Matthew R. Perry

Billy Graham’s Comments in Newsweek: Billy! We Thought We Knew Ye!

In Theology on August 9, 2006 at 4:26 pm

nw_leftnavcov_060814.jpgI don’t know about you, but I have seen a number of Christian men and women who, when they grow into their twilight years, tend to lose their edge and fight in defending the faith. I could speculate on why this is, but that’s for another time. What saddens me is that so many in the world, Christian or non-Christian, look up to Billy Graham so much that it saddens me to see this aging, influential — and very ill — Christian man and preacher say so many things so disturbing.

In Newsweek’s most recent issue (August 14, 2006), Billy Graham is featured (“Pilgrim’s Progress”, p. 37) in an exclusive article by Jon Meacham that’s subtitled, “In the twilight, Billy Graham shares what he’s learned in reflecting on politics, Scripture, old age and death, mysteries and moderation.”

Here are a few quotes from this article:

“I’m not a literalist [about the Bible] in that every jot and tittle is from the Lord. This is a little difference in my thinking through the years” (p. 41).

When asked whether those who are not Christians and are of other religions will be in heaven, he responds:

“Those decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be [in heaven] and who won’t…. I don’t want to speculate about all that. 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” (p. 43)

“I have a certainty about eternity that is a wonderful thing, and I thank God for giving me that certainty. I do not fear death. I may fear a little bit about the process, but not death itself, because I think the moment that my spirit leaves this body, I will be in the presence of the Lord” (p. 43)

That last quote is a treasure and a blessing to me, but I do grow concerned about his comments here — which are nothing new considering his previous comments to Dr. Robert Schuller in a 1978 article in McCall’s magazine as well as a 1997 interview where his views on salvation I believe strayed from the exclusive claims of the Scriptures.

I appreciate Dr. Graham’s ministry, but does anyone else out there find concern with his comments?

Other Articles

Billy Graham: What Means This? by Chip Thorton (HT: Josh Buice)

The Billy Graham School of Ecumenism? by Timmy Brister

When a Hero Falls by Josh Buice

To read the entire article by Jon Meacham, click here.

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  1. Bro. Matt,

    Good article – as you well know – I agree!

    One point of correction. The article – “Billy Graham: What Means This?” was written by Chip Thornton [ph.D] student at SBTS.

    I wrote a similar article on my blog – http://www.joshbuice.blogspot.com titled, “When a Hero Falls”.

    God Bless,

    Rev. Josh Buice

  2. Thanks, Josh. The links have been fixed and I have added your article to the list as well. Good stuff!

  3. You are outrageous. Shame on you.

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