To assess the magnitude of Billy Graham’s Australasian campaign, CHRISTIANITY TODAYwent to pastors and church officials who worked within the organization of the meetings and thus were in the best position to determine what really happened. Here are their comments, which represent views from ministers of various denominations and shades of theology:
THE VERY REV. S. BARTON BABBAGE, Anglican Dean of Melbourne: “The crusade has given to the churches a fresh understanding of the place and purpose of evangelism. Evangelism is no longer suspect. It is now seen to be the primary function of the church. And the consequence is a determination to continue the work of evangelism. The churches are again on the job.”
DR. IRVING C. BENSON, minister of Wesley Methodist Church, Melbourne: “The crusade has been a spiritual phenomenon challenging compromise and complacency, pleading for full personal committal to Christian living. Whatever losses there will be, the fruit will abide to the enrichment of churches and the strengthening of the moral character of the community. To me the outstanding lesson of the crusade has been the revelation of the spiritual hunger in the hearts of people whom one would never suspect of it. What emerges from this crusade is that evangelism must be the central and constant purpose of the church.”
THE REV. E. C. BURLEIGH, president of the South Australian Baptist Union and principal of the South Australian Theological College: “Beyond the wonderful response in attendances and decisions during the crusade was the supreme experience of the manifestation of God’s Spirit. Theological students were reminded of the importance of the Scriptures, of the necessity of personal commitment to Christ, ...1
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