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Tuesday, November 7th | Billy Sunday

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
November 7, 2023 9:00 am

Tuesday, November 7th | Billy Sunday

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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November 7, 2023 9:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks about the baseball player/evangelist known as Billy Sunday and his impact on Christianity.

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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?


Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, November the 7th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shaw or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at

That's right. You guys can keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can share it online with your friends and family. Leave us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon. Nothing less than five stars.

Absolutely nothing less. If for some reason you have an app named Spotify, leave reviews there, too. Leave a review on that, too.

I don't know how we got on that platform. I don't know if that's an app, but leave a review there. Just write out a nice review and just mail it to us. P.O. Vox Clearview Today.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. The verse of the day today comes from Romans 8, verse 26. Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Deep, deep, deep theological truths in a verse like that. I think it's just that practical thing of recognizing that we really don't know what we should pray for.

You know what I mean? The things that I just desire on the surface are not the things that are going to bring about God's true purpose in my life. It could be the case that they can help, but the fame and the accolades and the recognition from other people that I truly desire in life is not ultimately what God is calling me to pray for. And doesn't it point to God's goodness that we struggle to pray, and the God that we are praying to helps us to have a conversation with him? He's like, I see that you're struggling.

I know that you're struggling. I know that it's going to be difficult for you, so I'm going to help you know what to pray, and when you can't, I'm going to intercede for you anyway. Right, the Holy Spirit making intercessions with us. I think that's such a testament to his character. Yeah, the goodness of God.

Speaking of goodness, mine has run out. What? It's time for the gripe vine.

No! Welcome to the gripe vine, everybody! Welcome to the gripe vine! This gripe is ripe, so buckle in, because here we go. What could possibly be bothering you on a morning such as this? Here's what really grinds my gears. I don't want this. Here's what really chaps my lips, what really ruffles my hair. He's cheesed, and he's chuffed.

I am. So when you are working, when you're hustling, when you're getting stuff done, knocking stuff out, accomplishing, we love that. Sometimes you just get lunch. You just order lunch, door dash, delivery, whatever.

You get lunch, and it's brought here, and you eat. There's tasks. You gotta get them done.

You're moving, you're hustling. Great. I love that. And sometimes there's leftovers. Oh, I already know what you're going. I already know. I already know. We share an office.

There are one, two, three, four, five, six, six to eight of us in and out of an office. Could this be pizza-related? Together. I promise you it is.

I knew it, yep. So I have no problem with people eating in the office. I eat in the office. I also have no problem with Domino's Pizza. It's delicious pizza. It is delicious. I would say it's some of the best pizza you can get.

I agree. My problem is when people get Domino's Pizza, eat the pizza, and either leave an empty pizza box in the office so that the grease, garlic, soaked, oiled cardboard wafts into the air of the office. We close it up for the night, come in the next morning, and wow, that's not the air freshener that I wanted. Or, and this happens probably more often, is that actual pizza is left in the office. So you walk in the room and you feel like you have been punched by Mario the plumber. Why Mario? Pizza in Italian. First and foremost, if Mario is punching you, that's a bad place to be. That's a bad way to start your morning.

Here we go. Domino's is stinky. It is stinky pizza. It's good pizza.

It's delicious. And if everyone's eating it, no problem. Then what you do, if you're a polite person, is you take the pizza and you close it up and you maybe take the pizza and put it away. Or maybe you put it in a container like you put it in a Ziploc bag or you put it in a Tupperware container.

You go stick it in the fridge in the kitchen somewhere that's not the office. That's not what we do here. At Clearview, that's not what we do. And that's my gripe. That's my gripe.

We take our pizza and we leave it on our desks overnight. And we hate that. By the way, David is not the recipient of this gripe. No, I'm griping as well. You were not? Oh, okay. All right. I misread your tone then. Then welcome to the gripe find.

I was about to turn my gaze on you, but welcome to the gripe. I have walked into the office with Domino's. I have walked into the broadcast room with Domino's. I've walked into the cafe with Domino's. You're saying you walked into those rooms and smelled it. Yes, I've smelled it.

It seems that no matter what room I've walked into, there has been a point where there has been Domino's Pizza left for almost 12 to 18 hours. Here's my thing. And I don't feel like this is too much to ask.

