What I love about Graham:
- His gentleness, even in the face of criticism, opposition, and attack, Graham always retained a composed dignity, a kind regard for others, and respect for each person. In Graham I saw the gentleness of Jesus.
- His willingness to hear and evaluate another person’s perspective. He never forced his opinion on others but allowed each person to think for himself and come to his own conclusions. He modeled intellectual integrity and practiced intellectual freedom, another beautiful example of Christ.
- His voice, gentle speech, and jovial laugh. Listening to Graham had a calming effect. His voice was filled with warmth and compassion that disarmed one’s prejudices and opened the mind to hear what evidence he presented.
- His constant focus on God’s character as revealed in Jesus. Graham never allowed himself to be sidetracked into other, nonessential issues, but always kept the focus on the truth about God. This is, for me, the most powerful element of Graham’s ministry and really helped me see God as Jesus revealed Him to be.
- His discerning and sharp mind. I loved Graham’s insights. The way he could analyze a situation and see distortions in logic or errors in understanding.
- His method of leading others to the light. I loved Graham’s ability to lead people with questions and do it so gently that angry people would calm even while their ideas were being exposed as false and they were moving into new understandings.
- His refusal to retaliate against his enemies.
- His emphasis on reading the entire Bible, never taking a passage in isolation. “God in all 66,” and “always read on.”
- His mastery of the Biblical languages and bringing real scholarship to bear on revealing the truth about God and exposing so many false pictures of God.
- His emphasis on helping each person develop his mind to the fullest extent possible. His style of not telling people what to think but teaching people how to think. Again, doing exactly as Jesus would do.
- His understanding of the need for a rational, evidenced based approach to our study of Scripture and our spiritual development. Graham had perfect balance in regard to an evidence based faith and the proper place for emotions.
- His love for the church and his desire to see the church fulfill its mission to lighten the world with the truth about God. He constantly sought to be a light, to revitalize the church, to help waken it from its slumber. Sadly, the church still sleeps, but many are awakening and the light about God’s truth is going forward.
- I loved Graham’s focus on a unified heaven in which all love as Jesus loves and his “list” of people whom he would like as neighbors in heaven. What a great thought.
With Graham’s passing, a great light has gone out in this dark world of sin. He will be missed and, like Daniel, waits for the resurrection. And when Jesus returns I know Graham will be overjoyed to hear his Savior say, “Well done Graham, you have said of me what is right!”
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D.