Book Review: The Great Controversy (Between Christ and Satan) by Ellen Gould White

“It is Satan's constant effort to misrepresent the character of God, the nature of sin, and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. His sophistry lessens the obligation of the divine law and gives men license to sin. At the same time he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion and expressed in modes of worship.”

― Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy

One of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's founders, Ellen G. White, is revered among her followers as a prophetess or messenger of God and is the author of the book The Great Controversy. In it, White explains how the "Great Controversy theme" between Jesus Christ and Satan has played out over millennia, from its beginning in heaven to its conclusion when the earth is destroyed and rebuilt and the remaining followers of God are transported to heaven. 

Synopsis from Wikipedia...

The book begins with a historical overview, which begins with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, covers the Reformation and Advent movement in detail, and culminates with a lengthy description of the end times. It also outlines several key Seventh-day Adventist doctrines, including the heavenly sanctuary, the investigative judgment and the state of the dead.

Much of the first half of the book is devoted to the historical conflict between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. White writes that the Papacy propagated a corrupt form of Christianity from the time of Constantine I onwards, and during the Middle Ages was opposed only by the Waldensians and other small groups, who preserved an authentic form of Christianity. Beginning with John Wycliffe and Jan Huss and continuing with Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and others, the Reformation led to a partial recovery of biblical truth. In the early 19th century William Miller began to preach that Jesus was about to return to earth; his movement eventually resulted in the formation of the Adventist Church.

The second half of the book is prophetic, looking to a resurgence in papal supremacy. The civil government of the United States will form a union with the Roman Catholic Church as well as with apostate Protestantism, leading to enforcement of a universal Sunday law (the mark of the beast), and a great persecution of Sabbath-keepers immediately prior to the second coming of Jesus. And these will be part of the end time remnant of believers who are faithful to God, which will be sealed and manifested just prior to the second coming of Jesus.

My reaction to this novel...

Someone recommended reading this book to me when I was sharing my book reviews on my facebook page. I first opted to put this book down after reading a few pages because I assumed it would be anti-Christian. Later, as I was beginning to become interested in the Bible and reaffirm my conversion to Christianity, I told myself that I had to read it even if I felt it would go against what I believed.

Prior to turning to Christianity, my entire family and I were devout Roman Catholics. Then, for some reason I can't explain, I chose to read the Bible last year. It felt as if there was a complete force pulling on me to read it, so I did, and I was astounded at how different it was from my Catholic views. Actually, I believed Catholicism and Christianity were the same thing at first, but after reading the Bible, I understood they were not. During that period, I felt deceived, so I gradually began to depend on Christianity, and today I completely chose it, which has truly made me complete, even though my family and relatives refuse to accept what I believe.

While reading this story, I had the distinct impression that it would contradict my beliefs. On the other hand, I couldn't believe how surprised I was until I had read halfway through the book. The whole focus of the book is on Christians' difficulties in this society to live out and spread what the Bible teaches. In all honesty, I was really upset since I thought that my childhood beliefs had been misled, and I've been considering how to convince my family to accept the Christian faith that I am clinging to. I felt terrible for them because I knew how difficult it is to think that everything we had previously believed somehow conflicts with the Bible.

This is one of the most deeply affecting pieces of Christian literature I've ever read. I find myself becoming numb as I ponder about the struggle for our spiritual well-being, the ease with which God has always expected His people to live, and the magnificent certainty of triumph for those who persevere all the way to the finish. 

Anyone who wants to know the remainder of the story should read this book. I truly believe that God guided this writer's work, as He has every other Scripture writer, to ensure that we may be conscious of His purpose for us. This book's ideas are entirely consistent with Scripture and in perfect agreement with one another. We shall discover biblical truths that the church has probably never shared with us. This book is for individuals who are interested in learning the whole truth about Jesus.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(5/5)

Where to buy this book...


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