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Billy Graham's Legacy

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2023 9:00 am

Billy Graham's Legacy

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 21, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah discusses the ministry and continued impact of Billy Graham. 

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Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, February the 21st. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis, and you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abhijan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or suggestion for a future episode, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also email us at contact at That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting the podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from.

And we're going to leave you a link in the description of this show so you can do just that. That's right. And follow along with us on social media, Facebook and Instagram. You'll get first of the day images as well as kind of Facebook, you get the video podcast.

Yup, that's right. We're coming to you live over the power of video right now. 4K, I think.

I will monitor it. You know, what's funny is my monitor on my iMac is 5K. I didn't know that was an actual thing. I totally made that up.

Oh yeah, you can have like up to like 32K, I believe. Wow. Yeah. I mean, you need like 17 monitors. Like you're teleported into the TV show? No, it just, at a certain point, you stop really noticing it. You just need a ton of monitors to actually display it.

I saw a thing of someone playing Minecraft in like 16K and they had like... Minecraft? How funny, something like that in like unbelievable graphics. I'll pull it up later. Before we do, do you want to hit the verse of the day?

I would love to. The verse of the day today comes from Mark chapter 8 verse 31. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and after three days rise again. I think it's one thing to confess that Jesus is Lord. And I think once his disciples sort of confessed him as the Christ, Jesus knew he had to sort of teach them the real road to glory.

It's that way of suffering. You know, following him wherever that road might lead is more than just confessing. That's why confessing is the first step. But then you follow him.

You know what I mean? You follow him in obedience. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the disciples believed that he was the Son of God, but the crucifixion and resurrection, we know that was coming, but they did not.

They didn't have that piece of information. So Jesus teaching them that was sort of unlocking a new level of understanding of what it means to be the Son of God and what it means to live a life of obedience to him. But it's crazy how many people just think, as long as I believe in God, believe that he exists, I think I'm covered. And it's crazy because we say that almost being funny as a parody of people's mindsets, but then there are people who truly think that.

There are, absolutely. I've been playing a lot of Mario Kart with my son. Well, let me rephrase. He has fallen in love with Mario. Loves, loves, loves Mario. And I did as a kid, too.

So it kind of does my heart good to see it. But I can't be playing Mario Kart all the time. So what I've done, and this is a good tip for you parents out there, if your kid likes video games, but they're too young to play by themselves and entertain themselves, like my son is, find a live stream with no commentary.

And I just find, especially with Mario Kart, but I put it on, I airplay it to the TV, and then I give Gavin a controller. And I go, go buddy, go, go, go. And he just will sit there and he thinks he's playing. So I'll sit in the chair, I'll be getting my work done. And he'll be like, look, daddy, look, daddy. And I'm like, yeah, go, go, go, go, go.

Turn the corner, turn the corner. So we entertain ourselves with hours. We've been doing that nonstop. And then, of course, we'll play some Mario Kart. Very cute. I love that.

We did that. One of the things that my kids love, I have five kids, for those who haven't heard that on the podcast. And the older four will play Minecraft together.

Split screen, like the four screens at the same time. Well, we have a fifth child. We can't do this so much anymore because he's old enough now that he's kind of caught on. But when he was like two, maybe when he just turned three, they would give him a controller to a completely separate video game system. So they're all playing on the Xbox. He's got a Wii controller. Or he'll even just have the TV remote. And he thinks that he is playing with the four on the screen. And they're like, yeah, good job.

Good job, Asher. And he's into it. He's like, Harley, can you put some diamond in my chest? I'm really not seeing it.

He's so into it. Single player games got shelved for a little while in our house because it was just like, hey, you're playing something everybody can play or we're not going to play. That was kind of my weakness of, oh, I'm just going to, the first thing that comes to me, like, yeah, of course you can play.

Not going to think about the repercussions. And sure enough, all of them were like, well, what about me? I want to play too.

Me too. And so I was like, all right, we can, y'all can take turns. And then Ellie was like, there's five of them. They're not taking turns on Mario Odyssey. So I was like.

