Brethren Archive
The Year 1969

A Letter and a Reply [On Billy Graham]

by W.G. Broadbent

Syd said ...
W.G. Broadbent makes a strong case in his pamphlet for his opposition to Billy Graham; now deceased, and in heaven I’m sure. I agree with Broadbent on many points, but perhaps we don’t always have the full story. Let me first say that my father was saved during a Billy Graham crusade in 1960 in what was then Northern Rhodesia. He became a new creation in Christ in the true sense of the word. Surely the gospel was preached! He went on to fellowship for many years with the brethren in that country.
Broadbent said: “[Graham] rarely refers to Christ as the eternal Son of God. He may accept that He is the Son of God, but he cannot talk about Christ in this way very much because it would offend the people he is a partaker with who deny Christ’s deity. Look for any instances of Graham worshipping and extolling Jesus Christ as God, or saying plainly that the One born of the Virgin at Bethlehem had existed from all eternity as the Son of God by whom the worlds were made; That He as the Second Person of the Godhead created the worlds and then as the ‘Sent One’ of God became flesh; That as Jesus Christ He ‘came in the flesh’ and He ‘became flesh,’ He the Lord of Life and Glory from everlasting to everlasting.”
At a meeting at McCormick Place, Chicago, in 1971 titled “Who is Jesus,” Billy Graham preached how Jesus—“claimed to be the unique, only begotten, incarnate Son of God....He claimed pre-existence....before time began He existed...He said before Abraham was, ‘I am’ (I am in eternal existence)....He said ‘I am God’....from everlasting to everlasting He is God....He was God in the flesh.....He was Lord over creation.” At that meeting Graham preached “sin” (not enough though) and the “cross” and explained something about Christ’s words “it is finished,” and the plan of salvation. All told, I believe that the gospel was preached. Many of Broadbent’s objections concerning the nature of Christ, were more than adequately dealt with by Billy Graham.
Perhaps at other meetings Graham preached a watered-down gospel, or compromised in some way. His associations and testimony later in his life are public knowledge. But perhaps Broadbent judged too harshly, and in some respects, not too fairly when it comes to Billy Graham and his doctrine of Christ. In Philippians 1, Paul was thankful for every voice that was preaching Christ—of course the true message of the cross—irrespective of the methods or motives.
Saturday, Aug 14, 2021 : 03:55
Nick Fleet said ...
Broadbent is rather careless in some of his expressions quoted above. We know what he means but if one is criticizing another one should be especially careful in what one says. - 'eternal Son' would be more accurate than 'eternal Son of God'. Scripture never says He made the worlds as 'Son fo God' but as 'Son' (Heb 1:2) and, as for the expression 'second Person of the Godhead', it nowhere appears in Scripture and implies something contrary to the co-eternal and co-equal status of the Persons of the Godhead.
Sunday, Aug 15, 2021 : 21:06

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