Friday, November 21, 2008
Billy: The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham
Billy, written by William Paul McKay and Ken Abraham, is the untold story of a young Billy Graham and the test of faith that almost changed everything.
Charles Templeton, once regarded as the world’s greatest Christian evangelist, said of Billy Graham, “We became friends, but we were more than that. We were like brothers. We traveled together…preached together. It was impossible not to …like Billy.”
Billy’s story is told through the memory of this best friend and famous evangelist who later in life became an atheist. This is a well-written narrative that is easy to read and hard to put down.
Although most people are acquainted with Billy Graham and his crusades, this book tells the story of his early years and most of us do not know about those years of his life.
Charles Templeton and Billy Graham both struggled with their faith. Charles lost his faith, and Billy after a fierce struggle, came away with a stronger faith. He went on to become the best known evangelist in
Templeton tells the interesting story of how Graham was “kissed” by William Randolph Hearst. He gives credit to Hearst, who owned several of the nation’s daily newspapers, for building up Billy Graham and helping to make him world famous. Templeton wondered why Hearst chose Graham when he could have chosen him. Many would tell Mr. Templeton it wasn’t Hearst who did the choosing—but God.
Tears came to my eyes more than once while reading this moving story. One meeting between Charles and Billy ended like this: “Billy’s face was downtrodden, his countenance sullen. It was done. His friend was leaving him to travel a different path, a road that would likely take them in radically different directions. Billy continued to hold out his hand…but Charles Templeton did not take it.”
Some will agree with Charles Templeton’s view that Billy Graham, who is now ninety years old, has lived a fairy tale life. Whatever your view of Charles Templeton and atheism or Billy Graham and God, you will love this book and will not want to put it down.