Sympathetic but balanced biography of the aging evangelist (b. 1918) who has defined the telegospel as we know it today. Ever broadly aware of revivalism in America, Martin (Sociology/Rice) offers a straightforward view of the most influential evangelist since St. Paul. He shows in fine detail the marketing techniques by which the Billy Graham Evangelical Association wins over sinners worldwide, but he also keeps close focus on Graham, who uses Grecian Formula 16 to keep his hair the right color for TV. Graham was a hyperkinetic child, abrim with mischief but no meanness, who charmed all by the sheer force of his liking everyone. Though not much academically, he had great powers of concentration; and when guests came to visit his home, ``he typically staked out the largest available chair and sat wide-eyed and wordless, gnawing his nails and soaking up every sentence.'' Before attending the Florida Bible Institute, he was the top Fuller Brush salesman in North and South Carolina (he prayed before knocking). His big splash came when a meeting with President Truman (who thought him a God huckster) got national publicity. His later ties to ``the Eisenhower-Nixon administration were his optimum public credential.'' In 1966, Graham set out to change ``the fundamental direction of contemporary Christianity'' and had his own Second Coming in Berlin, where he declared that not to believe in the reality of hell is softheaded; he still sees Satan as a literal being. Team members blanch when he fumbles facts or raps out his ``familiar claim that sexual chastity is virtually impossible without supernatural assistance...especially...for a man, whose sex drive `is six times greater than in a woman.' '' Billy Graham, warts and all: ``hernias, ulcers, tumors, cysts, polyps, infections, pneumonia, chronic high blood pressure, throbbing headaches, spider bites and...falls that have broken 18 of his ribs.'' (Twenty-four pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-06890-1

Page Count: 516

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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