Christianity in the World Today
For almost two months the San Francisco Bay area was subjected to an intensive bombardment of biblical theology and mass evangelism. Now that Billy Graham is gone, and the kerygma is no longer heard in the Cow Palace, pastors and laymen alike are beginning to survey the spiritual results.
During his stay Dr. Graham expounded a number of Christian doctrines. San Franciscans heard about justification, reconciliation, adoption, new birth, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, sacraments, hell, the second advent of Jesus Christ, the last Judgment, the kenosis, the dual nature of Christ, the authority of Scripture, and the centrality of the Cross. Undoubtedly these doctrines, long absent from many bay area pulpits, are now being preached with a new earnestness. Testimonials from pastors point to more biblical sermons as a direct result of the crusade. Two ministers known for their liberal leanings made public decisions, one at the Cow Palace and the other in his own church during an invitation given by a Graham team member who was occupying the pulpit.
Other Protestant pastors were not as enthusiastic. Some labeled the doctrinal content of the Cow Palace messages shallow and superficial. Some felt that fanfare and publicity made it difficult for the Holy Spirit to do his most effective work. Still others held that tension created by Dr, Graham’s warning, “This may be your last chance!” made it impossible for the worshiper to be brought gently into a living relationship with the Saviour.
Classification of bay area theological types is a dangerous undertaking, but if inevitable shading and overlapping are assumed, certain colors can be detected in the theological spectrum.
Right wing fundamentalists. Extreme ...1
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