Download America's pastor : Billy Graham and the shaping of a nation by Grant Wacker PDF

By Grant Wacker

During a occupation spanning sixty years, the Reverend Billy Graham’s resonant voice and chiseled profile entered the residing rooms of hundreds of thousands of american citizens with a message that known as for private transformation via God’s grace. How did a lanky farm child from North Carolina develop into an evangelist hailed through the media as “America’s pastor”? Why did listeners old and young pour out their grief and loneliness in letters to a guy they knew purely via televised “Crusades” in remote areas like Madison sq. backyard? greater than a traditional biography, furnish Wacker’s interpretive learn deepens our realizing of why Billy Graham has mattered lots to so many.

Beginning with tent revivals within the Forties, Graham remodeled his born-again theology right into a ethical vocabulary taking pictures the fears and aspirations of ordinary americans. He possessed an uncanny skill to suitable developments within the wider tradition and engaged boldly with the main major advancements of his time, from communism and nuclear risk to poverty and civil rights. the iconic that means of his profession, in Wacker’s research, lies on the intersection of Graham’s personal artistic organization and the forces shaping sleek America.

Wacker paints a richly textured portrait: a self-deprecating servant of God and self-promoting media tycoon, an easy relations guy and confidant of presidents, a plainspoken preacher and the “Protestant pope.” America’s Pastor reveals how this Southern fundamentalist grew, fitfully, right into a capacious determine on the heart of religious lifestyles for hundreds of thousands of Christians round the world.

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Extra info for America's pastor : Billy Graham and the shaping of a nation

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45 Graham’s association with Nixon also got him into trouble with the left-wing journalist I. F. Stone, who dubbed him Mr. ”46 Yet ridicule, too, counted as an index of influence. Perhaps the most telling marks of Graham’s influence are simply anecdotal— cultural snapshots, we might call them. A sampling suggests the richness of the menu. Except for elected officials, Graham may have been the only person in the United States who, at the height of his popularity, needed no mailing address beyond his name.

For one thing, the “Bible wars” among fundamentalists over the inerrancy of Scripture versus the authority of Scripture were more important for intellectuals within the movement than for rank-and-file believers. 36 Graham, in contrast, did not engage in debates, let alone polemics, about the Bible’s reliability. Rather, he focused on real-life answers to real-life questions. Graham knew his audiences. He knew that they esteemed the Bible less as a storehouse of inerrant facts and doctrines than as a living, breathing authority that addressed the dilemmas people faced day in, day out.

The cluster of convictions set forth in Peace with God, along with providence and moral theism, constituted American evangelical boilerplate. It also marked Graham’s preaching from the beginning to the end of his career. He helped make it boilerplate. Looking inward, it formed the intellectual benchmark that enabled evangelicals to define the boundaries of orthodoxy. Looking outward, it enabled them to gain their bearings on the religious landscape. Changes Over the years Graham’s preached theology evolved in some ways.

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