America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation
America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation  -     By: Grant Wacker
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Belknap Press / 2014 / Hardcover
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America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation

Belknap Press / 2014 / Hardcover

Expected to ship on or about 03/24/18.
Stock No: WW052185


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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 413
Vendor: Belknap Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.50 X 6.60 (inches)
ISBN: 0674052188
ISBN-13: 9780674052185

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  1. Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A rich, colorful portait of a warm, humble man - an insighful look at the lasting impact of Billy Graham.
    February 24, 2018
    Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    An entire generation of Christians has grown up largely unfamiliar with Billy Graham and his remarkable ministry. The occasion of his death in February 2018 offers many of us a good reason to remind ourselves of Graham's significance and lasting impact on American Evangelicalism.

    I want to recommend "America's Pastor" by Grant Wacker as a helpful introduction to those who may not be fully aware of the impact Billy Graham has had on our nation. Wacker's book is not exactly a biography, and Wacker himself is a self-proclaimed evangelical who sides with Graham on a number of his positions. The book instead walks through Graham's life and evaluates what it was that made him great. It asks who exactly was this man?

    The chapters explore different aspects of Graham: his roles ofpreacher, icon, Southerner, entrepreneur, architect, pilgrim, pastor, and patriarch. The ethos of Graham's ministry amid the backdrop of the cultural and social nature of the day are stressed. A lot of time is devoted to Graham's interaction with the presidents and his own angst at Nixon's fall. Also highlighted is the key role that Graham played, early on, in helping the civil rights movement in the 50s -- including his asking Martin Luther King Jr. to pray at his 1957 New York Madison Square Gardens Crusade. Some argue that Graham could have done more on this issue and others, and Walker explores the ins and outs of that debate and situates Graham within the context of his time as a one who moved the needle in positive ways.

    Wacker highlights controversial points of Graham's legacy, too. He explores Graham's departure from American fundamentalism and his creation of a moderate position (which became known as new evangelicalism, and which is spawned the Evangelicalism most prevalent today). He pinpoints a bizarre interview with Robert Schuler, and presses into what Graham may have really believed about inerrancy and other doctrinal questions. He spent timeon some newly discovered disparaging marks Graham made toward Jews in the oval office - and what that says (and doesn't) about his character. Overall Wacker paints aportrait of Graham that is rich and colorful, and yet reveals a simple and true-hearted man, who honestly attempted to introduce as many people as possible to the life-giving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by whatever means were at his disposal.

    The final part of the book includes Wacker's own accounts of his interviews with the aged Graham, and his attempt to size up the real Graham. The aged evangelist exuded a warm humility that appealed to Wacker, and which appealed to so many throughout his decades of public ministry.

    The audiobook version of this book is easy to listen to: the narrator reads in a matter of fact voice, but not with an emotional poignance that can at time distract. The format may make it an easy way to reflect on Graham and evangelical history amid the pressures of today's modern world. I highly recommend this title.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher. I was was under no obligation to offer a positive review.
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