Many old enough to recall crusading evangelist Billy Graham in his prime and his nationally televised sermons before thousands in coliseums and auditoriums worldwide marveled at his animated, stunningly direct way of spreading the Gospel, back when saving souls was the primary business of evangelism. At his very best, he stressed a Christianity of optimism, patriotism and inclusiveness, including in the area of civil rights.
Evangelist Billy Graham, one of my few heroes, almost made it to 100! He died on Wednesday, just months shy of his centenary birthday. Unfortunately, I believe, the public will not remember him as he really was because of the prominence of his son Franklin, who recently spoke in Waco. Franklin is a leading spokesman for the new version of the so-called “Religious Right” that many of us view as less generous than the Graham we remember.
Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many “miracles around us today, including television and airplanes.” Graham was no theologian.