May 25, 2017
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Steps to Christ, written by co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is being honored this year by the Ellen G. White Estate. To highlight the longevity and popularity of this book, the White Estate is celebrating its 125th year in circulation. An initiative called The Global Reading of Steps to Christ was issued by the White Estate to encourage Seventh-day Adventists worldwide to read and study the short volume.
White was especially known for her prophetic gift. This gift was largely shared through many of her writings. Although White authored a multitude of books over the course of her life, Steps to Christ remains a favorite to this day.
Published in 1892, Steps to Christ is still considered one of the most distributed, religious books to date. Tim Poirier, in his article A Century of Steps, says, “The book has been in the public domain for many years, so no one knows how many tens of millions of copies of Steps to Christ have been circulated.”
The longevity of the book is due to a number of factors. Chantal Klingbeil, associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate, describes Steps to Christ as a book providing a host of answers to questions still asked today, such as how to deal with doubt, ways to know if you are converted, and understanding the difference between “grace” and “the law.” According to Klingbeil, the book has practical answers that everyone can identify with. “It’s intensely practical,” she says.
When asked if Steps to Christ is still relevant today, especially for the younger generation, Klingbeil did not hesitate with her answer: “Absolutely.”
She does admit the original version of Steps to Christ may pose a challenge for young readers because of its older writing style. Still, Klingbeil offers some practical reading suggestions, like listening to the audio version online, reading only a few pages at a time, or reading the paraphrase instead (Steps to Jesus).
Klingbeil goes on to say she believes many theological problems could be solved if we could all “absorb the principles found within Steps to Christ, as its theology remains very central.”
“For me, it’s always a great ‘go-to’ book…it’s just a wonderful book,” says Klingbeil.
In his article, Poirier also shares this insight: “Anyone who has read Steps to Christ knows…profound truths await discovery with each new reading. Every chapter contains gems of hope, comfort or promise that many have committed to memory.”
When asked to share one of her favorite quotes from Steps to Christ, Klingbeil had many to share, including, “God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children.” She also quoted, “Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.”
To date, Steps to Christ has been released in over 165 languages, reaching millions of people around the globe. As Poirier fittingly states, “We don’t know who first suggested to Ellen White the idea…but one thing is certain: that person had no idea of the millions who would have their first introduction to Christ through that one little volume.”