By Dr. Robert Wright,
The 1888 General Conference session in Minneapolis was a landmark event in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s theology on Righteousness by Faith in Jesus Christ. While church leaders such as General Conference President George I. Butler and Editor of the Review and Herald, Uriah Smith were adamant that it was the righteousness that comes from keeping the Law that qualifies one for heaven, others like E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones advocated the righteousness of Christ alone that was necessary.
In fact, even after the 1888 Session during which light came from the Lord through the ministry of Ellen White in regards to the vital necessity of the righteousness of Christ for salvation, Smith, seemingly not understanding the import of the prophetic revelations, still penned in the June 11, 1889 editorial of the Review and Herald: “There is a righteousness we must have, in order to see the kingdom of heaven, which is called ‘our righteousness,’ and this righteousness comes from being in harmony with the law of God.