Monday, September 24, 2007

Billy Graham, C. Hitchens, and Woody Allen?

I found this info. from a great blog that I read called Looking Closer.

This short Time article shows how Christopher Hitchens, a famous atheist, had some unflattering words towards Billy Graham. The article states that Hitchens uses evidence that actually proves himself wrong. And it also shows what conviction Billy had in sharing the gospel as the Bible presented it, rather than conforming his message into what the itching ears of the masses wanted to hear.

Also, Looking Closer provided these two videos that were really cool.


  1. Anonymous7:26 PM

    I enjoy your posts, DW. As I read and surfed around after reading this, however, I found the following on Graham:

    "Graham, in a 1997 interview with Dr. Robert Schuler, made the statement that even those who did not overtly know Jesus Christ -- Moslems, Buddhists, atheists -- are members of the body of Christ. He said: 'They may not know the name Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something they do not have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven.' Schuler was ecstatic."

    Being a Reformed Christian with a view of Christ ALONE as The Way, and a saving knowledge of Christ as The Way, I was troubled by this.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Anonymous - First of all, thanks for your thoughts. I'm encouraged that you enjoy subjects found here, and am more encouraged you wish to dialogue about them.

    To answer your question, I would wholly disagree with the statement that supposedly came from Graham. From obvious texts in Scripture such as John 14:6 and Acts 4:12, there is clearly no other name under heaven besides Christ, by which we may enter into fellowship with God.

    If Graham actually believes this, I am very surprised. Also being Reformed, I already know that I disagree with Graham on a number of issues dealing with how men are saved. But I still don't consider those primary issues (though I become very passionate about them at times).

    However, I think this quote does speak to a primary issue in how we understand the gospel. So, like you, I am troubled by anyone who would believe this, especially prominent leaders. And I can only hope and pray that Graham's theology here would be corrected by God's grace.

    Thanks again. More thoughts are welcome.

  3. Anonymous3:48 PM

    The question is this: Can one be saved by faith in God, a faith that this God will somehow save this person, and this person is trusting in that alone, even if they do not know the name Jesus Christ?

    Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    Billy Graham's point, I think, is that if a person is trusting in God alone for his ultimate salvation, even if he doesn't know the name Christ, that he will be saved. Is a person in the depths of Ethiopia, who has never heard the name Christ, but trusts in God to save him alone - is that person "with excuse" when it comes to knowing the Name and the work of Christ? Could he still be saved in the Acts 4:12 sense even if he doesn't know the name Christ but still trusts in the Father that he will provide some atonement for his sins?

  4. I believe that indeed every man is without excuse as you evidenced from Romans 1. So the person in Ethopia who has never heard the name of Christ will not be saved. Romans 10:14-15 states that people believe based on the message being preached to them. That is why missions is such an important task. We must seek to penetrate the unreached people groups of the world with the message of Christ.

    To further clarify, what Romans 1 is talking about is general revelation. Everyone receives this. The verse before what you quoted in 1:18, states that men suppress the Truth by their own wickedness. God reveals Himself generally to all people through creation, experience, and history. But this is not enough to be saved. It only points to God as Creator, not Redeemer.

    Special revelation is what is required to be saved. Jesus Christ, Scripture, and miracles are examples of special revelation. I believe the Bible is generally how God proclaims the message of Jesus Christ and reveals Himself today. However, I also believe in God's ability to save someone apart from Scripture through a revelation. For instance, this is happening all over the Muslim world right now.

    I hope that answers your question. Let me know if it did not. Thanks again.