Many say Billy Graham is a modern day apostle. I'm too young to have experienced him in his prime, but he certainly seems like the real deal. However, my cynical side wonders if it’s just a matter of time before his past sins come to light and he’s undone by his own doings.
The latter is the launching point for the book Billy, The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham and the Test of Faith that Almost Changed Everything by William Paul McKay and Ken Abraham. Set in 2001, an opportunistic reporter seeks to uncover the hidden “truth” about the 20th century’s most famous evangelist. She figures what better place to start than at the bedside of an aging Charles Templeton, Billy Graham’s once best friend and uber-evangelist-turned-atheist.
Told primarily through the eyes of Templeton, Billy is a look back on events that took place in the late 30’s to 1949. While the prose is more workmanlike than snappy, the story carries the reader enjoyably through an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Billy Graham’s early days, the business of evangelism in the 40s and eventually to a crisis of faith that nearly ended Graham’s career. Alongside that, Billy tells the tale of two friends, called by God. When they encounted a fork in the road, one chose one path and the other chose differently. Where the book lacked drama in the first 200 pages, it more than made up for it in the last 50.
Overall Billy provided an informative read. It whet my appetite to learn more about the characters involved. And it showed God working powerfully through the life of a young man who kept saying, "Yes."
This review was motivated by Thomas Nelson publishing’s offer for a free book. Free book? Yes! In exchange for posting a review on your blog or a consumer website (like amazon.com), Thomas Nelson will send you a free book. Sign up (click here). Select a book. Read it. Write a review. Choose another book. Simple…and fun! Try it for yourself.