By Jay Rogers
Published April 10, 2008
Over ninety years ago, 55,000 people came to hear Billy Sunday preach in Boston. An overflow crowd of 15,000 had to be turned away from the temporary tabernacle that had been erected on Huntington Avenue. During the next ten weeks, the baseball star-turned evangelist drew an estimated 1.5 million to his Boston meetings.
Sunday was unlike any other preacher at the time. Contemptuous of what he called “flabby-cheeked, brittle-boned, weak-kneed, effeminate Christianity,” he preached like the competitive athlete he was. He was constantly in motion, leaping around the stage, crouching and jumping, walking and running. Wild-eyed and frantic, he electrified his audiences.
His acrobatic antics, colorful language, frank discussion of sexual mores, and retinue of performers smacked of a vaudeville show. But his masterful preaching moved many to commit their lives to Jesus. The social changes brought about by urban growth, and industrialization caused many Bostonians to embrace the evangelist’s call for a return to biblical values. In spite of the critics, an estimated 1,500,000 people came to hear Sunday during his ten-week Boston crusade; nearly 65,000 made the trip down the “sawdust trail.”
Source: Mass Moments, www.massmoments.org, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities
See also: A New Breed of Athelete
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After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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