Messenger of the Lord


Chapter 23—Clarification of Major Doctrines

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). MOL 268.1

Because of the Great Controversy Theme as expressed in the ellipse principle, Ellen White was able to transcend the objectivists (undue emphasis on doctrinal correctness) and the subjectivists (undue emphasis on feeling or human autonomy) of her time. This ability was very evident in the 1888 Minneapolis doctrinal crisis. Note how she transcended the tensions in contemporary theologies: “While one class pervert the doctrine of justification by faith and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God—‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments’—there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God but who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light—new to them—reflected from the cross of Calvary. The first class do not see the wondrous things in the law of God for all who are doers of His Word. The others cavil over trivialities and neglect the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God. MOL 268.2

“Many have lost very much in that they have not opened the eyes of their understanding to discern the wondrous things in the law of God. On the other hand, religionists generally have divorced the law and the gospel, while we have, on the other hand, almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, brought in theories and reasonings, and preached argumentative discourses.” 1 MOL 268.3

Limited ideas of the character and purposes of God lead to limited ideas of the atonement. Monumental arguments have arisen throughout Christian history because the disputants did not understand the truths involved in the Great Controversy. 2 MOL 268.4