We're kind of out of that phase now, but for a while it was like, hey, you can't play that game because your siblings are going to like lose their minds. Right. Right. We've got an exciting show for you guys today. Lots of fun content that we're going to cover. We're going to get Dr. Sean in just a minute. But if you have any questions or suggestions, make sure you send those texts into 252-582-5028. Visit us online at

We'll be right back. You know, First John 515 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clear View Today show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clear View and share your prayer request. But the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at or you can download the Clear View app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on the app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at

Or if you have a question or suggestion for a future episode, make sure you send in a text to 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today. It's good to be here today. Hope you guys are doing well. Absolutely.

Very well. Happy Tuesday to all you guys out there in listener land, especially if you're new. This is the first time you're ever tuning in to Clear View today. We want to welcome you, let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's episode.

You can always follow his work on his website. That's That's right. And today is a very important day. You might not realize that looking at the calendar, but today is the anniversary of the passing of Billy Graham. If you get the little push notifications from Christian History or Christian Today, what's the one? Christianity Today. Well, Christian History sometimes, I think they also have the This Day in History, I believe it is. And what a special day.

What a special day. And I will take issue with your statement there, Ryan, if you don't mind. Absolutely. Yes, he did pass away, but he still is alive, right? Right. In a sense, what I mean is his legacy lives on. That's right.

Right? So he, in a sense, never passed away. It's not like the weird Elvis is still alive. I saw him at the grocery store.

Yeah, I spotted him at the diner the other day. No, no, no. This is the legacy of an incredible man still being felt and still having, you know, ripples throughout history. And that's what we want to talk about today, is the legacy of Billy Graham.

Absolutely. Well, we are really blessed to be living in a state, or in the state, where Billy Graham was born, right? I didn't know that. 1918, yeah. 1918, Charlotte, North Carolina. That's where he was born.

Wow. And born on a dairy farm. You know, his parents were farmers, dairy farmers. And so he was just, in a sense, just a country boy.

Yeah, yeah. I think that was part of his appeal, is that, you know, he related to people and people could see themselves, especially here in North Carolina and in the South. People could see themselves in him and see him accomplishing all these things through God's power.

And they could say, you know, he's kind of, he's like me, he's relatable. Right. Yeah. He's not someone who is other or someone who came from somewhere else to us. He's one of us. And yet he has this, you know, profound, not just message, but ability to connect with people and ability to bring the gospel into terms that people can understand.

Right. In a very simple way. You know, the deep gospel, but yet in a way that even a kid, a child, can understand. Somebody on the street can understand. Somebody in a prison, right? Not everybody in prison is necessarily just on a basic level.

There are some very smart people in prison. But what I mean to say by that is just any common person can hear him or heard him and heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and were saved. He himself, his testimony began in 1934 when a man by the name of Mordecai Ham.

He was a revival preacher who came through and Billy Graham heard the gospel and he responded to that. Wow. You know.

Yeah. And his life was changed forever, but not just his life, lives, millions upon millions, I would say billions of people were touched by the gospel. You think about the impact that it has. And people always say, you know, imagine if it's, if only one person ever got saved, then it's worth it. And the angels rejoice over that one person. But I would say, and I know you've said, Dr. Shaw, think about the impact that one person can make affecting millions and billions of people. If you say it wasn't for him, it wasn't just enough to say, listen, I'm the one that got saved. I'm the one lost sheep that came back. It's for him, it very was about the numbers game.

It was about winning as many souls as possible. That's what I like about him. You know, I'm all for one on one. I'm all for that one sheep, right? That's the way you said.

I'm all for going. And I think most effective evangelism happens one on one, right? This winning that one person is Lord. But if you study the exact, the gospels, what you find is that Jesus often challenged or encouraged his disciples to cast a net, not just drop a line, cast a net and haul in this massive catch of fish. And that was for a reason, because he wanted them to go out there and catch as many as possible into God's kingdom. And prior to his coming, you know, there were people getting saved, of course, but the fields were not wide unto harvest.

There was a difference there. So the darkness on people's hearts and minds was deep. And so after Jesus comes, there is a change that happens. And this change is such that massive amount of people got saved. And Billy Graham, to me, is that one person who truly understood that.

