The world has acknowledged a fact: She was profoundly influential. That should hopefully put to rest some of the rather petty criticism often expressed. That the one of the SDA church’s cofounders should rise to the top in such a study is amazing. Shows what God can do with a little dedicated to him. “Little is much if God is in it”, says the old hymn.
It isn’t a study. It is an analysis of “massive troves of historical reputation data that derives from the English-language Wikipedia (which hosts over 840,000 pages devoted to individuals from all times and places) and from the more than 15 million books Google has scanned.” It is a score produced by "using a formula that incorporates the number of links to each page, the number of page visits, the length of each entry and the frequency of edits to each page."
So it’s more than obvious that Adventists are very well at computers and on the web. In the early phase of Internet Adventist web sites were among the first and best of all religious web sites. Maybe is this “love” for the Internet by Adventists because of the very strong international character of our denomination. Nonetheless our scholars are very active and connected throughout the world and are citing EGW.
As Tihomir points out, the ranking is not based on an individual’s accomplishments, per se, aside from the (significant) accomplishment of garnering an expansive historical reputation in printed books and on the Internet. Skiena and Ward do not appear to have differentiated between “positive” and “negative” notoriety, perhaps once again making the point that, at least as far as historical significance is concerned, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
I am glad that EGW receives some well-deserved recognition. At times EGW is very inspiring. Yet when I read her Testimonies, I fret and stumble. In her Vol. 1 chapter on The Poor she says, “I saw that the stewards of the Lord have no duty to help those persons who persist in using tobacco, tea, and coffee.” Apparently, when she used the word “I saw” this is what God said—no help for those in poverty or homelessness if they drink green/black tea or Starbucks. Is inspiration cultural? Can we pick and choose what we want to practice and believe? Is it all or none?
The “study” placed the largest number of links and internet searches as their major influence. This could be infamy or notoriety with the larger numbers as being the "most influential. As Jared wrote, it also indicates the wide use of the internet by Adventists.
Thus Joseph Smith was number one for religious influence. But I agree with Tom Z, surely Jonathan Edwards and William Penn were far more influential for U.S. religious history.
it’s all, but making allowances for culture…the way we interpret egw is exactly the same way we interpret the bible…
as for this smithsonian recognition, to me it seems god is going to get the good news out about egw, with or without our help - the very stones are crying out…the importance of egw cannot be overstated for anyone who wants to understand how salvation really works…
Christian Scientists [Mary Baker Eddy] have their Reading Rooms out and about.
SDAs have NO Reading Rooms.
Mary Baker Eddy is probably more well known than EGW among the populous.
Same with Joseph Smith.
this leaves us with this question
Does God change His mind and later say it is OK?
Or, is there another principle at work here? Perhaps it has to do with allocation of money and members having limited family funds and limited church funds.
Limited church funds is why she said no to Kellogg when he wanted to open a program in Chicago. The thought was good, but at the time would have been a drain on church funds needed for other projects.
Frank, you might find this article helpful as you sort things out. Better yet, purchase the book “Did Man Create God” and read particularly the chapter titled “The Spiritual Brain” and a few surrounding chapters. It would seem to add a lot to the Adventist narrative on Ellen White’s gifts.
The key words in EGW’s quote above are “duty” & “persist”. It is those who REFUSE to give up their bad habits that become undeserving of our ongoing help. It is no longer our “duty” to help - this does not mean we will have no sympathy for them and we may continue to offer support although other “duties” will become a higher priority.