A Reverent Maverick
Though we are sitting in her office, Anne Graham Lotz is beginning to preach, in the best sense of the word.
"You remember in the Old Testament when Elijah had the contest with the priests of Baal? And all day long they tried to get the fire to come down and they couldn't. And then Elijah said, 'All right, now it's my turn.' And he dug a trench around the altar and had water poured on the altar until the sacrifice was soaked, the wood was soaked, the stones were soaked, and water filled the trench?
"Elijah was making it impossible for anything to happen unless God did it. If God didn't send down the fire, that thing was never going to catch fire. He wanted all the glory going to God, so when the fire came down, everybody would know it was the Lord."
She pauses. "When I look at my life, God's given me many things, but he's withheld many: education—seminary or Bible training—many things. And he made me a woman. To be honest, there was a time before I started BSF [Bible Study Fellowship] when I wondered why God hadn't made me a man. If I had been a man in my family, I wouldn't have had to struggle with missed opportunities.
"I think the fact that God made me a woman is water on the altar. You can come to a Just Give Me Jesus revival and see what God does there. Nobody can credit a seminary, nobody can credit my being Billy Graham's daughter—I left home at 18. I just have to credit the hand of God in my life. Without God, it would have been impossible."
Lotz does not fit neatly into any stereotype of evangelicalism. She believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, and also that she can "agree to disagree" with others on the meaning of certain texts. She believes women can be ordained, but has chosen not to be. Though ...