BP This Week: ‘He Just Wanted to Tell People About Jesus’ – A Tribute to Billy Graham

John Stonestreet and Ed Stetzer devote the entire program to the life and legacy of Billy Graham–how he shaped modern evangelicalism, his impact on the lives of millions (including Chuck Colson and all of us here at the Colson Center), his role in the Civil Rights movement, his sterling integrity, and more. In the end, says Ed, Billy Graham “just wanted to tell people about Jesus.”

Image: Paul M. Walsh, Wikimedia Commons


Billy Graham (1918-2018)
  • Chuck Colson
  • BreakPoint
  • February 21, 2018
What Billy Graham would want you to know about him
  • Ed Stetzer
  • CNN
  • February 21, 2018

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  • shoebear

    This episode really troubles me.

    Billy Graham was a great man of God, and God used him mightily to turn our nation and the world back to Christ, especially through the 1970’s. I respect Mr. Graham for that, and hold him in high esteem. However, sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s, he made a statement that Jesus is not the only way of salvation. He repeated this several times through the subsequent years — so it was not just a misstep in speaking.

    This was personally a challenge to my faith. I made my adult commitment to Christ in 1979 after a tough freshman year at Rice University. In my remaining years of college, I had great discipleship from Campus Crusade for Christ, along with terrific, deep, insightful, biblical teaching at church from our DTS-grad pastor and a Rice math prof for Sunday School. However, about the time I graduated in 1982, I heard Mr. Graham say that Jesus wasn’t the only way to God. All my life, I had heard what a great man of God he was, so I took him seriously. This made me doubt the foundation laid by CCC and my church, and opened me up to a liberal, new age-y way of viewing the Bible and Christian doctrine. I only began my journey back to biblical Christianity in the late 1990’s when I was challenged by a skeptic to defend my faith. The ministry of Breakpoint was a key part of my return to orthodoxy.

    In this episode of BPTW, John and Ed identifies evangelicals as those who like Billy Graham, as opposed to liberals and fundamentalists, who don’t like him. This is as close as they got to touching on this grave theological problem — and by inference, it throws fundamentalists under the bus. A fundamentalist is one who believes in the fundamentals of the Christian faith — such as the inerrancy of Scripture and the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to God. This seems out of character for John and Ed; in fact, I’ve hear Ed lament that surveys of evangelicals reveal that many don’t hold these beliefs. So which is it, Ed and John? Is Jesus the ONLY way to the father, or not? Please clarify this for all of us.

    In this episode also — Ed and John talk about the criticism of some that Mr. Graham was late to the desegregation movement, but then defended him concerning that. I agree with their defense. But when they were mentioning Mr. Graham’s “feet of clay” would have been a perfect time to bring out the much greater issue of his departure from Jesus as the ONLY way to the Father. In the spirit of a eulogy, or “good word”, it would have been OK to leave out both issues, but to bring up the lesser issue without mentioning the greater is a problem.

    One other detail — You mentioned a number of ministries that Graham started or boosted. The Navigators have their wonderful, unique property in Colorado Springs because Graham offered them the right to buy it. And Graham used the Navigators for Crusade follow up discipleship for many years in the 50’s and 60’s. I live in the Springs myself and spent 10 years working for The Navigators in their IT department, so please excuse my pride. 🙂

  • The Bechtloff

    Good episode. As we say on the interwebs “Press F to pay respects”