Correct me if I'm wrong. I may be out of line. And I'm working on me. I love that. I love that for me. I don't want to walk into the office and feel Domino's air with my eyes. Golly, y'all are grossing me out. I don't want that for me. Or anybody, but mostly for me. That's fair.

And I think we can all agree. Because you mentioned that it happens in the office. It happens in the broadcast room. It happens in the cafe where Domino's is left out.

And I think there's only one staff member who... I want to emphasize the point one more time. I know you said you were getting grossed out.

It's to the point where if we ever were worried about vampires, we shouldn't be. Garlic is just everywhere. Hot, smelly, garlic, salt, crust. We have a uniform scent that we have in our plug-in air fresheners across the church. It is a uniform scent. And that scent is not Domino's pizza, but you wouldn't know it walking in some of the rooms of the church.

It's getting to the point where visitors are walking in and smelling Domino's in the air. And I think that this staff member, maybe we just need to have him on the show to justify his behavior. Maybe that's something we can do at a later date.

Exactly. But I feel in my heart of hearts as though this can't continue. We got a segue out of this.

I'm getting both nauseated and angry. Let's get this person on the show later this week, and maybe they can redeem themselves. Let's see what happens. Let's do that.

Stay tuned for more. If you have a coworker who leaves stinky food all over the place, write in and let us know. Grap about it with us.

2525825028, or you can visit us online at Also, no hate to Domino's. We both love Domino's pizza. We love Domino's pizza. Y'all are stinky.

In its proper context. Stay tuned. We'll be back after this. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clearview Today listeners. My name is Jon. And I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work.

And that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shah, Ph.D. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast. David. I'm just playing.

Hop off the podcast. Thanks for listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. One of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Abaddon Shah Ph.D. podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple podcast app or on our website at And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in. All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-518-5028. That's right. We are here in the studio with Dr. Abaddon Shah, who is a Ph.D. in New Testament text to the criticism. Dr. Shah, I wanted to ask you, what's the stinkiest lunch? Well, I mean, you're talking about chitlins. Chitlins? I've actually, I've seen it multiple times, but I have never actually, I've never had them either.

Really? Do you like them? Yeah, I don't eat them. But they're stinky. Oh yeah. What do they smell like?

What do they smell like? Oh, you really want me to say that on the air? Yeah, that, that, that tells me, that was my suspicion, but that, that converted for me. I was, I was at a friend's cookout. This has been years ago, July the 4th, and his dad loves, you know, eating chitlins. So, so he, he fired up the grill and he went to cooking it. And then the wind turned and we were, we were playing volleyball on one end and the wind turned and when it did, it was like, oh my. Just hits you like a, like a hand in the face. Like, oh, that's, that's a powerful smell. It's like, the septic tank is overflowing.

It's in my eyes, my eyes. And then we're expected to eat that later. We were, we were talking earlier about like dominoes and how like, it's really great, but then you leave it for a while and it's like, man, this stinks. Have y'all ever like worked in an office where people like microwave fish and stuff like that?

If you're going to bring that, at least have the courtesy to like not drop in the microwave. You know where you can really get the best food in America? Baseball stadiums, like sports stadiums.

That has some of the greatest. There's something about, there's something about a hot dog at a baseball stadium. I've only ever been to one major league game, but it was by far the best like pizza and nachos I ever had in my entire life. I'd never been sick to my stomach, but it was so good.

I've never been to a major league game, but we had a minor league team where I grew up in Charleston, not very far from, so we would go see their ball games all the time. You know, I don't know if y'all know this, but yesterday was actually, had something kind of significant to do with baseball. It did. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day that Billy Sunday died. Right, 1935.

1935, exactly. Billy Sunday. I didn't know he was as prominent of an evangelist as he was. The Billy Sunday was, because I had heard his name as far as like being in, you know, baseball's national league in America, but I didn't know about, kind of like with George Foreman as well, I didn't know that he went on to become that famous pastor, that famous evangelist. Yeah, yeah. Now George Foreman never became, or is not as famous in the evangelistic world, I guess you can say, as Billy Sunday became after he left the baseball world.

I don't think Billy Sunday was as well known in the baseball world as George Foreman was well known in the boxing world. Got you. Yeah. Okay.

