Billy’s Critics

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Gilgoff’s got a post up about Rick Warren and Billy Graham that concludes:

But I wonder if it’s fair to compare Warren with Graham on responding to the Christian right, given that so much of Graham’s time in politics—though by no means all of it—happened before the rise of the Christian right in the 1980s. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded in 1950.

Yes, it’s fair. The Christian rightists of Graham’s early days were, to be sure, more theological than political. But no less formidable for that. Beginning in the 1950s, they attacked him for his “cooperative” approach to evangelism, for his refusal to draw hard doctrinal lines, for his ecumenical openness. And they never stopped. But he never trimmed sail, keeping to his course undeterred.

  • Asinus Gravis

    This account of the early Graham does not seem to adequately acknowledge Graham’s fervent anti-communism rhetoric. Also, he was an outspoken critic of Truman’s administration and typically a supporter of Republican candidates and causes–usually behind the scenes.
    See William Martin, “With God On Our Side,” Chapter One.

  • Mark Silk

    For sure, Asinus. But he was roundly criticized by theological hardliners nonetheless. That’s my point.