Culture Clips: Remembering Billy

Billy Graham

A giant has passed. Billy Graham, the evangelist who travelled the world inviting millions to follow Jesus Christ, has died at the age of 99.

Christianity Today, the magazine that Graham himself founded, invited prominent evangelicals to weigh in on Graham’s momentous cultural influence, both among evangelicals and in the broader culture. CT‘s Marshall Shelley penned the magazine’s official obituary, writing, “Billy Graham was perhaps the most significant religious figure of the 20th century, and the organizations and the movement he helped spawn continue to shape the 21st. During his life, Graham preached in person to more than 100 million people and to millions more via television, satellite, and film. Nearly 3 million have responded to his invitation to ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ at the end of his sermons. He proclaimed the gospel to more persons than any other preacher in history.”

Others voicing their praise for Graham’s singular life included J.I. Packer, Philip Yancey, Rick Warren, John Stott and Lauren F. Winner. Focus on the Family president Jim Daly also reflected on Graham’s culture-shaping legacy, reiterating one of the evangelist’s most famous quotes: “My home is heaven. I’m just traveling through this world. Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”


Elsewhere in this eventful week, another mass shooting continues to spur conversations about the factors that contribute to such tragic events. Florida students marched on that state’s capital, urging lawmakers to enact stricter gun-control laws; but The Federalist contributor David Marcus asked whether turning to students themselves for leadership on this charged issue really helps them in his article “Stop Putting Traumatized Teenagers on Television.” Some pondered whether many boys today are “broken” and parsed the concept of “toxic masculinity.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott focused on the link between mental illness and gun ownership, saying, “If somebody is mentally ill, they can’t have access to a gun.”

Still others, however, pointed to the deeper problem of evil. Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe said in a Facebook post, “Evil is real. As long as humans have walked the earth, people have chosen to do evil things. This is what happened in Florida. A nineteen-year old man chose to do an evil thing. He planned it. He executed it. He succeeded.”

Black Panthers roaring, record-shattering box-office success—it’s only the fifth film ever to top $200 million in its first three days—has Hollywood rethinking what works and why at the multiplex. But despite receiving praise for its almost entirely African-American cast, others are chastising the filmmakers for not including LGBTQ characters in the film (even though there are same-sex attracted characters in the most recent iteration of the Black Panther comic book series). Elsewhere, Black Panther actress Letitia Wright has been talking about how God called her to Hollywood as her mission field.

USA Today asked the question, “How common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood?” The study conducted by the news outlet to answer it produced a sobering answer: Of the 834 women in the entertainment industry surveyed, 94% reported some form of sexual harassment.

Finally this week, if you really want to be happy in life, aiming to come in third—to claim the bronze medal—might be a helpful strategy, according to the NBC’s article “Want to be happier? Think like a bronze medalist.” Which is probably good advice for a U.S. Olympic team that’s often struggled to reach even the third tier in this year’s games.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

HollyFOTF More than 1 year ago

Friends:We really do appreciate your feedback on our blog, but this platform isn’t a place for theological debate or political controversy. We reserve the right to remove posts that are off-topic or disrespectful, so please help us in making this community a safe place for all. Thank you for understanding!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ahhhh, ok. Sounds good. (Sorry!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm sure the day will come when it will be considered requirement to include LGBTQ characters in any Hollywood blockbuster. Marvel. Disney. Probable even Pixar, eventually. (Though I hope it takes longer for them.) (In the name of tolerance!) And then I will be mildly depressed. My future kids will have to watch all the golden oldies, instead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Yeah, cause adding LGBTQ characters to the Marvel movies will totally make them better. Just like they did in the comics.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Never again will we see such greatness. Someone might be able to step into Billy's shoes, but that person will never be able to fill them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The frauds, snake-oil sellers, phonies, and warm-fuzzies peddlers have always been here since the beginning. :(
I'm sure another great will rise again sometime. It's happened before. (Think St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis...)
GodwinAnnelle More than 1 year ago
Al Mohler. Ravi Zacharias, Sinclair Ferguson. Allistair Begg, there are so many amazing preachers you need to listen to and read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GodwinAnnelle, I totally agree with your comment. To your list, I would add John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, Thabiti Anyabwile, John Piper, and Paul Washer. - Nathan