Citizens of New York, Boston, Toronto, London, Glasgow, and many other cities across the earth have known a common despair. They have sought to read the “unbiased facts” of the results of a local Billy Graham evangelistic crusade. The conflicting accounts they read are not simply lined up according to competing newspapers—rather conflicts often appear in the same journals. Uneasiness with the assessments is often aroused as these seem usually to agree with predictions made by the same parties, whether pro, con, or in-between. As a result, editors are always assured of a goodly dosage of protesting letters one way or the other, and ample ammunition is thereby provided for many an ecclesiastical debate, whether in convention halls or in seminary dormitories.
Seeking to remedy this situation with regard to the recent New York Crusade is Dr. Robert O. Ferm, dean of students at Houghton College. Since the closing of that campaign last fall, he says, varied reports have been submitted. Some of these have been inadequate due to their compilation by the secular press “which lacks the spiritual prerequisite for accurate evaluation.” Other assays “have emerged from religious sources that were antagonistic from the beginning of the crusade and conducted [the surveys] without having attended a single meeting of the campaign or having access to the names of the inquirers.”
Seeking The Answer
Probably the key question in all of this—and it has been asked by thousands—is, “What happens to the converts?” Dr. Ferm sought the answer from the converts themselves as well as from ministers who had dealt with them. More than 2000 converts were questioned by personal interview, telephone, and questionnaire. Also 100 letters were selected from the ...1
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