As many of you know, Billy Graham and Charles Templeton were evangelists who rose to fame in the 40s (Graham, of course, is still an evangelist). Early in their careers they were friends – close friends. Many have said Templeton was the one that everyone thought was going to overturn the world with the Gospel. However, Templeton ended up leaving the Christian faith, eventually becoming an atheist.  In 1982, though still an atheist, he said of Billy Graham, “There is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust” (Anecdotal Memoir). Templeton died in 2001 at the age of 86, shortly after he wrote what I consider to be one of the most heart-breaking books ever published: Farewell to God.

Here is an excerpt from that book, about a pivotal conversation he had with Billy Graham as he was leaving the faith. The context is his desire to go to Princeton to study the Christian faith more critically. He wanted Graham to come with him. Please keep in mind, this is his account of the conversation:

“All our differences came to a head in a discussion which, better than anything I know, explains Billy Graham and his phenomenal success as an evangelist.

In the course of our conversation I said, ‘But, Billy, it’s simply not possible any longer to believe, for instance, the biblical account of creation. The world was not created over a period of days a few thousand years ago; it has evolved over millions of years. It’s not a matter of speculation; it’s a demonstrable fact.’

‘I don’t accept that’ Billy said. ‘And there are reputable scholars who don’t.’

‘Who are these scholars?’ I said. ‘Men in conservative Christian colleges[?]’

‘Most of them, yes,’ he said. ‘But that is not the point. I believe the Genesis account of creation because it’s in the Bible. I’ve discovered something in my ministry: When I take the Bible literally, when I proclaim it as the word of God, my preaching has power. When I stand on the platform and say, ‘God says,’ or ‘The Bible says,’ the Holy Spirit uses me. There are results. Wiser men than you or I have been arguing questions like this for centuries. I don’t have the time or the intellect to examine all sides of the theological dispute, so I’ve decided once for all to stop questioning and accept the Bible as God’s word.’

‘But Billy,’ I protested, ‘You cannot do that. You don’t dare stop thinking about the most important question in life. Do it and you begin to die. It’s intellectual suicide.'”

‘I don’t know about anybody else,’ he said, ‘but I’ve decided that that’s the path for me.'”

(Farewell to God, 7-8)

For me, this represents one of the saddest encounters two people have ever had. It recounts a decisive breach in the friendship between two men as one left Christ, never to come back, and the other went on to, in my opinion, change the world.

As I said, I don’t know if Graham’s words are the words he actually said, but I have no reason to doubt that they are. You see, there does come a time in our life when we “decide” to believe. It is not as if our intellect is no longer in the game, it is simply that there is a sufficient amount of evidence to make a commitment. Graham had enough. He is right, there is no way faith can wait until every stone is overturned. None of us will ever get to a place where our intellect has no objections whatsoever. This is the modernistic ideal of indubitability, which is impossible in any area of life. At some point in our journey, we decide that God is real, the Bible is trustworthy, and Christ is who he said he was.

Templeton, as his own story makes plain (p. 3), never truly reached a point where he was intellectually convicted of the truthfulness of Christianity (what the reformers called assensus). Assensus represents the conviction we have in our minds. Assent of the mind is vital to our faith. Graham, according to this testimony, had enough assensus to make a decision. He was not going to be an eternal “tire-kicker” with regard to Christianity. Sure, he could have waited, like Templeton, until every possible objection to the faith was answered, but this would amount to a failure of modernistic irrationality. We can never have all our questions answered. At some point there must be a sufficiency in probability.

There is a time when we, like Billy Graham, must stop the type of questioning that comes prior to faith, and make a decision. This does not mean we stop using our minds, as Templeton unfortunately assumed. In Christianity, we call this fides quaenes intellectum, “faith seeking understanding.” We believe in order to understand. We have faith and seek understanding.

