How shall we evaluate the colossal religious drama recently concluded in New York City? The magnetic attraction of nearly two million persons to Madison Square Garden in summertime? More than 50,000 public decisions for Christ. New York’s official ecclesiastical cooperation with mass evangelism. The very person and message of Billy Graham. Are these factors God-propelled or man-made? Do they accelerate the collective pulse of sluggish Protestantism? Do they retard the ecumenical throb by their injection of a specifically delineated theology? Such questions engage the vigorous interaction not only of professional theologians, ministers and evangelists, but of laymen as well. What shall we say of Billy Graham? Whose voice is he?

The Spirit Or The Serpent?

Liberalism and neo-orthodoxy have virtually exorcised the Devil from their theology. Consequently, the theological left shows little disposition or reason to dismiss Billy Graham as a voice of Satan. On the other hand, some spokesmen for reactionary fundamentalism, appalled at Billy Graham’s technical and organizational alignment with modernistic clergymen, have made this very charge. A Christian college president, for example, forbade students on his campus to pray publicly for success of the meetings. Elsewhere an evangelist privately attributed the mass response in New York to Satan. A greater number in the reactionary rightist classification, however, have prayed for the evangelist and the meetings. Albeit, they speak of Graham with more reserve than gusto, and avoid reference to the Holy Spirit in evaluating his ministry.

Radical liberals, too, have leveled sharp criticisms at Graham’s ministry. Among such, Professor Arnold Nash of University of North Carolina considers ...

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