evil now as we move to 2023. Happy New Year, friends.


I predict that the massive distribution of those books will end up being a gigantic fiasco.
I can even picture myself watching Anderson Cooper on CNN commenting on “Project 2.0”, and actually asking, “Why are not the plagiarized portions printed in red?”
I don’t get it, why does the GC underestimate people’s intelligence? The book contains plagiarism, is not the first/original version, and is an open bombardment of another religious Denominations.
On the positive side, I heard that TW insists that every GC book must be accompanied by Steve Daily’s book, “Ellen G. White: a Psychobiography.” …:wink: :wink:


This is still tiptoeing around the main issue. The problem with The Great Controversy is not that it’s outdated, it’s not that people will be turned off, it’s not the environmental cost, it’s not that the book is “too big”, it’s not that EGW “softened” her stance. The problem with The Great Controversy is that its central message simply is not true. It wasn’t true when the book was published over 100 years ago and it’s not true today. Not only is the book riddled with historical inaccuracies, but its narrative is silly. There simply is no conspiracy on the part of Catholics to persecute, imprison, torture and kill “sabbath keepers”.

Those SDAs who believe that the message in “The Great Controversy” is sound should shout it from the rooftops. It would be deceptive to try to lure people into the church using more palatable marketing techniques and then spring “The Great Controversy” silliness on them one they’re in. And those who believe that “The Great Controversy” is not true, shouldn’t merely try to discourage its dissemination on “tactical” grounds - they should clearly state their opposition to the message.

Saying that we won’t renounce the message of “The Great Controversy”, but we’ll try to keep it hidden because it’s bad marketing seems to me to be the worst of two worlds.


I cant believe you’re still watching CNN

Well, George didn’t say he watches CNN.

But, in any case, why would you have any trouble at all believing he does?


When my mother-in-law, who had converted to Adventism in her thirties, told me she didn’t agree with a spurious assertion I’d quoted from EGW, she said “I don’t agree with that.”

After I assured her that no agreed with the quote, I kinda felt like sorry for her, as she hadn’t realized when she was baptized that for an Adventist back in the day, disagreeing with EGW was like a physicist saying he didn’t agree with gravity.

In my opinion, if you google “bait and switch”, you should be sent to the some of the unofficial SAD-ism web sites.


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Interesting to see these SDA apostates slithering out of the woodwork because of the Great Controversy. Remember Ellen White’s experience when the GC was being written. The devil wasn’t happy then and he isn’t happy now. I am just wondering whether these so called Adventists are still capable of repenting so they don’t keep squirming like slugs that have been salted. Very pathetic yet so sad!

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Wish I knew who ‘SDA apostates slithering out of the woodwork’ were, but I think the correct terminology would be ‘crawling’ as ‘slithering’ sounds as a rather difficult way to escape woodwork! Can someone tell me what a ‘so called Adventist’ is or how that is defined?


I didn’t ever expect you to believe anything about my preferences, especially being in a country that STILL extends freedom to everyone…
But, for the record, yes I do. Unlike another channel that I know, CNN does not support the Big Lie, and much less any Fascist who could possibly be around. And, being a Christian, this makes me comfortable watching that network - and MSNBC as well. Anyone who fights Fascist ideas and discloses all info possible goes well with me.

I hope you don’t have a problem with that. Do you? But we better go back to the topic proposed here. ONE great controversy is more than enough for discussion here, isn’t it?.. :wink:


I think you may have just proved you are one with that comment, and only need to go look in the mirror!!!

If that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll take a selfie and add it to my Forum profile….


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If you wish to know what a real Adventist is don’t look in the mirror, go read the Great Controversy. If you do not agree with what’s in the book you are not an Adventist, you are a reprobate. It is that simple.

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I am not sure what your understanding of the word “apostate” is. For me it’s someone who abandoned the Christian faith as based on the Bible, someone who abandoned the beliefs contained in the Bible.

In such a context, there is no room for anything outside the Bible. And, the GC books IS definitely outside the bible. Or isn’t it?

Just curious if you have studied this issue enough and are aware of the blatant plagiarism that the book contains. If you are not aware, well…, then it would help to study the issue a little bit more. If you are aware, do you support the plagiarism?

I would be more careful with accusing others of “apostasy,” because apostasy also happens when the Bible is abandoned as being the ONLY source of faith and belief, and other (non-biblical) writings are inserted in the belief system.


Ha, good question! I guess some clarification is needed:

Adventist:One who supports all 28 Adventist FB without any reservation or questioning. Just blind, passive compliance.
So-called Adventist: One who is an active church member but does not subscribe to all Adventist teachings. The Bible is the only source of faith/belief.
Former Adventist: One who once was an active member of the SDA Church but no longer believes the claims the SDA Church makes regarding being “the remnant” church and other non-biblical teachings (like 1844-IJ). The person detached from the Adventist Church, though they may still be genuine Christians.
Apostate Adventist: The person is a former adventist that completely abandoned the Christian faith.

