I have seen Billy Graham in action many times: in the tent with the sawdust floor in Los Angeles; in the Coliseum in the same city where the largest number of people ever to watch an event assembled in that ampitheatre; in New York at Madison Square Garden and in Shea Stadium; in Dortmund, Germany as he preached through an interpreter; and now at the second of his Chicago crusades, held in the new McCormick Place in a hall that seats more than 35,000. I’ve also listened to him on the worldwide radio network and watched him on TV crusades and innumerable personal appearances. How does one take the measure of this man after more than a quarter of a century of extensive and intensive evangelistic outreach?

God ordained that the Gospel is to be preached by men, not by angels. Billy Graham is a man with all the explosive potential that the image of God in man makes possible. He’s subject to the human frailties all of us experience. He has come into his mature years transparent in his life, charismatic, open, highly likable. Those who oppose him for one reason or another cannot deny that he is a gentleman, and that he is a Christian imbued with a radiant spirit of the love of Christ. He is a veteran crusader—unflappable, very much at home in his role of evangelist.

In twenty-five years Graham’s basic message hasn’t changed one iota: Men need to be born again. Wherever he starts in his sermons and however far afield he may roam, he always brings his listeners to the place where they must answer the question: What will you do with Jesus? Graham’s social conscience has been educated, strengthened, and deepened across the years, but he remains convinced that the most effective agents of social change are born-again Christians. He knows ...

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