A lot of people have done it throughout history. Prior to Billy Graham, you had the Billy Sundays and you have the Sam Joneses, you have the D.L. Moody's, powerful, powerful evangelists. But Billy Graham was one who said, I'm going to take every available means and capture the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So I was going to ask that question. I know that revival didn't begin with Billy Graham. That was a concept that existed before him and these big meetings and people coming from far and wide to hear these preachers and these speakers. But it seems like with his ministry, it was taken to another level. It just sort of exploded exponentially and he was able to do far more than previous speakers had been.

Right. And one reason I believe that was the case is because he had some really good mentors in his life. I want to sort of walk through a timeline of Billy Graham.

So, of course, you know, 37, 38. This is 1937, 38. He may be about 19, 20 years of age. He went to Florida Bible Institute, which is near Tampa, Florida, and he studied there for a while. After that, he got ordained to be a pastor in a Southern Baptist church in Florida. From there, he moved to Wheaton College. And this is where he met Ruth Bell, who was a missionary kid.

Her parents were missionaries, you know, in China. And then from there he pastored. And then, you know, he worked for Youth for Christ International.

But throughout his life's journey, there were people who came into his life. One person that comes to my mind is a man by the name of Vance Havner. Vance Havner was an evangelist, was a revivalist. And he was also from North Carolina, if I'm not wrong. I may be wrong, but I think he was from North Carolina. And he just had this way of putting things, you know, in a way that kind of, you know, stayed with you. And Billy Graham was influenced by him. Wow. Yeah. And then there were many others, of course.

You're right. He was from North Carolina. What part was he?

In the North Carolina hills, from the back porch. He could see Grandfather Mountain. So he was up in the Appalachia. Yeah, that's what I thought he was. So anyways, so he was mentored by the right people. And even though he was like this bright and shining star and being mentored by all these people who saw this passion in him, this excitement in him, this simplicity in him, he still stayed humble.

That's hard to find. Because when you have so many people patting you on the back and calling you attaboy, I mean, you're the guy to shake the world. It was very easy for that to get to your head. Very much so. And start thinking like, yeah, I am the one. I'm the main event.

All right, y'all just set me up and I'm going to knock this one out of the park. But he never acted that way. He stayed humble.

Of course, he had his moments where he fell. And if you ever want to read his full biography, I read this just as I am, the autobiography of Billy Graham. If you can, all you got to do is go through the pages and you'll see me underline marking things here and there because it was such a good book. And this one came out in, let's see, in, I want to say, wow, it's hard to find a time on this one. But Just As I Am came out by Harper Collins in 1997.

97. So keep in mind, he went on to live 21 more years after I read his biography. There's still a lot of story left. 21 more years after I read his biography or autobiography.

So great book, by the way. It's written by him. And in that book, one of the events he talks about, and I think David and I were talking about this, the situation took place. But I think it was, who was the president? Was it not Nixon?

I think it was the one. Anyways, Eisenhower, I believe it was probably, or Ford, I can't remember. Anyways, so he goes, not Ford, definitely not Ford, but he goes into the office.

And, you know, he's like this passionate young man who is really making a difference with the gospel. Truman. Truman.

Okay. Yeah, Harry Truman. That's right.

You're absolutely right. And so he's the one, you know, everybody wants to meet. So he goes to meet the president, the president welcomes them and all that. And then he, just the way he talked, it was sort of condescending towards the president. Put his hand on his back and said, let's have a word of prayer for you. Really?

Wow. And guess who was the one telling the story? Was it Billy Graham? Billy Graham, in his book. It's in the book? That's where he begins the story.

He doesn't begin within the hills of North Carolina. No, no, no. He starts with his incident with President Truman. Oh, wow. And how embarrassing that was. Then they come out and these photographers are everywhere. And they're like, can we have a picture with you? What did you talk with the president? He said, well, you know, I can't talk about that, but let's kneel right here. So they knelt on the White House lawn and they prayed. Now, it seems like, oh, okay, no big deal. Yeah, you're, you know, you're praying.

But when Truman found out about it and how Billy Graham had acted, he said, again, it's not, we're not sure if he said that or not, but it was almost like, don't ever let that man come back in my office. Oh, wow. What a gut check. Yeah.

I mean that, like even just imagining myself in that situation, I just could feel my gut kind of twist. I know. What an opportunity for the gospel. And he said, don't ever let that guy back in my office. Yeah. Something like that.

