Woody Allen and Billy Graham?

I ran across this interview on YouTube recently. Apparently Woody Allen had a talk show in the late 1960s (or early 1970s). Here is an interview he did with – of all people – Billy Graham.

I really appreciated the interview for a number of reasons. For one, you just have to admire the way Graham fields Allen’s questions; playfully with measured grace and dignity. I think Graham models the right way to engage culture for the sake of the gospel – no arguments, no condemnation, just treating others with the highest degree of respect while holding firm to your convictions.

At one point Graham and Allen shake hands in agreement that if Graham goes to see one of Allen’s films or plays, Allen would attend one of Graham’s revival meetings. I enjoyed that display of camaraderie. I think it shows the possibilities that exist when we engage others in conversation about faith, rather than having our aggressive attempts at conversion fall on deaf ears.

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9 thoughts on “Woody Allen and Billy Graham?

  1. Didn’t you post this a while back? I saw this linked from somewhere. It’s fascinating on many levels, as you say. It proves that there was a time in recent history when people with radically different “world views” could enjoy amiable discourse. On TV, even!

  2. This is definitely the first time I’ve posted this. It was new to me until I saw it on iMonk’s blog earlier in the week.

    The way Graham presented the gospel toward the tail end of the first clip was, in my opinion, very brilliant. Very accessible. Very palletable.

    He didn’t bonk Allen over the head by taking him down “Romans road” or walk him through the canned gospel presentation. He said it very matter-of-factly in a manner that was easily identifiable. God loves you. He created you with an ideal in mind. We all fall short of God’s ideal. Therefore we need his help for “redemption.”

    It’s brilliant because it aims to generate more questions rather than give rehearsed, “Christianese” answers. I makes the gospel something to be sought out and pursued, rather than something to either be accepted or rejected on the spot. It allows the Spirit to bring the individual along, rather than our typical attempts to drag them kicking and screaming.

  3. Shane…

    Thanks for sharing this, I loved it…and it was very encouraging. I especially loved when mentioned coffee has his personal vice and asked that Woody Allen could maybe help him with that. Very nice.

    Can someone send this link to John McArthur?

  4. i really don’t think billy’s son should be trying to take over for the old man. it’d be like if johnny cash’s son tried to take over as the man in black, or george w. bush trying to be president…oh wait, nevermind 🙂 billy has a way about him that you just don’t see in his counterparts, a sincerity and honesty that lacks almost altogether in evangelical christianity (as far as the doofus’s in the limelight).

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