Okay. But famously, I mean, Billy Sunday, he had a career as a baseball player, major league baseball player, and then he left baseball to go into the ministry, left baseball to be an evangelist. Yeah, I wonder how something like that happens.

Well, it happened because he got saved. So the story behind it, and just to let you guys know, his home turned into a museum, or was turned into a museum in Winona Lake, Indiana. And this was, gosh, I don't know how long back, 2003, 20 years ago. Nicole and I went to his home, and here's the pamphlet from that visit.

It is in my collectible book. When did you say you went? 2003.

2003, okay. It's called Billy Sunday, the Man and His Message. So I had this pamphlet sitting in that book, and I just saw it. And so we went to his home, which is turned into a museum. Nice little place.

People come, and they walk around. It's like the inside of the home is just like we have wallpaper. It's covered in burlap sack.

Okay. Really? Yeah, that was the style. So they maintained the style. I don't know if they still have it 20 years later. Wow. Like burlap sack on the walls? Yes.

Okay. Billy was born William Ashley Sunday in Iowa, and his father died sort of early in his life when he was just four months of age. And then his mother remarried, but her second husband ended up leaving her. And so she sent Billy and her older brother to an orphanage because she couldn't take care of them. Maybe his upbringing, maybe all the tragedy that he went through in his life, but he began to live just a wayward life.

In fact, in Chicago, they had the Pacific Garden Mission. They would go out and witness to people, and guess where they found Billy Sunday? He was in the gutter.

Really? He was in the gutter. So things had gotten that bad? That bad that he fell in a gutter because of, you know, just drunk. I mean, that literally would happen.

People would be just filthy nasty. And they shared the gospel with him, and he responded. And in that response, there was a conversion, and his teammates, his friends, family began to see that there's a big change in his life. He began to attend a church, Jefferson Park Presbyterian Church. And later on, he married Helena Thompson. And then a few years later, he ended his baseball career.

This is 1891. He's done with it, and he joins the YMCA. So I'm proud to say that because I am a board member of the YMCA here in town. And that's where he learned his ability to share the gospel and things like that. Would you say he was one of the best evangelists? Was he a preacher, I guess? No, he was an evangelist. He was an evangelist.

So throughout our history, especially in the past 200 years, there is this invisible line of descent. So if you go back into the 1860s, you have the Sam Jones. Sam Jones was a tremendous evangelist.

He had a way with words. And we went to his home, too, up near Dawsonville, I believe it is. I may be wrong, not Dawsonville. This is near Dahlonega, that area. So maybe it's Dawsonville, I don't know. And then you have D.L.

Moody. And they sort of learn from each other, not like they grew up together or they spend time, but they just learn the mannerisms of how evangelists operate, how they speak, how they preach. Then you come to people like Billy Sunday. And then you come through Billy Sunday to somebody like Billy Graham, down to our day.

So you see that each one is kind of building on the practices of the ones that came before. In certain convictions. What should you hit on?

What should you leave alone? What is something that you are to do as an evangelist to win that person? And then you get them plugged into a church, that mindset.

Maybe it was there before, but really in the last part of the 19th century, definitely 20th century. Today, I don't know. I think the whole idea of being an evangelist is sort of waning. Really? Yeah. I guess that makes sense.

Yeah. I mean, how many evangelists do you hear about? That's true. I personally believe, and this is just me, that it is an important office in the church. We have pastors, we have teachers, also evangelists. Some he's given to be evangelists. And I think people like this, they just have the ability to share the gospel, to explain it in a way that a common person can understand without getting into too many details of theology or some intricate point like what I do. Apologetics. Now, evangelists may do some apologetics, but they're not as geared towards that. That's a good point that you're bringing up, because I had never thought about it like that. With a pastor, I've had 10 years to sit under your preaching, learn your style, learn your methodological approach, I guess. Learn how you interpret the Bible and how you do your exegesis.

I've had time, almost a decade now, to learn you and your style. With an evangelist, they may have, what, one or two events in a city? It depends. I mean, back in the day, they would be there, like, two weeks.