May God give us all the ability to be like Billy Graham and make a decision to trust God and the Bible. May he help us to believe what we believe with an invincible innocence. Though doubts may still exist, they do not mean that our faith is not real.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    100 replies to "Billy Graham and Charles Templeton: A Sad Tale of Two Evangelists"

    • Charles E. Miller, Deacon

      Dr. Graham has remained true to the Triune God. Charles Templeton turned his back on God. As I said earlier, I hope he came back to God before his spirit left this world. If he did not, he is spiritually dead. I feel sorry for Rev. Templeton. As a one point Calvinist, I must say he never had salvation. May Jesus bless the ministry of Billy Graham.
      CEM, BA, MAR, DipBS, Abschlussurkunde in Biblische Studien

    • Charles E. Miller, Deacon

      I hope Charles Templeton came back to Christ before he died. If he did not, he was spiritually dead before he body died. We need Christ in order to enter the Kingdom of God. We must be born from above (John 3).

    • Jeff Ayers

      Charles- you are making unbiblical assumptions.

      Please show us from the Bible this assertion that he had to “come back to Christ before he died or he was spiritually dead’.

      You enter the kingdom by faith in Christ alone who gives eternal life to all who trust him for it.

      Nothing in the Bible about your gratuitous assertion.

    • David T.

      The idea of an eternal hell yet a just God is pretty hard for me to accept

    • Frank King

      Excellent blog and really enjoyed the wide range of comments. Templeton’s sad decision inspired me to write an essay about it (and him):

    • Alex

      Faith is very personal and subjective. Reinforcement of our faith usually is based on our actual personal experience, normally through prayers and meditation, whereby we are able to turn our mental realm into spiritual realm as some people do, and associate and make our connection to God. In such process, we may find great revelations and new meanings in life; and in other instances our prayers are answered.

      Believing in God is a process and a very personal experience. Some or most people need to have faith to anchor life and give meaning to their life. Some may derive hope, inner peace, new life directions and meaning, love, happiness and health from such faith. Without faith, one may lose the meaning of life; while practising the missions in faith, one may find great enlightment, rewards, self-enrichment and spiritual development.

      God exists because of one’s faith. God exists on an as-is basis and for us to tap into the infinite divinity and experience the richness and diversities different people will have different experience. God’s plan for each one of us is different; its meaning is revealed when we travel along the journey. There is a time for everything.

      It is sad that Templeton and Graham journey in faith is so very different. In all cases, Templeton is also a great man who has inspired and convinced so many people to believe in Christianity when he joined evangelistic crusades with Graham in the fifties around the world.

      My final conclusion is : God’s plan for everyone is different. Let us respect each other (in spite of different religions) and build a better world with tolerance, respect, and patience; and in harmony. Faith is a very private and personal matter which deserves mutual respect.

      May God Bless All.

    • […] before long, he felt God even stronger than before. Here is a short read I found fascinating: Billy Graham and Charles Templeton: A Sad Tale of Two Evangelists I'm most interested in what you described as Blly Graham's year long struggle to regain God's […]

    • benzy

      bible is holy mentioned in bible we can not understand spiritual things with natural mind. we need h.spirit to understand. we can not prove scientifically bible. about creation. its wonder how little unfaith lead people to darkness

    • Frank


      You are 100% correct, Billy Graham has lead many people astray with his embrace of the RCC. And, I too have read and viewed on Youtube his remarks about people in other religions getting saved without even knowing Christ!

      If Billy has a false view of Christ, then his salvation will be false as well. We must believe in the Christ of the Bible, not some fluffy all inclusive false Jesus, to be saved.

    • Scott

      Let’s just assume for argument’s sake that the earth was not created in 6 days, that it was Moses writing the inspired word of God, from a vision God gave him, and he gave days to the perception of changing time, light and dark for example. Makes the bible no less true, does not change the fact that there is a God and He is the Creator. Now I believe people like to think we know too much, and God is powerful enough to cycle through creation in 6 days, but the point is this subject should not be enough to hold somebody back from knowing God. It is an excuse supported by the enemy, to drive a wedge, between God and the lost.

    • George Jenkins


      So you believe “the point is this subject should not be enough to hold somebody back from knowing God”. Notwithstanding your considered belief, that it SHOULD not be enough; what if it is enough? Why should any reasoning person believe the Bible, if from the very beginning it is false?

