Monday, June 6, 2011

The last interview (Part 9)

Billy and Ruth Graham 1955 UK tourSherwood Wirt: Do you approve of men such as Bryan Green and Billy Graham asking people to Come to a point of decision regarding the Christian life?

C.S. Lewis: I had the pleasure of meeting Billy Graham once. We had dinner together during his visit to Cambridge University in 1955, while he was conducting a mission to students. I thought he was a very modest and a very sensible man, and I liked him very much indeed.
In a civilization like ours, I feel that everyone has to come to terms with the claims of Jesus Christ upon his life, or else be guilty of inattention or of evading the question. In the Soviet Union it is different. Many people living in Russia today have never had to consider the claims of Christ because they have never heard of those claims.
    In the same way, we who live in English-speaking countries have never really been forced to consider the claims, let us say, of Hinduism. But in our Western civilization we are obligated both morally and intellectually to come to grips with Jesus Christ; if we refuse to do so we are guilty of being bad philosophers and bad thinkers.

Sherwood Wirt interviewing C.S. Lewis, “Cross-Examination,” God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 265-266 with appropriate additions from the originally published interview in Decision magazine, September 1963, ©1963 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a fascinating account of Billy Graham's visit to Cambridge University in 1955 (to which Lewis referred to in today's reading):

    Billy found the prospect of conducting a full-scale
    university mission at Cambridge increasingly daunting. ‘I am deeply
    concerned and in much thought about the mission,’ he told John. ‘I have
    never felt more inadequate and totally underprepared. As I think over
    the possibility for messages, I realise how shallow and weak my
    presentations are. I shall be relying heavily on you and Maurice
    When Billy arrived in Cambrdige, John arranged for him to talk
    privately with C.S. Lewis, then a Fellow of Magdalene College. The three
    of them met in Lewis’s rooms at Magdalene and spent an hour or so
    ‘I was afraid I would be intimidated by Lewis,’ Billy later admitted,
    ‘but I was relieved to find that he immediately put me at ease. I found
    him to be not only intelligent and witty but also gentle and gracious.
    He seemed genuinely interested in our meetings.’
    ‘You know,’ Lewis said to Billy as they parted, ‘you have many
    critics, but I have never met one of your critics who knows you

    INSIDE STORY – The Life of John Stott, Roger Steer (IVP, 2009), pp103-104