Acquired or Inspired
Applying today's medical thinking to health and lifestyle advice from almost 150 years ago hardly seems a fair comparison. As Dr Don McMahon discovers, most medical writers of the late 19th century wilt under such scrutiny. So how do the writings of Ellen G White-who wrote without any medical training or background-stand up? Part scientific investigation, part personal journey, the book Acquired or Inspired? explores the writings of Ellen White in a way they have not been explored before.
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"If McMahon's research on health can be fully verified, it will revolutionise our understanding of [Ellen White's] ministry and spiritual gifts. I challenge anyone tempted to reject the ministry of Ellen White to carefully consider the implications of this book. It is very persuasive and potentially groundbreaking."
Dr Jon Paulien, chair, New Testament Department, SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University
"This book makes for fascinating and compelling reading for the honest person wishing to know the validity of Ellen White's statements on health. McMahon uses a unique and definitive method for evaluating the accuracy of the health pronouncements found in the writings of Ellen White as measured against modern medical science. A few of his findings could prove unsettling to some, particularly for those who would want to assign to Ellen White a 100 per cent accuracy rating. However he presents a very convincing argument to support his final conclusion, that 'it is impossible to exclude inspiration' from her writings. This book is a very valuable resource for the Adventist church and one that I heartily endorse."
Laurie Evans, Former President, South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists
"It is not often that a physician openly declares his beliefs and experience, the way we find it written in this fascinating story of one medical man's journey with the writings of Mrs E G White. Time is a great teacher and over the course of a full career, Don McMahon has seen the validation by science of so much he had to accept by faith as a fresh graduate. I am sure readers will find this an interesting story and something they can benefit from in their own lifestyle. "
Dr Allan Handysides, director of Adventist Health Ministries, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
"Don McMahon has done the Church a wonderful service through this research. If the reader will carefully examine his arguments they will find he has developed one of the most powerful arguments that can be presented for the inspiration of Ellen White. When people read this book they will be pondering the question 'how could a relatively uneducated woman living in the 19th century be so right at a time when her more educated contemporaries were so wrong?"
Dr Graeme S Bradford, senior lecturer, Department of Theology, Avondale College, Australia
"Don McMahon has done an excellent thing. His project was initially fraught with danger, as he may have unearthed results which could have destroyed both his faith and that of others. It has been sometimes misunderstood by others and frequently criticised. This work honestly looks from a scientific and statistical viewpoint at an area taken as a faith issue and comes up with the splendid answer that there was no way Ellen White could have chosen the contents of her health writings from the knowlege of her time and been as accurate as she was in light of modern knowlege.
These results even surpassed Don McMahon's original expectations. The chance of these varied statements being accurate when compared to the accuracy of her contemporaries, has been compared by McMahon to that of accidentally finding a coloured grain of rice mixed with several football fields of rice metres deep at the first attempt. The impossible becomes impossible when these chances are examined statistically.
This is not a book in judgement on Ellen White, but a highly critical investigation which validates her position in Adventist belief and practice. 'Acquired or Inspired' is an honest publication written by a Seventh-day Adventist physician who is passionate about his church and its heritage. For the Seventh-day Adventist reader, it will strengthen faith in Ellen White as a person with a gift from God. For the person who is not an Adventist this book provides a challenge which is hard to ignore."
Dr Percy C Harrold, associate director of Adventist Health Ministries, South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists