Review of Billy: The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham

Written by Scott

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Every once in a while a book comes along that is not only written well, but is impacting. That is 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. This is the third book I’ve reviewed for Thomas Nelson Publishers, and this book is indeed an absolute treasure.

When Billy Graham began his ministry, no one could have imagined what the future held for him, no one would have expected him to have preached the gospel to millions across the world. Not even Charles Templeton, who was at the time a big-name evangelist and had befriended Billy in those early years. This friendship would prove to be foundational and lasting for both men, despite Templeton’s struggles with faith and his subsequent leaving ministry and turning his back on God.

The book is an examination of Billy’s life and ministry largely from the perspective of Charles Templeton, and is a part of what makes this book so amazing. Despite their diverging paths in life, their friendship remained. Despite leaving ministry and becoming a self-professed agnostic, Templeton had the deepest sense of respect for Billy, his integrity, and his faith. In the interviews of Templeton, we get the true sense of Graham, which in our world of fallen men of faith, is a huge breath of fresh air, because he truly is as we’ve seen him for decades.

It is a story of friendship, of faith, of struggles of faith by both men, and of choices made. There are several passages in the book I’ve marked as being particularly profound, and several others that hit me emotionally. But those pale in comparison to the ending of the book, which I’ll not give away. Needless to say, the ending is both profound and emotional, and is essentially the culmination of the decades of friendship between the two men.

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