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Book Ranks the Most Influential People Throughout History

In his book titled The 100, astrophysicist Michael Hart asks a provocative question: Who are the 100 most influential people in history? Of all the human beings who have ever lived, who has had the deepest impact on our lives today?

Hart's list includes Sigmund Freud, the originator of psychoanalysis. You may not like Freud's theories, but he opened up an entire new field of human endeavor called psychology, and people still use the words that he coined—ego and Oedipus complex and death wish.

Hart also includes Louis Pasteur. According to Hart, Pasteur ushered us into the realm of modern medicine. He convinced the scientific community that these tiny, unseen things called germs caused a lot of diseases. Pasteur also figured out how to inoculate human beings so we don't get these terrible diseases. The fact that you're here alive and well is in some measure owed to this French biologist and chemist from 150 years ago.

But what really made the book interesting and popular was that Michael Hart had the chutzpah to rank the top one hundred world changers. He established the NCAA playoffs of human greatness. What do you think he did with Jesus Christ? Sure enough, Jesus did make it onto Hart's list. He said that Jesus was the inspiration for the most influential religion in history. Hart even wrote, "Jesus had an extraordinarily impressive personality." That's a nice compliment. Based on Jesus' impressive influence throughout history, Hart ranked Jesus as the 3rd most influential person in history, right after Muhammad and the scientist Isaac Newton (incidentally, Newton was also a Christian).

Hart was attempting to answer a question that every single person has to answer: What will you make of Jesus? How will you rank Jesus? Is he in the top 100? Is he in the top ten? Is he number one on your list? Or does Jesus belong to his own list—the list called Lord and Master and Savior of my life? The way you answer that question will affect everything about your life. It's the critical question of your life.

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