The Cross of Christ by George Knight: Short Notes



It amazes me that so many Seventh-day Adventists accepts the books of George Knight without analyzing what they are reading and compare it with either the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy.

George Knight is fond of Gerhard Berkhouwer the Ecumenical Calvinist of Amsterdam University who wrote his works with the Calvinism of post-Dortrecht 1618 in mind.

Always remember that the Calvinists of Theodore Bezae’s time and especially after the Synod of Dort in 1618, is no longer identical to John Calvin who died in 1564 and was followed by Theodore Bezae.

I will not spend much time on problems with Knight, but just highlight three remarks or opinions of his in his book The Cross of Christ.


Citation from Knight’s book

“"The simple fact is," according to Knight, "that the plan of salvation is God's work, not humanity's. It was Christ who lived the perfect life as a human being and proved that God's law could be kept; it was Christ who died for every person by absorbing the death penalty that resulted from the broken law; and it is Christ who currently ministers in heaven on behalf of those who believe in Him and accept the merits of His death and resurrection. Atonement is all of God.... Christ's work will stand whether or not any human beings accept it. The Bible never gives humanity too prominent a place in the plan of salvation. The great controversy is between God and Satan, not Satan and humanity. Whether or not any human being ever demonstrates God's power in living a 'spotless' life, the atonement will have been completed through the demonstration of Christ's sinless life, death, resurrection, and heavenly ministry."


Let us analyze 1:

--- Knight: The sentence “The Bible never gives humanity too prominent a place in the plan of salvation.” This is wrong. The whole Bible describes obedience. God needs saved humans to demonstrate to the unfallen worlds that Satan is not their choice. This is only accomplished by obedience or responsible faith, as Wesley termed it. Even Calvin was a literal reader of the Bible or Fundamentalist to make it also a requirement that good works should define proper faith. See Calvin in Galatians 3 and James 2:22.


Contra Ellen White:

“It is the purpose of God that the plan of salvation shall not be wrought out independent of human instrumentalities. He has not chosen angels, but men of like passions as ourselves, to proclaim the gospel to the human race.”

Review and Herald August 24, 1886, paragraph 1.


Let us analyze 2:

--- Knight:  “The great controversy is between God and Satan, not Satan and humanity.” This is wrong because Satan focused his attack on the church as the book of Revelation explains.


Contra Ellen White:

“Thus in the early days of earth’s history, we behold in outline The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. Here is enmity between the great archenemy and the church of God; here is foretold the conflict between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. Here is the prophecy that Satan will bruise the heel of the Savior; but, thank God, here is also the forecast that the Christ “shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” The Great Controversy will end in triumph for the kingdom of righteousness, for Satan and all his hosts will ultimately be eliminated, and the powers of evil go down forever in the darkness of the shadow of death. “ The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church page 30.9.


Let us analyze 3:

--Knight: “Whether or not” any human being ever demonstrates God's power in living a 'spotless' life,” is also wrong. Spotless perfect lives are called for by Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John. Secondly, the Bible lists people who were “perfect”. One can only be perfect if one is spotless. Asaph in Psalm 73 said that he was keeping his heart clean. But doubt can enter and with him did. But again, Scriptures help him to overcome.


Contra Ellen White:

“You, my dear young friends, need to humble your hearts before God and be obtaining a rich and valuable experience in the Christian life by following on to know the Lord and blessing others by daily lives of spotless purity,” Testimonies volume 3, 226 (1).