Part of our “Top 20 Christians” List- released (see below)

The following 5 persons have been chosen and ranked as #’s 16 through 20 in the Top 20 List:
(following is an alphabetical list, not the actual ranking order)
Charles Spurgeon
Joseph Smith
Pope Pius 9th
C.F.W. Walther

*Please note that the criteria for names to be considered was for “self-professed Christians”, hence the inclusion of Joseph Smith in the Top 20 List.

Our rankings are based primarily on a survey which was answered by numerous pastors, writers, and theologians from various denominations and faith walks within the U.S.A.- within both Protestant and Catholic/ Orthodox circles. They were asked for names of those who MOST influenced/shaped today’s Christian America. We also cross-referenced our survey results with some existing published historical listings of significant Christians. The names are not necessarily the “best” or favorite, or “most holy” persons- they merely had the greatest impact on today’s American church.
What do you think of these names being included, and how would you rank them, from 16 to 20 ?
God Bless,



4 thoughts on “Part of our “Top 20 Christians” List- released (see below)

  1. I’m sorry to see Joseph Smith in the list as I would not consider him a Christian and therefor not consider him to have had a great impact on Christianity in America. Evangelical leaders across the board consider Mormonism a cult. Joseph Smith certainly had an impact on religion in America, but I don’t see how he had an impact on Christianity in America. I see the caveat that you are using as “self-professed Christians” but to include him on a list titled “Top 20 Christians” leads the reader to assume the creator(s) and endorser(s) of the list consider him a Christian.
    Also, so sorry to see him close in ranking to Charles Spurgeon.

  2. I don’t think Joseph Smith should be included, as he was a heretic and deceiver of major proportions.. It seems that we are making two categories for the book, most influential Christians in church history, and most influential Christian for American Christianity. My understanding was that the former idea was to control the book.

  3. I agree with Sandy. What’s wrong with the survey takers that they voted this man on the list?! How many people actually voted for him?

    • Hello to all who posted, or who “may” post, in the future regarding this topic-
      Regarding Smith, Abby and I want to be clear that neither of us are condoning or promoting Mormonism nor are we stating that Joseph Smith is/was a Christian. Yes, we have a caveat noted that the persons must have been “self-professed” Christians.
      We will make it clear within the book itself that we do not personally believe that Smith is a Christian, but for good or bad he was included by numerous survey respondents (Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, etc) as having a significant role in today’s Christian America, and/ or today’s “church”. We just have to leave it at that. The rankings of persons is not based on our (author’s) opinions.
      As an aside, if we dismissed Smith or extracted him from the list, then moving up from #21 to #20 would have been the current Pope, Benedict 16th.
      Thanks for your interest in the “list”, and in our project. Best,
      Ken L. & Abby M.

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