Billy Sunday Essay

2426 Words10 Pages
Billy Sunday

For almost a quarter century Billy Sunday was a household name in the United States. Between 1902 when he first made the pages of the New York Times and 1935 when the paper covered his death and memorial service in detail, people who knew anything about current events had heard of the former major league baseball player who was preaching sin and salvation to large crowds all over America. Not everyone who knew of the famous evangelist liked him. Plenty of outspoken critics spoke of his flashy style and criticized his conservative doctrines. But he had hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of loyal defenders, and they were just as loud in their praise as the critics were in their criticism. Whether
…show more content…
He also studied Scripture and became unusually generous toward the needy.

Furthermore, Sunday was constrained by an obsession to tell others how he had finally found inner peace and a more purposeful life. At first through lectures and then in sermons, he related how Jesus Christ gave him a new life of meaning, peace, and hope. This same gospel, he said, would similarly transform others. The evidence is overwhelmingly that it did.

If Billy Sunday was sincere devoted, and motivated, he was also a product of his times and an example of the culture and morals of middle America. On the other hand, Sunday took many stands against popular beliefs, and he persuaded multitudes to join him in a war against many of the modernistic ideas of the time that he saw as evil. As he once summarized his opinion so well, “What this world needs is a tidal wave of reform” (Sunday “Satan” 24).

It is true that Sunday was a showman who craved an audience and loved applause. But he also touched the lives of countless men and women of all social classes, helping them escape various forms of personal bondage and find freedom in the gospel. And if he did not convert all of urban America to his brand of Christianity, he at least played a major role in helping to keep conservative biblical Christianity alive in this century (Dorsett 3). To understand fully why he thought, lived, preached, and teached the way he did, we should look at his

More about Billy Sunday Essay

Get Access