New Billy Graham Bible Tackles Hot-Button Worldview Topics
- Michael Foust Baptist Press
- 2005 2 May
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Billy Graham Training Center Bible doesn't run from hot-button issues. Abortion. Cohabitation. Homosexuality. They're all covered, along with more than 100 other topics covering less controversial issues like depression, love and loneliness.
It is the first Bible project undertaken by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The dust jacket bills the Bible, released in November, as providing "time-tested answers to your toughest questions." Throughout the biblical text, topic notes explain and interpret various passages. Readers then are guided to other parts of Scripture where the same issue is tackled.
The New King James Version translation is used.
"It runs a pretty good spectrum – from abortion and homosexuality on one end to fear and bitterness on the other end. I think it's balanced," BGEA spokesperson Mark DeMoss told Baptist Press. "It was not an attempt to be a news-making Bible. But of 100 or so topics, there are a number that would be considered controversial or delicate, and they're included."
A few examples:
- Homosexuality. "The only cure for homosexuality, or any type of sinful behavior, is a personal, intimate, and continuous relationship with Jesus Christ," a note on the same page as 1 Corinthians 6 reads.
- Abortion. "The Bible teaches that the unborn child is fully human," a note on Psalm 139 reads. Speaking to those considering an abortion, it says, "we urge you to consider having the child."
- Suicide. "It is Satan who convinces people to take their own lives," a note on Job 6 reads. "... Jesus does not want you take your own life; He wants to give you abundant life."
The Training Center Bible also includes answers to 50 frequently asked questions concerning various topics. For instance: "Is there anything wrong with living with my boyfriend if we plan to be married someday?"
"Living together without being married is common in our culture, but this goes against God's will," the answer reads. "... When you have this kind of relationship outside of marriage, you do not have a lasting commitment to each other and thus cannot have a full measure of trust and security."
Some of the notes are taken from another BGEA publication, "The Billy Graham Christian Worker's Handbook." But while the handbook was aimed at Christian leaders, the Training Center Bible targets both believers and non-believers.
And while Billy Graham himself didn't write it, his sermons and articles throughout the years provided the foundation.
"Theologically, it would mirror the theology of Mr. Graham and the Graham organization, which is certainly a conservative evangelical bent," DeMoss said. "Through 50-plus years of public ministry, he has in one way or another addressed most of these 100 or so topics in sermons or messages or talk show interviews. The Graham organization keeps all of that information as well, which helps them respond to people that write or call with questions."
The Billy Graham Training Center Bible also includes a topic index, a 195-page concordance and maps.
© 2005 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.