Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man by David Frost is a biographical summary of several interviews David Frost conducted with Billy Graham. For thirty years, Billy Graham and David Frost fascinated television audiences with their conversations about God, the Bible, and Graham’s decades-long ministry. Frost asked the questions that thousands of viewers wanted to ask. Graham answered them with authenticity and grace.
At times I found the book frustrating, as the interviewer David Frost would repeat the same question over and over, seeking an answer Billy Graham would not provide. In the chapter on pain and suffering, he used an interrogation format, asking for Billy Graham to explain suffering. Frost asks:
- “You’ve been battling Parkinson’s disease…is God responsible for that?”
- “I’m thanking God for three healthy sons, should parents of a Down syndrome baby be blaming God?”
- “You can’t really say that to the parents of a deformed child, can you? How should they look at it?”
- “But if you don’t blame God for ill health, you can’t thank Him for good health, can you?”
- “…what do you say to the parents of a Down syndrome child where in the end you were saying ‘I don’t have all the answers?’
After these five questions, all similar in nature, Frost summarizes…”there were questions to which he did not have an answer I found oddly reassuring: maybe the rest of us didn’t need to feel so threatened by our doubts either.” I feel this is wrongfully interpreting the trust and love that Billy Graham gave in his responses to the interrogation. Graham’s faith was nailed to the word “doubt” and that is an injustice to someone deeply in love with Jesus. Not once did Billy Graham say he had doubt, yet the words of Frost were enough to leave the wrong impression for a new seeker or non-believer. Billy Graham answered “I would think that’s a question, David, that I cannot answer.” Never did he say “I’m not sure;” rather he chose to keep quiet and not fabricate an answer for Frost.
Overall the book is interesting and spans an ongoing relationship between Frost and Graham. I enjoyed the historical aspects and seemingly unedited comments between both men.
Sir David Frost, who died in 2013, was an English journalist, comedian, and television host. Known for his history-making interviews with top political figures, Frost is the author of several books, including his autobiography. His famous interviews with Richard Nixon formed the basis for the Oscar-nominated film Frost/Nixon.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and 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.”