When I was a teenager, I remember how my heart was moved by Billy Graham’s Peace with God. The simple way in which Graham is able to express profound truths has enabled him to connect with audiences of all backgrounds, cultures, and academic levels. After reading Terry Whalin’s crisp and inspiring Billy Graham: A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist, it dawned on me that Graham’s latest biographer appropriately reflects the style and disposition of his subject. Author (Whalin) and subject (Graham) both have the ability to put people at ease, earning trust among believers and nonbelievers alike. Whalin’s ability to tell the story is as commendable as it is engaging—a great read.
Billy Graham is well researched and full of stories—many downright thrilling. As a preacher, I especially appreciated learning of Graham’s visit to Nagaland (northeast India), where the evangelist spoke to over 100,000 (yet by no means the largest crowd he has addressed). Many had walked for weeks—from Nepal, India, and China—just to hear the message. (Would that our land were equally receptive.) Whalin's generous quantity of anecdotes reminds us that, despite currents of antagonism and callous indifference across the globe, this doesn’t have to define the human race. Millions still hunger for the Word.
Few will ever share their faith with monarchs, moguls, or presidents, let alone fill stadiums, but all of us who are Christ followers are called to represent Christ, taking advantage of the influence the Lord has given us, whether great or small.
Dr. Douglas Jacoby, author, professor, and international Bible Teacher
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