Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham

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9780061171062: Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham

Hailed as "the world's preacher," Billy Graham has enjoyed a career that has spanned six decades and his ministry of faith has touched the hearts and souls of millions.

In Just As I Am Graham reveals his life story in what the Chicago Tribune calls "a disarmingly honest autobiography." Now, in this revised and updated edition, we hear from this "lion in winter" (Time) on his role over the past ten years as America's pastor during our national crisis of the Oklahoma bombing and 9/11; his knighthood; his passing of the torch to his son, Franklin, to head the organization that bears his name; and his commitment to do the Lord's work in the years of his and his wife Ruth's physical decline.

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Every year a Billy Graham crusade comes to a stadium or a television station near you, the message unchangingly passionate, though the messenger is grayer than he once was. The Reverend Billy Graham is more than just another television evangelist; he is as much a part of this country's collective consciousness as F.D.R. or the Vietnam War. Whether you subscribe to Graham's brand of ecumenical evangelism or not, Just As I Am reveals the man behind the crusade to be forthright, deeply religious, and driven to spread the Word at all costs, even his relationships with his family. Graham is characteristically honest about his failings as a husband and father, admitting that he didn't recognize his own children at a family gathering.

In Just As I Am Graham discusses the beginnings of his career, his struggle to subsume intellect to faith, and, of course, the many famous--and infamous--people he has met over the years, everyone from the Shah of Iran to the Queen Mother to mobster Mickey Cohen. Graham's ministry has extended his influence to many quarters of the world, a fact that should make his autobiography interesting reading for believers and non-believers alike.

Review:

From farm boy to world's best-known preacher, Billy Graham is second only to the pope in matters of spiritual influence. Just As I Am is Graham's chronological account of his rise from his father's North Carolina farm, to his student days at Florida Bible Institute, his first successes at evangelizing, his presidency at Northwestern Schools, the great Los Angeles crusade that launched him into national recognition, his decades of evangelizing around the world, and his encounters and relationships with political figures across the globe. Unlike his fiery sermons, Graham speaks here in a low-key, self-deprecating tone, relating humorous anecdotes, such as his early sermon practices in a swamp, and the moral and apolitical foundation that has set his ministry apart from other well-known evangelists. Although Graham offers few insights into personal relationships with those around him or into his own struggles with faith and career, readers interested in the details of his crusades and other ministerial activities will not be disappointed.

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