      Romans 10:17 says, ” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If the word of God is untrustworthy from the very beginning, what is that faith to be based on?

    • ralph schreiber

      Much called reasoning is based on the contrapositive–a place where the statements ‘if A then B’ and ‘if not B then not A’ are both true (or false) together. The problems occur with the negation (not) being, most usually, considered in the same time frame. With the bible, negation takes a different and, i believe, more accurate meaning. ie. the things that are seen are made from things that are not seen. Jesus gives many examples: His word and the existance of heaven and earth–a tree and its fruit–who is following Him (he who is not against us is for us [to John after he had forbade someone].

      A personal experience was in proving God. In Mal 3 we are given the method (herein) and the result…And, it was many years before I visually began to see some results.

    • George Jenkins

      Not sure if you have a point; but if you set out to prove God then you miss the point.
      If it were possible to prove God we would not need faith or hope.

    • ralph schreiber

      It is God who says prove me herein–and, what results should be. The contrapositive is for those who might neglect creation and miss the many truths given in the bible.

    • ralph schreiber

      george–should have replied directly to your post: the proof has a conclusion and it is there that better direction, endurance, and lack of spoiling are mentioned.

      Jesus says ‘ye believe in God, believe also in me’ (which if Jesus were God the statement would not have been made.) He also says ‘have faith in God’. In some of the healings he would ask ‘do you believe that I can do this’ and then say ‘your faith has healed you’ (even in John he says ‘of myself I can do nothing’).

      The same abstraction-concept occurs in the sciences where to the numbers-abstractions- infinity is annexed-concept. As the number loses its abstraction (units are attached) the abstraction passes to the units ie. two and a half chairs per household. By annexing infinity, certain basic axioms (axioms of choice and determinancy–Zorn’s lemma) can be in contradiction. But the Father says “to choose is to determine” to which, I would think, passes it to completeness–must end.

    • George Jenkins

      If you set out to prove “abstraction”,,,,,,you succeeded.

    • Paul

      It seems like you cannot come to God through just intellectual efforts as Templeton tried to do. He thought you were compromising truth, facts and your integrity by not pursuing intellectual efforts wherever they lead. In his case they led to him becoming agnostic. What is most amazing to me is he thought that Christ was the greatest man to ever live and that Christ was his ideal role model, yet he was agnostic. I think where Templeton failed was to realise you get to a strong relationship and belief in Christ as your saviour and as God by faith and following the bibles instructions. You grow through sanctification and the holy spirit helps you to be more like Christ over time and to believe and love God with all your mind, heart and soul. This is something greater than just an intellectual exercise.

    • ralph schreiber

      Many would say ‘learn of me’ but only one would say ‘take my yoke for I am meek and lowly of heart’. He told us He ‘is the truth’ and that ‘He is the Son of God’ while assuring us that we would have rest for our soul and an easy yoke with a light burden. This seems as the true intellectualism.

      We are told that the children of the world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. But that is like comparing an apple to a full course meal (Jesus–I have meat that you know not). We are also told that where there is knowledge and healing there will be none while being assured that if we remain in His word we will know the truth and knowledge of the truth will set us free. This sets us free from the tradition of the elders.

      Templeton’s answer to his own question-where do you find…in consevative christian colleges-seems to neglect the light is placed in all men as they come into the world and that all men press into the kingdom of God. Truely an easy yoke.

    • Stella

      Charles Templeton’s story really bothered me when i read it in The Case for Faith (Lee Strobel). Charles knew deep down that there was a God but his heart was so hardened against Him he would’t except it.

      He put himself in a position to question God. “How could a loving God allow suffering?”

      But think about it. if there was no suffering, would there be a need for God? Instead of thinking the typical question, “Why me?” we should ask, “Why NOT me?”