Everyone on this forum belongs to one of the categories described above.


i completely disagree…i don’t believe egw would redo this book if she were living today…what she’d do is put out additional volumes, geared towards today, that complement what she put out 110 yrs ago…

for some reason i decided, on a whim, to reread Great Controversy during the holidays, starting 5 days ago - i’m now on p.461 (maybe it’s because it’s been mentioned a number of times in articles here on Spectrum)…i find i can barely put the book down…i think this must be about the 25th time i’ve read it cover to cover over the yrs…when i first read it, as a kid, really, i can’t say i understood all i was reading…now i can’t say i’m learning anything i haven’t already known for yrs…but it’s still a thrill to read…it’s still exciting to feel you’re part of a cosmic conflict of unseen spiritual beings, thousands of yrs old, that you’re destined to win in the end…

i don’t think, at all, that the differences between our world and 19th century america are important…a comparison between 19th century america and the middle ages, where most of the beginning chapters of the book are placed, presents even starker differences…and let’s face it, the future, which Great Controversy ends with, is vastly different from what we know now…but that’s the point…the book is predicting what the future of our world will look like…it isn’t attempting to redefine our present…it’s portraying what we can scarcely imagine from what we’re seeing now…

i totally get why so many think Great Controversy should be mass mailed everywhere possible…egw’s signature style of precision mixed with almost over the top drama and emotionality comes through in this particular book in spades…it’s the book in which people should be introduced to her, in my view…and strictly speaking, Great Controversy contains, in succinct form, what adventism has to offer the world theologically…it’s a clear, convincing summary of what we believe…why shouldn’t it be out there in the public square…

if the GOP takes over congress and the senate and tries to stuff Sunday laws down our throats, shouldn’t people understand what this means…and beyond this possibility, where else are people going to find out about 1844, IJ, the end of human probation, Jesus’ intercession in the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Latter Rain, the Time of Trouble, the Seal of God, the Mark of the Beast, the agency of evil spirits, the Seven Last Plagues, and the 2nd Coming…Great Controversy practically reads like an instalment of Lord of the RIngs…it’s chock full of credible action, intrigue and adventure, not to mention exceptionally clear and easy to follow didactics…i think a lot of 40-60yr-olds would find it gripping…


Who do you refer to? And why would an apostate Adventist have a response “because of the Great Controversy”?

And what do you mean by “the Great Controversy”? Do you mean the book? The teaching itself? Or, some effect that it is having on the slithering apostates?

It doesn’t really make sense that you first refer to SDA apostates, meaning people who have left the church, and then also describe them as “so called Adventists”. SDA Apostates, who have left the church, are very unlikely to describe themselves as any sort of Adventist, “so called” or otherwise.

Repenting from what? What is it you think this group of “SDA apostates” you refer to have done that requires their repentance?

“yet” so sad? Aren’t all pathetic things sad? What is sad, exactly?


It is not difficult to recognize those who, as the title of this essay reads, are “addicted” to the book. They go back top it over and over again, sometimes even reading it 25 times and counting - as Jeremy confessed doing it. Addiction is indeed an intriguing (and dangerous) condition, isn’t it?


So, you think that by reading this one book, it can be determined what a “real” Adventist is? It’s an interesting concept, as I don’t think the book makes any effort at all to define or describe an Adventist.

Wow! It didn’t take much at all for you to devolve into name-calling. But, I don’t understand what it is you mean? A reprobate is an unprincipled person. How is it that every person who does not agree with that book, which (by the by) includes about 99.999% of everyone in the world, is now unprincipled? Seems like a stretch.

I really don’t think it is. At least, you’ve not explained how it’s that simple, and instead your assertions are quite confusing and unclear.


This discussion is becoming very interesting, and I think that the days will need to be extended from 14 to at least 28 in order to cover everything involved.

I would like to learn more about the dichotomy that you established, “you are not an Adventist, you are a reprobate.”

How does it work? Are there only TWO options for every person on planet Earth, i.e., one is either an Adventist or a Reprobate? I never heard this Adventist theology before, not even when I was a student in the School of Theology (BA, class of 1972). But, since Adventists follow the “present truth” principle, maybe things evolved significantly lately. Can you clarify this issue, please? Thanks.

By the way, let’s define “reprobate”:

On Google: Unprincipled, rogue, rascal. good for nothing, scoundrel, predestines to damnation, villain, wretch, bad, immoral, shameless, wicked, degenerate, rot, rake, profligate, and +. The list is immense.

WOW!One should think it very seriously before abandoning Adventism. The option is indeed sinister, isn’t it?.. :wink:


Hi Jeremy, just stopped by to say “hi” and to check how the Spectrumites are doing these days. Bro, it’s pretty scary here… I better get out of here…, fast! :scream: :wink: :rofl: