Steps to Christ
Title page from an 1898 printing of Steps to Christ
|Author||Ellen G. White|
|Subject||Establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ|
|Publisher||Fleming H. Revell Company|
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Steps to Christ is an evangelistic book written by Ellen G. White, pioneer and prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was first published in 1892 by Fleming H. Revell Company. The copyright was purchased by Seventh-day Adventist publisher Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1892, and was first printed there in 1896. A new first chapter, "God's Love for Man" was added per request of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in the United Kingdom (Stanborough Press) in 1893 in order to secure a copyright. This is perhaps the most popular and widely read book by the author, printed in more than 150 languages worldwide.
Steps to Christ discusses how to come to know Jesus Christ at a personal level. It covers the topics of repentance, confession, faith, acceptance, growing into Christ, and prayer.
Steps to Christ has been widely published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association and Pacific Press in multiple printings and by other publishers under public domain. Various titles have been distributed over the years with different cover illustrations. Other known titles include Happiness Digest, The Road to Redemption, The Path to Peace and in Spanish El Camino a Cristo.
Versions containing inset boxes with additional inserted comments have been published for youth.
No one knows how many copies of this book, mostly in inexpensive paperback editions, have been sold or given away, but to say "millions" would not be an exaggeration.
For example, "Project Steps to Christ" is an attempt to mail a paperback copy to every household in the United States. As of November 2008 over 18 million copies have been distributed in this effort. A similar project is underway in Bulgaria with the expectation of one million copies distributed.
A long way in tone and focus from her other books, Steps to Christ represents the evangelical Ellen White. Of all her books, it presents the core of her spirituality, especially for newer Christians.
Following the great popular success of Hannah Whitall Smith’s The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life (1875), White had hoped to publish a book for the general public to rival it. Although Smith's theology reflected the mysticism of the holiness movement, White's language is similarly steeped in the post-Calvinist, sentimental theology of American Wesleyan evangelical thought. Like the earlier transcendentalists, she sees a God of love "in every leaf" who can be approached without anxiety. ""God is love" is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass." Divine Love, not God's Wrath, or the law, is the subjective context in which the human soul is drawn to God. Holiness is not only possible, but comes from "beholding" and meditating on the love of Christ and responding in prayer "as to a friend".
English Protestant divines such as Baxter and Fleming had long before laid out the 'order salutis' or discrete steps that a human being follows in uniting with God. White generally follows their outline, but for her Christ is both the goal and the way to God. Help is needed and available at every step, and humans are never left without divine aid.
The structure of the 1892 publication was first laid out on twelve implied questions (the first chapter "God's Love for Man" was later added to satisfy her British publisher).
Reception & Criticism
- The Desire of Ages
- Conflict of the Ages
- Teachings of Ellen White
- Ellen G. White bibliography
- Inspiration of Ellen White
- List of Ellen White writings
- "Adventist Review: The Ellen G. White Estate". Adventist Review. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
- "Project Mailing Update". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- Genchev, Hristo (January–March 2007). "Steps to Christ into Every Bulgarian Home" (PDF). The Publishing Leader's Digest. Takoma Park, Maryland, USA: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Publishing Ministries Department (1): 3. Retrieved 2008-11-09.