    • akyaa

      Matthew 16:13-20 (NIV)
      [13] When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” [14] They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” [15] “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” [16] Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [17] Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. [18] And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” [20] Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

    • Rod Stewart

      This comment is for Mr. Patton. First, I am wondering if you really even read Templeton’s book? Why? Because he plainly says on page 17 through 19 that he is, in fact, an Agnostic, “not” and Atheists and he makes that very clear, and then goes on to explain why. Many people think he is an Agheists because the name of his book, I would have named it Farewell to Christianity, but that is the only thing I would have changed. The book is a wonderful read, humorous and used common sense and logic though out. The only thing sad is more people have not read it and that Billy Graham was not enlightened. My advice to any Christian is to acutally read Farewell to God and What is the Bible by Carl Lofmark, both are books based in truth and logic, although most Christians who have been programed since birth will find both books hard to agree with unless they are able to take the blinders off. What Templeton did is to be admired, it’s hard enough to go against your teachings since you were very young but to see the truth when your a very successful Minister is even harder!! I wish I could have met him.

      • Ed Kratz

        Yes, I have read it.

        Obviously I don’t share your opinion. It is filled with issues of contradictions and atheistic apologetics that has very little critical thinking. It assumes only a very rigid fundamentalistic understanding of hermeneutics then says “Farewell to God” based on such fringe thoughts.

        However, this is typical of those who are atheistic and angry at the same time. The imbalance and antagonism parallel that of many Christian apologists, so I don’t want to act as if this attitude is unique to one side. But when we let our emotions do our thinking, this is the result. And, you rightly said, he claims to be agnostic, but his title and arguments are simply anti-God. So I try to go according to the content, not the claims of philosophical disposition. Hope that makes sense my friend.

    • Rod Stewart

      Emotions doing his thinking, really??? If Tempelton would have let his emotions/feelings rule he would have stayed the course remaining a Minister, that would have been the easy thing to do. It was logic, science and common sense that led him to be the Agnostic that he became. Atheistic and angry?? Tempelton – “The atheist asserts that God does not exist, a conclusion as logicallly untenable as the contention that he does. The atheist insists that his conclusions are rational and have been arrived at after an examination of available evidence. But such an assertion is unsupportable and presumptuous.” That sounds like an Atheist?? Angry? He begins the book – “Permit me to make it clear that this book is not the product of any bias or nurtured grievance against the Christian Church, it’s clergy, or its members. Almost without exception they have been kind and charitable to me.” That does not sound like he is angry or hidding any kind of grudge. So to say he let his emotions control his thinking, well I would have to say the opposite, we can leave that for the Christians. I didnt see any antagonism in the book only honesty!! The bible is full of problems, one after another after another, the puzzle pieces simply do not fit, that is why Tempelton broke away from the church and why he wrote the book. Like I said I do think his book is miss-named, however the God in his title is, I believe, a reference to only the Christian God he had followed for so long.

    • Ed Kratz

      “If emotions/feelings rule he would have stayed the course remaining a Minister, that would have been the easy thing to do”.

      That is a bit of question begging.

      What do you think is a rational logical argument he had?

    • Rod Stewart

      What do I agree with? Hard to really get into much here but I agree that the believer cannot prove there is a God any more than the athiest can prove there is not. So the only rational, logical position is “one cannot know”. When you look at the Bible, you first come to Genesis, you find Genesis has two totally different accounts of creation, well both cannot be right. Also if you buy into Genesis then you must throw science and human evolution out the window. If Genesis is true then what are all those human fossils we have found showing human change? I also found what Tempelton said about Noah and the flood really insightful. How could a 600 year old man and his sons and wives build a water tight ship longer than a football field without metal tools?? Go out and cut down even one tree without a metal tool of any kind, good luck on that. And how did they get animals from other continents to the ark? Did he swim the seas?? Kind of silly. I can go on and on as Tempelton’s book does, the problems just dont stop, and that includs the New Testement as well. Again try reading What is the Bible by Carl Lofmark…

    • Rod Stewart

      Also, I of course do not know for sure but I do think Tempelton’s feelings/emotions are what made breaking away from the Church so difficult for him, as he stated. I am sure he felt as if he was tuning his back on some good friends and possibly even family. However one must be true to what “is” and what “is” not true. So Tempelton knew he had to make a break with his church, that he had to do to be honest with himself. I have no doubt that there are many Ministers out there today that after studying the bible have come to think as Tempelton did, but are not willing to make that break because of how hard it would be to do emotionally not to mention the loss they would endure financially. Again, what he did is to be admired.

