I’m incurably Adventist, and I’m a fan of Ellen G. White. As is well known, the “G” stands for “Gould,” which was the maiden name of her mother, Eunice Gould Harmon. More recently Ellen has been identified as “Ellen Harmon White,” thanks to a collection of essays published in 2014 by Oxford University Press. My fondness and respect for Ellen come largely from her ideas and insights — her thinking — as I want to explain. In the process, I hope no one will be offended by my habit of referring to Ellen simply by her first name. We are, after all, part of the same spiritual family, and I have lived a few months longer than she did. To me she is like a favorite aunt; I could comfortably call her “Aunt Ellen.” But it’s more than a matter of affection; her influence on my thinking has been enormously valuable, and I am profoundly grateful.
Ellen’s life ended more than a hundred years ago, on July 16, 1915. She had lived 73 of her nearly 88 years in the 19th century, beginning in 1827, and thus in a world radically different from ours in the 21st century. She never rode on an airplane, or even on a Greyhound bus. She was never treated with antibiotics. She never tasted pizza — or Ruskets. She never saw a television show or heard a radio broadcast. She didn’t have a computer or a cell phone, and she never heard of “social media.” So in many ways — scientific, technological, and cultural — we have moved far beyond her. Life “way back then” now seems positively primitive.
Respects - Ellen - Century - Adventists - Regard
But in some important theological respects Ellen was, and still is, well ahead of most of us 21st century Adventists. In regard to religious dynamics and in our...
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