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Book Review

A.T. Jones : point man on Adventism's charismatic frontier


George Knight explores the controversial life of a former giant in Adventist history. A.T. Jones was a champion for religious liberty and worked tirelessly to promote this treasured belief among Adventists. His defense on behalf of freedom of religion was instrumental in helping the denomination support one of man's universal rights. Everyone has the right to choose who they want to worship. As a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist church, he was an advocate for religious freedom at the top judicial levels.

However, the author points out that the ardor and ambition of the main character played a significant role in his choice to leave the church. The denomination under which he served as a member, evangelist, and leader would later reprimand his brash persona and harsh overtones. In fact, on several occasions, Ellen White gently criticized his impulsive behavior for not being in harmony with a Christ-like character.

Although the work of A.T Jones may be overlooked due to his later decisions, he still had a tremendous impact upon the young denomination. His contribution to the belief of righteousness by faith was a turning point in the doctrinal beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Furthermore, as a prolific writer, his influence and ideas extended far and wide. He used the power of the pen to communicate his thoughts and stir the minds of his readers.

I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about early leaders in Adventist history. The author does an amazing job at presenting a holistic picture of a dynamic individual whose life was marked by success and failure. While some may view A.T. Jones as a secondary character to James and Ellen White or Joseph Bates, nevertheless his positive and negative influence upon the church helped shape the denomination in its formative years.

By Sarah Nadarajan
Submitted: November 29, 2012