Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Billy Graham’

I Am the Captain of My Soul: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-300x198by Tom Nettles

(This post is the latest installment in a series on Billy Graham. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.)

Graham’s focus on human experience vis-à-vis biblical authority and as an apologetic for the Christian faith provided the bands of attachment to him and his ministry from two directions—both moderates and conservatives found resonance in his emphases. Similar effects of affirmation arose from a third area of emphasis, the autonomy of the human will. The entire work of God for salvation finally was suspended on the capacity-to-decide resident within the human will. In a sermon on slothfulness, Graham closed, “Eternal life is within reach of everyone. The savior is as near as your yielded will, or He is as far away as you want Him to be. Your own stubborn, slothful spirit is your greatest hindrance to letting Him come into your heart.” [Seven Deadly Sins, 40] Anger also finds its cure in the power of the will. “The first step then in finding victory over unjustified anger is to want to get rid of it,” Graham rightly advised. The solution, therefore, already resides within. “The will comes to the fore and says, ‘I will do something about his unruly temper of mine.’” In Graham’s anthropology, like Finney and those that followed in his wake, the human will had been unaffected by the fall. Both the “stubborn, slothful spirit” and the “unruly temper” were in the control of the human will and would yield to the force of a person’s decision to throw them off.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Anatomy of a Hybrid Constituency: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-300x214by Tom Nettles

(This post is the latest installment in a series on Billy Graham. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

Billy Graham’s strong affirmation of biblical authority, his clear proclamation of the objective truths of the gospel, and his perseverance in the calling of evangelism gave him comprehensive credibility among evangelicals, including conservative Southern Baptists. Accompanying these strong traits, however, were a few convictions that gave some of the main-line, more liberal-leaning Protestants, and the more moderate wing of Southern Baptists, room to approve of Graham and, thus, find a point of positive contact with their conservative detractors. The two religious persuasions that proved to be a bridge to an uncomfortable unity were the priority of religious experience and an affirmation of biblical truth that transcended any critical engagement with supposed difficulties in the biblical text.

It could be suggested that Graham’s experiential persuasion of Christianity’s truthfulness is simply a rock-solid engagement with the Reformed doctrine of the internal witness of the Spirit—or as Jonathan Edwards expressed it as “sensible” knowledge of sin and of the excellence of Christ. By the same token, one could look upon Graham’s unswerving commitment to the message of the Bible as another application…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Bible Says: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-Reading-Bible-234x300by Tom Nettles

(This post is part of a series on Billy Graham. See Part 1 and Part 2.)

In the Billy Graham Museum at Wheaton, the last three figures highlighted before Graham are Charles Finney, Dwight L. Moody, and Billy Sunday. In many ways, Graham saw himself as the heir and steward of their tradition. Though like them in some broadly recognizable ways, he forged his own way forward and developed his own way of relating to a public he hoped would hear his presentation of the gospel.

Billy Graham did not press theological exposition in his preaching to the extent of Charles Finney. Finney lived in an age of metaphysical musings on doctrine and brought his personal reflections to the pulpit. In order to overcome the lingering power of Jonathan Edwards’s grand vision of absolute human dependence on the divine, Finney had to try to match the metaphysical cogency of the missionary to the Indians of Stockbridge. Graham, on the other hand…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Shaping an Icon: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-300x181by Tom Nettles

The resolutions of Graham and his team for integrity and tenacity soon bore fruit both for evangelistic success and public notice. Mel Larson, in commenting on the Los Angeles crusade of fall 1949, captured both of these elements when he observed, “Revival flowed through Billy Graham during that time until the entire world was conscious of it.” Graham and his team had been in Grand Rapids, Des Moines, Charlotte, Augusta, Miami and other places prior to Los Angeles. There, however, the impact was startling and etched the visage and name of Graham on the consciousness of American Christianity. Writing in 1950, Mel Larson continued his appraisal of Graham by saying, “Nothing perhaps has gripped the thinking of religious—and secular—American as did the revival campaign in Los Angeles in the autumn of 1949.” At the end of that Crusade official statistics, reported that 3000 people professed faith in Christ for the first time and another 3000 made a renewal of commitment. There had been a total of 72 meetings in a large tent that had accommodated 350,000 during that time. One crowd was estimated at 15000 with 6000 of those standing on the outside. One of the most remarkable events of the crusade was the conversion of Stuart Hamblen. Also deeply moving and poignant stories attended the conversion of Harvey Fritz (a radio personality with a deeply embedded violent and dangerous temper), Louis Zamperini (a World War II hero who endured the ravages of a Japanese prison camp), and Jim Vaus.(an underworld figure).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Blest Be the Tie that Binds: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-239x300by Tom Nettles

