Friday, March 21, 2014

"Storm Warning" by Bill Graham: A Review

Storm Warning: Whether global recession, terrorist threats, or devastating natural disasters, these ominous shadows must bring us back to the Gospel.Billy Graham needs no introduction.  For decades he has been the primary spiritual adviser to the presidents, he has shared the gospel to every continent, and has led millions to Christ, and now in his old age he continues to share with the world the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Billy Graham is not perfect, but he certainly is driven by a heart for the gospel.

Recently I sat down and read Billy Graham's latest book, Storm Warning: Whether global recession, terrorist threats, or devastating natural disasters, these ominous shadows must bring us back to the Gospel.  The book is a look at Jesus' prophetic Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation and how it parallels with recent headlines.  Such a task has been done before (in fact this is an updated and revised version of a previous work of Graham's), but Graham brings something else to the table.  Instead of this being a book about prophecy and end times predictions, this is very much a book about the gospel.

My favorite chapter by far was the chapter on the cult of self.  In it he attacks our culture's obsession with self-esteem, pop psychology, blame shifting, our consuming desire for leisure, convenience, and fun (177), and so many other self-centered things.  Graham attacks this mentality as it is an affront to the gospel.  It is hard for one to die to the self, pick up one's cross and follow Christ to certain death when the culture commands we indulge the self.

Most of the chapters cover various aspects of biblical eschatology and Graham shows how current news and world events show that the end might be near.  The economy is tanking, wars and violence are escalating, and the world is spinning out of control.  Graham seems to have a particular fascination with the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as he spends several chapters discussing (and interpreting) them.

Graham's understanding of Revelation is very premillennial.  Nothing new there. He has supported premillennialism for decades.  This interpretation leads the writer to conclude in the end that in spite of all of the chaos and injustice, Christ overcomes it all.  We must persevere through it all looking forward to the day that all wrongs will be right and justice will reign once again.

But this book isn't just about looking to the future, but also facing today.  How do we get through today?  The gospel.  Billy Graham has seen the world and experienced it all and yet he comes down to the gospel at the end of every chapter.  It is amazing how he can so vividly describe the many dangers and hardships of the world and yet offer hope and peace to the reader with the gospel.

I would recommend this book to almost anyone even if one does not agree with Graham's eschatology.  Graham demands our attention and respect and his words here are well worth our time.  Though the world may be chaotic and hopeless, we can have peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That just about sums up the entire ministry of Dr. Billy Graham.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I review for BookSneeze

For more:
"Billy Graham in Quotes" by Franklin Graham & Donna Lee Toney: A Review
Repost | "Nearing Home" by Billy Graham
"The Power of the Cross" by Billy Graham
"Who is Jesus?": A Sermon Preached by Billy Graham
September 14, 2001: The Nation Grieves and Prays
Graham: The Unwavering Love of God
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