I don't know for sure. It's been a while since I read that book. But later on, Billy Graham did meet President Truman.

I think he did apologize to him years later, years when he was out of the office. And they had a good conversation. But he said, I learned a lot from that day. Wow. And helped me realize that, you know, all that I was trying to be and become, thank you, David. David sent me some information.

He went to his home in Independence, Missouri, and there he apologized. Oh, wow. And Truman said, don't worry about it. I realized you hadn't been properly briefed. Oh.

Wow. So this is something that Billy Graham sought out on his own. It wasn't like he like bumped into him somewhere and, oh, hey, President Truman, by the way.

He bumped into the president at Costco. Well, no, I mean like after. I know what you're saying. I know what you're saying.

Like at some big gala or something after he's out of office. Yeah, I gotcha. But this is something that he actively sought out. Yeah. I'm sorry.

I don't know what I was thinking. He said, that's okay. He's not going to be briefed properly on how you respond after you leave the president's office. You know, there's a way to say, hey, guys, the president and I, we prayed, had a wonderful time and he needs our prayers, as do all our elected officials.

Have a nice day, folks. Instead of doing that, he had this big show. Big show. And it was like, oh. And it's crazy because that's such an iconic picture that you don't realize the kind of connotations behind it. You see it and you're like, wow, what a man of faith, preening on the White House lawn but actually caused some trouble.

No. And then just as I am by Billy Graham, his own autobiography, he begins there and talks about the things. And that's great because that tells you the heart of that man. He could have started with, like, I came from nothing and then God called me and look where I'm at and I'm a humble man.

No, he began with a... To start with his mistake. And you know what's funny, Dr. Shah, is you say that kind of stuff all the time because I think it's really easy to look at Billy Graham now and envy him and be like, man, if only that were me. If only I had that opportunity, I could win the president.

I could win this country for Jesus Christ. When we envy people, we really don't understand. That caused him a lot of heartache. That caused him a lot of hate. You really want that pressure, that burden that he went through for that?

You look at that picture and you're like, man, if only that were me. And we've been talking about Billy Graham's humility. What a picture of humility in his autobiography to begin with.

Let me tell you about my great blunder here on full display is how I messed up. So a lot we can learn from him, but something else that was equally and I would say probably more important for him was his understanding of the word of God, the Bible. He said it this way. He said, I have found that when I present the simple message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with authority quoting the very word of God, he takes that message and drives it supernaturally into the human heart. But what a, you know, for pastors and evangelists and whoever you are in ministry, what a relief that you're not trying to get people saved. You're simply bringing them the gospel and of course you bring the word of God with clarity, with simplicity, with depth, with meaning, with application.

Of course you have to do that work, but the word of God doesn't have to be made better right. It is powerful. And that's what he's saying over here. You told me a story one time that has stuck with me. It was actually pretty recently. It was like this past year when we were talking about your dissertation and I don't know if we were on mic. I don't think we talked about it on the podcast, but I think we were just talking to your office and I was like, why textual criticism? And you were like, well, it's very important because we're doing all this stuff and we're comparing these mainstreams.

We're trying to get to the truth. And I was like, right, but why you, why, why does this interest you? I remember you were thinking about it and you were like, I just love the text. I love the text of the New Testament. And I love how you said, it's not just the Bible that we have. It's the text all like in all forms. I want to go as deep and consume as much of God's word as possible.

Even if there's variants, I want to know those variants. I want to understand it and know it. And I think behind the greatest leaders, like you were saying, like Billy Graham, there is that love of the text. Absolutely. I mean, he said it this way. He said, I am not here to give you my thoughts, but God's thoughts.

That's right. And that says a lot about the person, but there's so much that he did. I mean, of course, you know, he started the hour of decision radio program. This is back in 1950. I mean, we started this in what, 2022? 1950 would be what, 70 years ago. He's got a little bit of a jump on that.

And keep in mind if it's 1950 means radio has been around for a while, but not that long. And he, he takes that medium and begins to preach the gospel. He also, the big Los Angeles crusade took place. And I think this is the one that I have a book of that here. No, this is the one, New York crusade.

This is a different one. But Los Angeles crusade really put him on the mark on the, on the map, but then God in the garden, a great book by Curtis Mitchell, amazing story of Billy Graham's first New York crusade. I believe this was 1957 when this, this, this crusade really was held.