Two weeks, one week, something like that, yeah. But I guess the point that you're making is they have to really be discerning on what they preach, what they hit on and what they don't, because they have a very limited window to really make a big impact in this city. Like, Nicole sort of got saved under the preaching of Bailey Smith. He was an evangelist, Southern Baptist evangelist, and reached a lot of people with the gospel. And his famous sermon was the wheat and tares. And I think Nicole got saved under that message.

Wow. So, and again, you can take issue with every one of them. Even Billy Graham, you can say, well, you know, you have this sugar stick sermon, or you have this favorite little sermon in your backpack that you bring it out, and you bring it out, and you bring it out, and you have thousands get saved under that message. So people criticize them, but I think they still have a place. And unfortunately, a lot of bad rap has come from the not-so-good televangelists. That's true, yeah. When people hear the word evangelist, their minds can maybe go a very different direction with the bad models that we've seen, especially on TV, personalities like that. Where did that model sort of creep in? If this was the history of the evangelist, how did we get to something very different?

Because that's a great point. Is it only with the coming of television now and being able to ask for those funds from all over the world that people sort of get this mounted? Or do you think people felt this way about evangelists back before television?

Oh, no, it was happening before that. So before TV, you also had radio. So you had Fuller out there at Fuller Theological Seminary. It was founded by the evangelist, Fuller.

Then there was also, what's the one in Oklahoma, Oral Roberts. These are evangelists, okay. But they had certain charismatic leanings some of them had. And then from there, you went into the health and wealth type evangelist.

And from there, it went downhill. So radio also had the send me money type evangelist. And some had a legitimate point, send me money so I can go win the lost world. If you believe in this cause, please send money. So there is a place to do that. We do that from this show. Hey, if you believe in this, if God's leading you, please give.

We will definitely put it to right use. But then there's also others who got in on the profits and said, we're going to use it to buy big homes, big castles, big planes, private jets, and their own yachts and all that. And that's where the world saw that and said, I want that lifestyle. So you have these rock star rap stars who have their lifestyle. I want that lifestyle. If I listen to their music, I have this. If I listen to their preaching, I'll have this. And it sort of went downhill. But Billy Sunday, I mean, he was very conservative.

I mean, they used to call them fundamentalists back in the day against the liberalism of the time. And he just had a way with words. I want to read some quotes by Billy Sunday. By the way, before we go further, throughout his life, he preached close to 20,000 sermons. Wow. That's like insane.

Yeah. 20,000 sermons. Preaching as many as 20 times a week.

Tell me that doesn't work. Yeah, you don't know. I mean, that comes out to about three sermons a day. You preach four, maybe let's say five times a week if you're going and doing other stuff or maybe at most you'd preach like 15 times a week if it's like a huge, huge travel week. Yeah. But 20 times a week. That's crazy. That's crazy. Every week.

Every week. And again, their level of preaching may be different, but still it's a lot. And, and then he finally had a heart attack. His doctor told him, go get some rest. So here's some, some quotes by Billy Sunday. Here's one, and I'm getting this from this book called the man and his message. This book came out in 1914 while he was still living the way this book. So this book doesn't talk about his death as you can imagine. So he is still a famous man out there doing his thing written by William T. Ellis.

And this book came out in 1914. But anyways, here's one quotation by him. Very simple.

I want to be a giant for God. Wow. What if only we all had that mindset. Yeah, exactly. Here's another one.

If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch. Ooh. Yeah. I like that.

Means go young. Yeah. Don't get chesty over success. I don't know if anybody says that anymore.

Never. I don't really think about chesty people. Yeah. Like a chest puffed out. Yeah.

Like big barrel chesty successful guys, I guess. You've got to sign your own declaration of independence before you can celebrate your 4th of July victory. Fair. Fair. It is not necessary necessary to be in a big place to do big things. That's true. Hey, we've, we've been seeing that here for years. Here's another one.

Faith is the beginning of something of which you can't see the end, but in which you believe. I agree with this, sir. I like that.

Here's one more. Let's quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ. Wow.

I see that. I like that because, because we, we tend to think that this whole religion separate from Christianity thing is something that's happened in the past like 15 something years, like a viral video. I remember that viral video, that, that slam poet guy that was why hate religion, but love Jesus. And we're like, Oh wow, that dude's, that dude's on it. He's discovered something. It's like Billy Sunday said that in 1914. Yeah. And if you go further back, Sam Jones has said pretty much all of those things and everybody steals from each other. Somebody's stealing from Billy Sunday and putting in like this new hip urban candy coated wrapping. No, in that vein, some preachers need the cushions of their chairs upholstered often that then they need their shoes half sold. Oh, wow.

