Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Book Review: A Prophet With Honor

A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story
by William Martin

I haven't really known where to begin with this review.
Billy Graham's life and work constitute one of the greatest evangelical efforts of all time. As Prof. Cox quipped, the journeys of St. Paul pale in comparison to the map of Billy Graham's international outreach. He preached to overflow crowds in Madison Square Garden for 16 weeks. He fills stadiums (almost) everywhere he goes.

He has kept his message simple. He asks crowds of thousands to make a decision to give their lives to Christ right then and there. He has maintained impeccable finances and has avoided other such scandals that were the downfall of other televangelists. His is really a very interesting story.

The most enlightening aspect of this 600+ page book (worth the read) is the detail about Billy Graham's relationship to several generations of American
St. Paul's journeys
Presidents. I can't help but wonder about the relationship America might have to the rest of the world if Billy Graham hadn't held such a prominent position of influence in relation to American politics, not to mention to our national mythology of being the righteous saviors of the rest of the world. Would we still be pursuing such notions of manifest destiny if a Billy Graham had not existed?

While there is much to criticize, there is also much to love about this towering figure of American
Billy Graham's "Crusades"
evangelism. I highly recommend this book to those interested in the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. For Billy Graham's recent reflections on his life's work and the problems facing the world today, see here.

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