Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2016

Friday, 23 February 2018

Colleagues List, February 25th, 2018

Vol. XIII No. 33

Wayne A. Holst, Editor
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Dear Friends:

This issue of Colleagues List is unique in that the focus on the majority of items are on one theme - Billy Graham - who died this week at 99. There is a lot of material out there, but I hope that much of what I have collected here is new for you.




A Brief Life Journey With Billy Graham

Many mainstream Canadian Protestants tend to maintain a respectful but non-committal stance regarding American evangelist Billy Graham - but I am not one of them. I honour the man and am proud to be a supporter and advocate for him. We differed on some points of theology and politics, but I have - from my earliest years - viewed him as a great man of God. Let me suggest a few of my reasons for this.

A Man of Character and Integrity

From my first recollections of him during the fifties, and as a result of his radio, then TV and print publications, I was drawn to him. No question, a lot of this had to do with the influence of my parents. They were  sincere Christians who didn't get into the fineries of theology or his American orientation at the time. He proclaimed and lived a simple gospel that they, and then I, could understand. During my teen years, and in a rather protected social environment, that was just fine for me.

His Theology and Politics Began to Make Me a Bit Skeptical

Canadian George Beverly Shae sang those gospel songs beautifully and those crusades in major centres like Los Angeles, New York and London were impressive. I was in college by the early sixties, and began to harbour some doubts about his warnings over eternity in hell and making a decision for Christ before it was too late. I was also beginning to question his views about communism and preserving freedom (which in essence meant to side with the Americans). But those were simpler times and we did tend to view big issues in terms of black and white.

His Commitment Grew for Both Evangelization and Social Justice

I developed an unusual interest and commitment to the mission of the church, globally. My studies and missionary service took me overseas to Europe and the Caribbean; then to the United States itself. I saw in Graham, from my perspective, a kindred spirit. He believed the Gospel was for everyone, and I grew enchanted with how proclamation across cultures and national borders could be done more effectively. I was 
much involved in debates about the good inter-relationship between evangelization and social justice. I appreciated the fact that, early on, Graham made it clear he would not preach to segregated audiences - in the American South or South Africa - for that matter.

He Matured in His View of  Both Ecumenism and Inter-Faith Relations

He saw his work as drawing evangelical Christians together for mission (for example, his investment in the publication of Christianity Today and the Lausanne Declaration - both of which were attempts to unite evangelical Christians in the face of other church commitments). I tried to understand why Christians might place the emphasis somewhat differently. Still, I was impressed with his attempts to work with the Roman Catholic Church in cities where this might have become an issue. He was winning souls for Christ, not the Church of Billy Graham. I also appreciated his attempts to dialogue with representatives of the Hebrew faith and was feted by some Jews. This caused him no small grief when dealing with certain fundamentalists and conservatives in his own sector of American Christianity.

His Theology, Core Beliefs and Character Stayed Essentially the Same

Between the 1980s and 2000, I began working with mission thinkers ranging from Roman Catholic, to Mainstream and Evangelical Protestant. All of us had a common respect for the pioneering work that Graham had done to help us achieve our goals of global evangelisation and interfaith dialogue. It was indeed possible for "Ecumenicals" and "Evangelicals" to work together. We continued to grow in our awareness that the more our common focus was on Christ the more we could achieve together. Graham's commitment to live and walk the talk distanced him from some of his contemporaries in times when sexual abuse of various kinds began to rear its ugly head.

He Retained His Common Touch to the End

I had only one direct contact with Graham during all these years. It was after his autobiography "Just As I Am" appeared in 1998. I sent him a copy of the published review I wrote for the Catholic Register in Toronto. I told him that I hoped he would be pleased with my efforts, because of the ecumenical commitments we shared. He responded with a kind, extensive acknowledgement that I still treasure.

Rarely does God bless humanity with the likes of Billy Graham. During this time of global remembrance at his passing, I add my small but heartfelt, personal recognition. 

A good Canadian perspective on Graham - click the following from colleague Lorna Dueck:

Graham's autobiography "Just As I Am" (1998) - still in print

A current biography "America's Pastor" (Grant Wacker, 2014)



Lorna Dueck,
Toronto, ON.

Globe and Mail,
February 22nd, 2018

"Billy Graham Developed Deep Connection With Canadians"

"100 Huntley Street Tribute to Billy Graham" (repeat of above)

Martin Marty,
Chicago, IL

February 19th, 2018

"Evangelical Identity Crisis"


Elfrieda Schroeder,
Winnipeg, MB

In Transit Blog
February 20th, 2018



Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log,
February19th, 2018

"When Did It Become Wrong to Be Right?"


Mark Whittall,
Ottawa, ON.

Sermons and Blog
February16th, 2017



Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
February 19th, 2018

"Celibacy Revisited"



There are Few Blemishes to His Reputation in This

Religion News Service,
February 21st, 2017


"Graham Kept the Faith and (Mostly) Dropped the Politics
 Religion News Service,
 November 7th, 2017


"Billy Graham, Media Pioneer"
 New York Times Video,
 February 22nd, 2017


Evangelical Christianity in America is in Profound Conflict

The Atlantic,
August 22nd, 2017


His Impact on Catholic-Protestant Relations Was Great

America Magazine,
February 21st, 2018


From the Archives of America Magazine, 2014
February 22nd, 2018

"Preacher, Icon, Entrepreneur"
 by Kennerh L.Woodward,

"At his zenith in the middle of the last century, Billy Graham
ambitioned to make the entire population of America his
congregation," writes Kenneth L. Woodward in this 2015
review of America's Pastor by Grant Wacker. Graham's
passing earlier this week at the age of 99 has caused many
a pundit to weigh in on his influence and importance.