They spend their time sitting and reading rather than going and doing ministry. What is it? You always say, let's stop sitting on our blessed assurance. I didn't come up with that.

Somebody else. Yeah. But I think it's funny. That's pretty funny. Let me see one more. Yeah.

It's okay. Yeah. Oh, look, this is, this is, and he, he was known for almost playing baseball while he preached. I mean, he was very animated. Like, like the early Billy Graham was very animated and he was getting it from Billy Sunday. I want to show you, I want to show you, cause I was, I was sitting here looking at stuff about Billy Sunday.

I want to show you a picture, but if you find another quote, I found a picture of Billy Sunday that I kind of liked. Yeah. Here's one of the ones I'm an old fashioned preacher of the old time religion that has warmed the cold heart world's heart for 2000 years. Wow. I love that.

Just a way with words that makes people like captivated. We want to listen. That's wow. On top of the pulpit. You know, even our church, this church, when it was when it was tabernacle Baptist church, we had an evangelist who would come here, Oliver B. Green, and he would do things like that.

Really? A.W. Eicher, who was a founding pastor, who was a friend of that evangelist. And you've probably seen his book, Oliver B.

Green's Commentaries on the Bible. Probably. He was instrumental in founding this church. I didn't know that. Yeah. You find it in homes all over Vance County, Granville County, Franklin County, because this is where he came to a lot of meetings.

Wow. And Billy Sunday also at the end of his career, he was relative, he was scandal free. Like there was never any scandal about that. His wife really was the reason for his success.

Really? She helped him, especially with his vocabulary, because he was just not filthy, but he was just very, very street talk. So she helped him straighten that up. She would plan out his schedule. She would help with the advertising and the campaigns and all that.

That's awesome. If she wasn't there, just like old Oswald Chambers, if his wife, Betty, wasn't there, he wouldn't have the success he had. Would have been a very different story.

I mean, he would never come across much for his highest. Yeah. Wow.

If his wife hadn't put all his sayings together. But anyway, this is about Billy Sunday. Yeah. Want more? Yes, absolutely. Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.

Very true. What, I guess, Dr. Shaw, as we wrap up today, if you could sum up Billy Sunday's life and his ministry and what he was kind of all about, what's one takeaway that you have from learning about him? Just the passion that he had for the gospel. I hope pastors, no matter how rich you are exegetically and how much of an expository preacher that you claim to be. And I hope you are, because digging into the text is very important. Teaching the people the word of God, getting into the context, the historical, the grammatical meaning and the theological application, getting all of that and bringing it down to the level that people can understand and apply to their daily lives. Building big ministries and, you know, getting small groups going and getting the worship strong and getting the men's ministry and the women's ministry and the children's ministry going. I hope in all of that, don't lose the fire of an evangelist. Don't ever lose that. Hey, if you were to die tonight, where would you be?

If God is calling you right now, you feel the tug of the Holy Spirit on your heart. Come to him. Don't wait. You may not have a chance tomorrow to do this. Do it now.

Do it before you leave this place. I hope all pastors have that. And I always do a check on myself to make sure I don't lose that fire of an evangelist. Even if I'm not called to the task or the office of an evangelist, I still believe in their work. I just thank God for somebody like Billy Graham who set up that code for evangelist. You know, this is back in Amsterdam back in the 80s.

But I support them. And at the same time, I pray that all of us will be somewhat of an evangelist. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, if you have questions or suggestions for new topics, make sure you text us and let us know at 252-582-5028.

You can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll all the way to the bottom, click that donate button and become part of our Clear Read Today show by supporting what God is doing through our show. Jon, what's coming up on tomorrow's episode? Tomorrow we are talking about one of the most famous, well-loved, I know Dr. Shaw, I know you love this play. It's one of the most famous ones of all time. It's The Autobiographical Life with Father.

I don't think he wrote the play, but I know you were talking to me about this book. It's one of your favorites of all time. Very cool. I can't wait to dive into that. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-07 10:14:16 / 2023-11-07 10:27:03 / 13

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