Monday, November 12, 2007

Billy Graham Library: The Man and the Message are Inseparable

The New York Times has recently run a story by Edward Rothstein about his visit to the new Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The new exhibition includes Billy’s boyhood home, decked out with a rural touch—a silo and a mechanical cow that moos—then there is a film on the famous evangelist, photographs depicting the Presidents that he prayed for and famous people who sought his counsel, a gallery showcasing the contribution of Ruth Graham, a media hall, a tribute area, and a journey of faith’ which concludes with a walk through an aisle and counsellors available who will chat with you about your eternal destiny. Outside there is a prayer garden where visitors can pause at the grave of Ruth Graham and eventually the grave of Dr Graham.

Rothstein is respectful but he does not give this exhibition a high mark saying:
“Unfortunately, the overall effect is not very illuminating, presuming devotion rather than creating it. Of course museums of many kinds choose to preach to the converted. They design exhibitions not to convince the skeptic or attract the outsider, but to gather those of like minds to share a common vision. But there is probably no place where this is more literally true than here. Unless you enter fully faithful, there is a limit to what can be taken away, aside from a curiosity about Mr. Graham himself.”

The Man and the Message
Rothstein makes an interesting observation when he says:
“But one of the unusual things about both this place and Mr. Graham’s ministry is that it is impossible to think of either without thinking of the man behind them. That may even be their greatest strength, though it also raises other questions.”

“It is impossible to separate the man and the message in this library.”

This thought, which is important for every communicator to ponder, is captured in the title of the article which can be found at this link (with a free log in):

Edward Rothstein, ‘At Billy Graham Library, Man and Message Are One and the Same’, New York Times, 10 November 2007

Image: Entrance to the Billy Graham Library (courtesy of the NY Times)

The Billy Graham Library will undoubtedly contain all the writings of F W Boreham, a speaker and writer who had a profound effect on Dr. Billy and Ruth Graham.

More about the Billy and Ruth Graham connection can be found at this link on the Official F W Boreham Blogspot.

Recent stories are posted on this site include:

The Need to Keep One’s Eyes Wide Open and

The Joy of Making a Great Discovery