Sunday, January 13, 2008

Billy Graham

So, my new favorite thing to watch is old Billy Graham crusades on TBN, Saturday nights at 10:00. We can barely get reception with our rabbit ears and sometimes we can't get it at all, but I have become hooked whenever I do have the chance to catch it on Saturday nights.

I attended a Graham crusade in the mid '90s in Charlotte. Even then, he was very old and slow in his delivery. The contrast with his early days is marked. Watching old crusades from the '60s is a treat for anyone who loves bold, authoritative, clear preaching.

I had a friend here at Southern Seminary several years ago tell me that he was a huge Billy Graham fan, and he mentioned his early preaching. I must admit that I was surprised. Surely a Reformed brother could find a better role model.....I now see what he was saying.

Of course, there are legitimate issues to consider when giving an overall assesment of Billy Graham......inclusivism, decisionism, etc. (reading Iain Murray's excellent book Evangelicalism Divided will cause much frustration with Graham's ministry). Yet, I am only grateful to God and riveted by his powerful preaching when I watch this evangelist 50 yrs. ago. If you ever get the opportunity to watch or listen to a Graham message from '50s-'70s don't pass it up.

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