Tuesday, November 8, 2011

America’s Most Famous Preacher Turned 93

For the Rev. Billy Graham, America’s most famous evangelist across a career that lasted some six decades, the prospect of old age and death was for a long time something he tried not to think about, despite his convictions about the eternity that awaits human beings.

“I fought growing old in every way,” Graham, who turned 93 on Monday, writes in the newly-published “Nearing Home,” a book that ranges from Scripture quotations about the end of life to brass tacks advice on financial planning. “I faithfully exercised and was careful to pace myself as I began to feel the grasp of Old Man Time. This was not a transition that I welcomed, and I began to dread what I knew would follow.”

Graham’s book, his 30th, comes not only as he reaches another year, but as America’s huge Baby Boom generation moves into old age, its senior members now eligible for Social Security and retirement.

Graham, spent most of his life as an Arminian neo-evangelical attempting to reach the multitudes for Christ by mass evangelism. Graham during his long tenue as a preacher and evangelist has "broadened" the gospel beyond its biblical limits by being a part of the dumbing down of the good news. At times it was difficult to support Mr. Graham due to his salvific and redemptive universal tendencies. You see this especially in an interview that he gave in 2006:

"In Graham's view, the core message of the Gospel, and the love of God "for all people" should take priority..But more recent years have given him something he had little of in his decades of global evangelism: time to think both more deeply and more broadly....He.refuses to be judgmental.thinks God's ways and means are veiled from human eyes and wrapped in mystery. "There are many things that I don't understand," he says. He does not believe that Christians need to take every verse of the Bible literally; "sincere Christians," he says, "can disagree about the details of Scripture and theology-absolutely"..he is arguing that the Bible is open to interpretation, and fair-minded Christians may disagree or come to different conclusions about specific points. Like Saint Paul , he believes human beings on this side of paradise can grasp only so much.

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror," Paul wrote, "then we shall see face to face.".."As time went on, I began to realize the love of God for everybody, all over the world," he says. "And in his death on the cross, some mysterious thing happened between God and the Son that we don't understand. But there he was, alone, taking on the sins of the world..I spend more time on the love of God than I used to.".. When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people, though, Graham says: "Those are decisions only the Lord will make.I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have."

Meacham, Jon. Newsweek Magazine . 14 August 2006. Excerpt from interview with Billy Graham. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14204483/ .


Persis said...

It's very sad that Graham has embraced inclusivism. May God help us to finish the race well without compromising the gospel.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I don't relish the thought of getting older.I didn't know Billy Graham was 93 yrs of age. I well remember many years ago him packing a London stadium.
Excellent post Gregg.

Pat Donovan said...

universalizm takes many forms, and satan is not afraid to use even an old saint who truely loves the lord. Ne takes that old saints weakness and love for his human brothers, and makes it universalizm. This is very sad.