    • ralph schreiber

      Rod–most people versed in logic let their armchair get in the way. Why not try the logic of God’s way for man…Mal 3:10?

    • Rod Stewart

      Never said God (if there is a God) was not logical, I would think an all knowing God would be very logical. Its the absents of logic in the Bible I have a problem with. Two totaly different subjects..


      I don’t believe one can rationalize God. If so, one might enter Heaven on the coat tail of another believer. The ability to have unshaksble faith must be a gift from God. A gift given at the moment of our salvation. The evening I was saved, I had no power to imagine the power of my rebirth. Yet here I stand some thirteen years later with the power to believe firmly intrenched in my new heart. I was just a seeker. My Lord was the author of my faith.

    • ralph schreiber

      #79:In Mal 3 the Lord of Hosts (who hosts the Lord to yourself) can lead yourself to ..’it’s the absence or absents of logic in the Bible I have a problem with’ that your fruit does not spoil on the ground nor will it be picked before it should be.

    • Princess

      Interesting that Templeton had doubts about his faith, but then had no doubts about his agnosticism? We don’t know what was going on in Templeton’s heart, but I suspect that the anger at God came first and the intellectual doubts followed. The problem wasn’t that he had questions, but what he did with them. We are told that we can ask for wisdom and God will give it to us freely. But Templeton didn’t seek wisdom humbly; it seems that he angrily shook his fist at God, because in Templeton’s tree of knowledge of good and evil judgement, God wasn’t up to his standards. Here are some of my thoughts:

    • Lamar Carnes

      The problem with both of them is they have man and man’s own intellect and will power making them into what they wish to be. They both forgot and or rejected that the first CAUSE in any persons redemption or salvation is a ACT on the part of God Himself in our soul and heart. If HE did not change us first and then from that change coming to spiritual life whereby we can repent and trust in Jesus we would NEVER have come. We were dead totally toward God and spiritual life. Itdid not exist and no amount of learning and education changes anything. God has to operate first to make a new creation before that creation can cry out and procede toward God at all. This is what is wrong with evangelicalism today and Romanism, both place man’s carnal fleshly abilities ahead of God and make God react to them (they think) and it won’t happen. He is not a Genii in a bottle. He never shares His glory with man on the issue of eternal life! I know also it all happens quickly and suddenly, one moment we are dead and the next we are calling on Jesus repenting and trusting in Him confessing Him. But HE WAS AND ALWAYS IS THE FIRST CAUSE OF SALVATION AND/OR THE NEW BIRTH. ANYTHING ELSE IS WORKS OF MAN AND WILL FALL APART AND CANNOT BE CONSIDERED IN ETERNITY OR WITH GOD. This is NOT a label or a persons ideas or some denominational idea, it is the very words of Christ and the Apostles. Reformation is needed for sure!! Luther was right in his Bondage of the Will. Augustine was right also about it. But Christ and Paul were more corrrect because Jesus was God and Paul was an Apostle under inspiration to write the word of God – see Romans 9 and John 6 etc.!

    • bob hust

      There’s either a will to believe, or not to believe. A man convinced against his will remains a man unconvinced still.
      It’s hogwash to say because creation is to be taken lliterally that some have turned away. Jesus vouched for the creation account and that should settle it. The Holy Spirit draws people to the cross. they can choose to believe or not. I’ve been preaching over 50 years and I have never met a Christian who did not believe the Genesis account of creation. As far as I’m concerned, people who say they’re Christians but don’t believe the Bible are fake Christians.

    • chaya

      This comment was written a month ago and I just received a notice?

      When people say, “the Genesis account,” I assume they mean the Genesis account as translated into English in their favorite version, rather than the original Hebrew, and understood via the interpretation of their chosen theologians.