Given the two theological trajectories of the mid-twentieth century SBC and the increasingly noxious relationship between them, what commitment kept them for so long willing to work together? The glue that provided adherence was an experiential kind of evangelism. Both on the mission field and at home, the call to decide for Christ, with a focus on the individual autonomy suggested by the personal character of salvation, was a common idea. On the domestic scene a man had come to prominence who seemed to be able to bring together wildly different viewpoints through that very purpose–concentration on the personal experience of a decision for Christ. For the conservative this vindicated a style of transactional evangelism; for the moderate it vindicated the personal quest for existential significance and the sanctity of individual conscience.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Conclusion-The Need for an Uncompromising and Vigilant Witness Against Arminianism

June 23, 2014 1 comment

“Warnings from the pulpit and denunciation of the errors of Arminianism are not now heard as once they were. Even in pulpits where the truth is preached, it is to be feared that, in some cases, a faithful witness is not raised against Arminianism. The cause of this may be due in a measure to the fact that in defending the cause of truth new forms of error have to be exposed and assailed, with the result that the old enemy is left so far unmolested as if it were dead. Unfortunately this is not so; Arminianism is very much alive in the pulpit, in the theological and religious press, and in the modern evangelistic meeting…. When we bear in mind the horror with which our forefathers regarded Arminianism, the modern attitude to it indicates how far the professing Church has drifted from the position of the theologians of those days.” (‘The Reformed Faith’ by the Rev. D. Beaton, p. 18).

Arminianism was the false gospel of John Wesley and his followers in the eighteenth century, and of D.L. Moody in the nineteenth. It is the stock-in-trade of well nigh all the popular evangelists of this century from Billy Graham downwards. The gospel halls of the Brethren, Open and Closed, are nurseries of Arminianism. The active agents of the Faith Mission and the Salvation Army, notwithstanding the moral and social results to the credit of the latter, spread the plague on every side. All the sects which have sprung up in these latter times, however divergent in their doctrines and practices—Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostalists, Mormons, Christadelphians, Cooneyites, etc., etc., have all in common, the fatal lie of free-willism. It is Satan’s sovereign drug, which causes the soul to sleep in delusion, and the end of such delusion is death. “Free will,” says Spurgeon, “has carried many souls to hell but never a soul to heaven.”

Arminianism is armed to the teeth in enmity to true and vital godliness. Where it flourishes its fruits are a superficial goody-goody form of godliness—the lamp and the light of the foolish virgins which went out in death and in despair. The Declaratory Acts of 1879, 1892, and 1921 in Scotland, and in 1901 in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand threw open the flood-gates to the deluge of Arminianism. Spiritual death and desolation followed. The fat land was turned into barrenness, and the Churches adopting these Declaratory Acts are now well on the road to Rome. The ‘sovereign drug’ of Arminianism has flourished beyond the wildest dreams of priests and Jesuits. It is not by open and unabashed passing of nefarious Declaratory Acts that Satan as an angel of light now works. Subtle infiltration is his present policy and technique. What need there is for the ‘denunciation’ and the ‘horror’ the Rev. D. Beaton refers to, as the cloven-hoof of Arminianism is unmistakably seen far within the tents of the popular evangelical conventions, fellowships, and unions of our day! The Scripture Union, the Inter-Varsity Fellowship, the International Council of Christian Churches, the conventions of the Keswick fraternity etc., are all riddled with the cancer of Arminianism.

His ransomed Church in spotless robes From every tongue and race

He shall present before His Throne

Before His Father’s face;

And they through ages all shall sing:

Salvation is of grace.

 

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Born Againism

“Born Againism”/ Richard R. Ochs Via (Christian Soldiers Ministries Blog)

There is much talk these days about the rapid growth of the cults. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Mormonism, the Unification Church, and a host of lesser-known groups are making converts at astounding rates. Yet, the combined effect of all these groups is overshadowed by a movement that in the last few years has grown to include over 30% of the U.S. population. The amazing development of what might be called “Born-againism” is affecting all sectors of our society. In fact, if the latest figures presented in the religious polls are accurate, the current Born-again phenomenon could well be viewed as the fastest growing cult in America. Born-againism has permeated fundamentalist denominations as leaven in dough, and expanded into the culture at large. Candidates espouse it in order to get votes, entertainers use it to attract crowds, pro-football players proclaim it to give respect to their Sunday afternoon brutality, and the business world promotes it in order to make money. Even the secular press, radio, and T.V. have found it fashionable to occasionally slip the little words “born again” into their speech and print.