Monday, July 23, 2007

Billy Graham Preaches "Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God"

In the Fall of 1949, at the height of his famous Los Angeles "Canvas Cathedral" Crusade, Billy Graham preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. That night, America's most famous sermon was preached by the man who was to become America's most famous evangelist. This was no ordinary revival meeting!

The Jonathan Edwards Center has worked in conjunction with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Billy Graham Center Archives in Wheaton, Illinois to present an engaging digital exhibit on this remarkable event in American religious history.

Check the exhibit out at


Blogger Phil said...

Great work, folks. From the transcriptions to the comparisons to the helpful essays to the commentary by Ken and Skip, this exhibit is really, really fascinating. In fact if it is still available, I will use it next week in my summer American religious history course at the University of Houston when I discuss mid-20th century evangelicalism.

4:24 am  
Blogger caleb maskell said...

hi will be up for around three months.

caleb maskell

2:04 pm  
Anonymous Ray Fowler said...


This is a great exhibit. Is there a reason why it would be taken down in three months instead of keeping it available to the public?

3:14 pm  
Blogger NeoArch said...

According to one biographer of Ruth Graham, neither Ruth nor Billy thought too much of the sermon that night:

Three hundred and fifty thousand people filled the tent at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Hill Street as the three-week crusade stretched into eight. Billy was dumbfounded and exhausted. He ran out of sermons and in desperation mounted the pulpit one night and read, word for word, half of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." He ended with a few words of his own. It was a disaster. What may have precipitated a great awakening in the eighteenth century passed over the heads of his audience. He learned an important lesson then, Ruth recalled. Never again did he replace the Bible with another text. --Cornwell, Patricia D. Ruth, a Portrait: the Story of Ruth Bell Graham. 106-107. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

3:49 pm  
Blogger caleb maskell said...

the quote from the ruth graham bio is very interesting. you can definitely hear billy graham's weariness and nerves in his intro to the sermon.

it is also interesting to note that contrary to the biographer's account, graham does not preach Sinners verbatim but rather redacts the text in significant ways that we bring out in the exhibit using the transcriptions in black and red as a guide.

4:52 pm  

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