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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Profound Simplicity of One Evangelist

Recently, I have been reading about evangelist Billy Graham in Grant Wacker's new biography America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation.  Wacker masterfully weaves together a narrative of Billy's life, theology, preaching, and impact that is first-rate and well-rounded, not falling into hagiography or overt dismantling or criticism.  As a preacher, Billy Graham was not eloquent like a William Sangster or Aimee Semple McPherson, yet he was profound.  His preaching did not hinge on rhetorical flourishes designed to captivate the ears of his listeners, rather he repeated phrases often time and time again to make an impact upon his hearers.  His proclamation was not obtuse as to confuse his audience but centered upon one single aim, "...to draw men and women to make a decision for Christ (63)."  How did he do this?

Wacker writes, "Whatever the specific topic, the overarching pattern invariably took the same form.  First acknowledge sin's dest…