Yeah. 1957 began September 1st, I believe a great book. If you want to read more on that, that crusade and how it went, then following that in 1950, he began the Billy Graham evangelistic association, 1952. He started the, my answer newspaper column, 1956. He founded Christianity today. I don't know if he knew that. I didn't realize that. No, I didn't.

Wow. Now I like Christianity today, but I'm not too happy with it sometimes in the direction they go. But I don't think Billy Graham was happy either from what I've heard. He didn't like the direction it took, but he started Christianity today.

And then let's see what else happened after that. And now we're getting into 1974 convened the Lausanne conference for religious leaders to develop evangelism strategies, those kinds of things. And then of course, 1982, he was given the Templeton award for progress in religion. And here's a personal story here that I'm going to share with you in 19, I want to say 86 yes, he held a conference in Amsterdam for itinerant evangelists and my dad was invited.

But unfortunately my dad's invitation was canceled because you know, political backbiting backstabbing in the Christian world is very real. So that happened to him. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Don't want to go much detail than that, but it was kind of sad. It was a very sad day in our home when my dad got the letter because we were there because he has packed everything, got his passport ready to go.

And he was part of the association, part of being the evangelist that they were targeting and helping and then to have his name taken off the list and no reason given. That's terrible. Yeah. Yeah. What a waste. What a missed opportunity. Yeah. Yeah. And he wanted to meet Billy Graham, but unfortunately never got to.

So anyways, that was our connection there. And then of course, after that, 1989, he received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. So pretty cool. First clergyman to ever get something like that. And then of course, 1996, he got the congressional gold medal and you know, and it just goes on from there. I mean, so much, so much this man did. Wow. That's incredible. And what a lasting impact. I mean, we're still talking about him today and his, you know, his influence, his organization, his, the things that he started and founded are continuing to impact lives with no sign of slowing down. Yeah. And of course he gives great credit to his wife, you know, his part, he said without roots partnership and encouragement over the years, my own work would have been impossible.

We were impossible. We were called by God as a team. That's right. You know, Hey, that's hopefully is our legacy as well that we are not just alone doing our own thing, but we have our wives behind us helping us and next to us, I would say next to us. It's a life well lived for sure. It's definitely a Testament to what God can do through one man. And you know, for us, we could be that one person.

It's not just that there was something inherently special or divine about him. It's that he chose to be obedient and that's what we're trying to do with this radio show as well. We're trying to be obedient and encourage you guys to be obedient as well because we can impact the world.

That's right. And that's, that's the important thing. Our world needs people who will get up and make that connection.

Talk to world leaders. I mean, look at the pictures on Google or, or on a magazine like this commemorative edition of a Billy Graham decision magazine did this and picture after picture of him with the queen of England and Hale Selassie and, and the Russian communist leaders. I mean, he's, by the way, for that he was criticized because again, he made a mistake there by saying something to the effect that Christians are okay there, you know, they're doing fine. But that was not, so immediately people had jumped on him and said, you shouldn't say that. And, and he admitted that, you know, that was, that was a mistake that was too quick to say. One more thing I will say about him is when it came to race relations, you know, our world is talking about that as if we just figured out race relations. Billy Graham was doing that, you know, back in the sixties where it was not very popular to do that.

He would have black leaders on stage with him, on the platform with him. I mean, he did this, like think about it, we're not talking about 2023 where it's cool to have color on there. That's like a gimmicky, but it's extremely safe to do. You're not risking anything at all by having a risk. This is a risk. And he made a statement.

He said, I had not been preaching long before I decided that I would never preach to another segregated audience in any situation over which we had control. Yeah. Wow.

That's right. That's a powerful statement. Very much. You know, so there's so much I can say about this man that, that I have collected over the years that I feel like our generation needs a different kind, a new kind of Billy Graham that would, that would go out there and make a difference for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So. I tell you what, Dr. Shah, do you want to end with a Billy Graham quote? Here's one.

Here's the, I find this really good. He said, the deepest problems of the human race are spiritual in nature. The problem is the human heart, which God alone can change. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. We love you guys. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 10:14:35 / 2023-02-21 10:27:28 / 13

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