Woodward finds much to praise both in Wacker's
biography and in Graham's ministry, though he would
have liked a more critical look at the ways in which
Graham defended the status quo on issues like race
relations and religious bigotry. He notes that Graham
"was the only American Protestant luminary who -

with his family - was invited to the funeral of Pope
John Paul II. It was a posthumous salute from one
world evangelist to another."


Wife and Mom, But More than That

Religion News Service,
February 22nd, 2018


"What I Would have Done Differently"

Christianity Today,
February 21st, 2018


He Maintained His Literary Legacy to the End

Publisher's Weekly,
February 21st, 2018


Sends Letter to Her Uncle, a Trump-Supporter

Religion News Service,
February 20th, 2018



From Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:

Only God can give us a selfless love for others, as the
Holy Spirit changes us from within. This is one reason
we must receive Christ, for apart from His Spirit we can
never be freed from the chains of selfishness, jealousy,
and indifference. Will others see Christ's love in your
life today?

- Billy Graham


Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.
- Cornel West


All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace
changes us and the change is painful...

- Flannery O’Connor


We need more light about each other. Light creates
understanding, understanding creates love, love creates
patience, and patience creates unity.

- Malcolm X


You are stones for the Father’s temple, prepared for the
house-building of God the Father. You are raised high up
by the hoist of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, while the
Holy Spirit is your rope. Your faith is your windlass. Love
is the path that leads up to God. You are all traveling
companions, God-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers,
bearers of holy things, in everything adorned with the words
of Jesus Christ.

- Ignatius

He is Messiah and Lord, Kyrios, emperor and king, not with
vain and grandiose triumphalism but with a divine royalty
that makes him all-powerful, that makes him present in his
church, that makes him the architect of history, that makes
him the cornerstone of all human movements, and that makes
him the compass that guides all of history toward its true destiny.

He is the Lord of history, the Lord of ages, the Lord of eternity.
He is the key which encompasses past, present, and future.
“Christ forever,” says Saint Paul. Christ is the Lord. Christ lives.      

Christ has risen, and death no longer has dominion over him.
But this Christ presents himself as the Good Shepherd. What
a marvelous thing, to consider that this powerful king, this man who bears the marks of all his suffering now made into glorious stars, is   now our great liberator and our great shepherd!

- Oscar Romero

Flame of God
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

- Amy Carmichael



"Mr. Graham, how would you like to be remembered?"

I hope I will be remembered as someone who was faithful -
faithful to God, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and
faithful to the calling God gave me not only as an evangelist,
but as a husband, father and friend.

- reported by Dan Wooding, Assist News Service.



For Those Interested -

A Ten Week Series January 22nd - March 26th, 2018
Monday Evenings, TM Room 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

NOT IN GOD'S NAME - Confronting Religious Violence

Author: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Registration/Hospitality and Book: $60.00.
Book only: $20.00

42 copies of the book have been secured and all
have been sold. 35 persons have registered for the
course. Others are reading it alone or in another
small study group.
This series is already going well with strong,
enthusiastic attendances.

Read my background information on this study

This study introduces our 50th book!
During the 2016-2017 two session-term there were
class registrations of 70 and total books sold: 78

2017 was our best year ever, since we began in 1998!

Check our archives for 49 books studied since 2000:
Ten Sessions January 18th - March 29th, 2018

Thursday morning sessions 10-11 AM

This term we are studying:

THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE (in several non-canonical texts)

Gathering at 9:30 AM in the St. David's TM Room.
No charge

15 persons make up our study group.
Study resource -
"The DK Complete Bible Handbook"
  Edited by John Bowker
South Africa was our destination! We planned a nineteen-
day tour that combined a focus on spirituality, social
justice, culture, and nature, and it ran October 21st
thru November 8th.

A beautiful brochure with trip cost, itinerary, and
many helpful travel hints was published.

Twenty-five persons registered and paid in full to
take the trip. This was our tour group.

All together, thirty-two persons made deposits
but some had to withdraw for health or other

We have activated a South Africa Spiritual Travelers
discussion list group to and used it to build community
amongst the participants, and to share news and

We reported our experiences to St. David's congregation
as a travel group reflection during the worship service Sunday,    January 14th, 2018. For information click Rostad Tours:

This marks the end of our South African travel project.

We will soon be asking people "Where do we travel next?"


Lenten Notice:

Sunday, March 4th, 2018. 11:30 AM - 4:00PM

Theme: "Encountering a Sacred Intimacy With God"

Spiritual Director: Susan Campbell

Want to register? Contact Wayne


1 comment:

  1. It is impossible to prove that God does not exist.
    It is impossible to prove that Jesus will not have a Second Coming.
    And it is impossible to prove that Billy Graham is not currently in Heaven enjoying Eternity with The Triune God!

    Bill Wrong