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To a large and growing sector within Seventh-day Adventism, Ellen White is yawningly irrelevant, hopelessly Victorian, totally ancient, and well, so 1800s. That large corps of grown male scholars that continue to study her are seen as an odd species indeed. Why are they so interested in Ellen White? The every-so-often uncovering of vignettes which supposedly display White’s humor (I personally have never found them even remotely funny) are not the least bit compelling to generations younger.
Head book editor at the Review and Herald Publishing Association, Gerald Wheeler’s 2003 biography James White: Innovator and Overcomer represents a new type of Adventist scholarship that is simultaneously critical and sensitive, rigorous and cautionary. I say “new” and “Adventist” because there have long been Numbers, Ford and Rea, et al, but their work was largely dismissed or rejected by many Adventists.