As I was growing up, I was well familiar with the name Billy Graham. I can remember seeing books he had written, hearing grown-ups talk about him, and watching his evangelistic crusades on television. I think you would be hard-pressed to find any adult in America who hasn't heard the name of this famous preacher--"America's pastor," as he has been dubbed.
Billy Graham has had an amazing life, and David Aikman has well documented it in the book Billy Graham: His Life and Influence. Truthfully, I was already fascinated by Graham's life before reading his biography, but now I am even more fascinated and inspired by him. This man not only has led millions of people to faith in Christ, but he has also had incredible influence in the political world, having had personal relationships with several Presidents and other world leaders. He has also contributed greatly to racial reconciliation in various countries, including the United States. And although Aikman's portrayal of Billy Graham is incredibly positive, he still does not attempt to portray Graham as a perfect man; through both Aikman's and Graham's words, we see that Graham is a man who struggles with sin just as everyone else does. But his honesty and authenticity are what have made Billy Graham so endearing to people all over the world. Of course, his natural charm helped, too!
Though this biography is rather lengthy, it still held my interest. I thought, at first, that I might not like the fact that it isn't a chronological record of events, but the way that Aikman breaks up Graham's life into topical segments is actually helpful in portraying Graham's influence. And anyone who loves history will really enjoy the way that Aikman weaves in so many historical timelines and details throughout the book.
If you have any interest at all in the fascinating and inspiring life of Billy Graham, you will not be disappointed when you read this book!
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”