Sunday, June 20, 2010

book review: "billy graham" by david aikman

“Oh God, I don’t understand all of this. I don’t know what’s happening to me. But as best as I can figure out, I’ve given myself to you.” These are the words Billy Graham prayed the night he gave his life to God. He accepted Christ at a crusade by Mordecai Ham on November 6, 1934. He has spent the past six decades preaching the message of the gospel. He once said, “Sincerity is the biggest part of selling anything, including the Christian plan of salvation.” He’s seen countless people give their lives to God at his numerous crusades, the last one being in 2005. Graham has had the opportunity to speak into the lives of our presidents, beginning with Eisenhower up through George W. Bush. He’s visited countless countries and won over many people with his charm. Aikman mentions Graham’s method for handling tough situations: “…Billy Graham’s lifelong traits: to agonize over important decisions, to storm heaven seeking directions, and then to be quite firm in any decision arrived at in the course of this process of prayer.” All throughout the book, Aikman points out Graham’s humility and desire to simply preach of God’s love. Early in his evangelical career, Graham worked with Charles Templeton. “A few, however, were touched by the sheer innocent, gospel-sharing confidence of the young men [Graham and Templeton]. It was “like a breath from heaven in a suffocated time,” said British lay evangelist Tom Rees, “men who brought brightness in the midst of all our darkness.”

The Right Reverend Peter Jensen asked of Graham once, “Has there been a voice like his? There was the utter sincerity of it. He was transparently sincere, personally attentive. He was a prince among God’s people.” This would definitely be a book for history buffs. All of the dates and names were lost on me but it was interesting to read about Graham’s start to his career and all he’s accomplished in his lifetime, “…a seven-decades long servant of the call to preach the gospel…”

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