      You won’t find one Hebrew scholar who will tell you that you can prove a young earth creation or a six 24-hour day creation. Think about this, there was no sun until the fourth day (yom.) How do we determine a day? By the time it takes for the earth to turn on its axis vis a vie the sun. Were the laws of nature different prior to corruption? We can’t examine this, but I suspect it was so.

      Does creation prove a stumbling block to faith? I don’t see why it would, unless you have an arrogant, narrow minded person who believes their KJV was dropped into their hands directly from heaven. And then you have ignorant and nasty YEC’s (not saying they are all ignorant and nasty) who you can’t even have a discussion with, as they assume anyone outside their doctrinal box must be an atheist or one of “them.”

      Yes, Jesus validated the torah account, which is called, “Beresheit,” meaning, “in shaking.” BTW, Jesus only spoke Hebrew and Aramaic.

    • ronald gans

      This is not a sad tale at all. It is a tale of reality that you might perceive as sad, or not. That too is a decision. You take a stand.

      “I’ve decided once for all to stop questioning” (Billy Graham) — it is my decision to find that extremely sad.

      I have decided to not believe in god. Consequently, I have no fear to burn in hell: it logically follows from my decision that there is no such place.

      I have decided to lead my life trying to be good, kind and helpful to other people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, what they think, what they say, what they believe, what they do and who with and how often.

      And then I’ll die. Just like everything else that is alive. End of story, a beautiful story. A wonderful story. Lived according to the laws of nature.

      In short: there is no god, there is just us, and I love you for being here with me. Even if you dispise me for not believing. Even if you wish to see me burn in hell. It doesn’t make you bad, or stupid. Ill-informed, maybe.

    • Princess

      I would always urge people to keep questioning. But question with a humble and honest heart, and realize there may be infinite things that our finite minds cannot understand. Take everything either religious or secular “authorities,” say with a grain of salt, or maybe 2 grains?

      This is the problem with the Greek worldview that birthed and is inseparable from Christianity.

    • Alex Mjölnr

      I could probably never accept the word if faith hasn’t already worked the acceptance into my heart. The less faith I have the more ignorant I become

    • chaya1957

      It seems Templeton was quite rigid in his thinking about this issue, and could only see black and white; a certain brand of fundamentalism vs. atheism. Why couldn’t he conceive of even the possibility of a different God and a different message than the one of the preaching circuit?

      Isn’t there a dark side to faith, that one cannot accept that one might be wrong or their sources might be wrong, at least in some aspects?

    • Mike Stuart

      “(Graham)…so I’ve decided once for all to stop questioning and accept the Bible as God’s word.’

      (Templeton)‘But Billy,’ I protested, ‘You cannot do that. You don’t dare stop thinking about the most important question in life. Do it and you begin to die. It’s intellectual suicide.’”

      (Graham)‘I don’t know about anybody else,’ he said, ‘but I’ve decided that that’s the path for me.’”…”

      This likely accurate and certainly telling exchange carries in it the whole of the matter. Templeton has asked of Graham how he can justify casting aside his intellectual integrity to favor a myth, and Graham in plainer words than he used has replied,”Too late, I am committed to the myth and I have CHOSEN to believe it.”
      How does one choose to believe, as though one is choosing among the carrots at a market, which of them one wants for oneself? One cannot with integrity choose ones truth and then abide by it for one’s own convenience, as Graham admits he did. Graham knows that if he were to stop spouting literal bible passages as fact, that he would lose the strength of his position. He says as much. Therefor he continues the game, despite whatever misgivings to its verity he might have.
      Templeton has far the more intellectually integrity in that he has come to realize in the whole that what he has preached for years is poppycock, and he takes the next step in repudiating it despite the cost and the loss of formerly bedazzled followers. Templeton is therefor far the better man for it.

    • chaya1957

      The myth is far bigger than the narrow boxes some shoved it into, as well as our intellectual honest is neither as honest no as intellectual as we would like to believe.

      Why are there only two choices here? Aren’t there other options? If your relationship with God consists of a few rigid doctrinal points that don’t flex, they are easily dismantled.

      Templeton may have been more honest than Graham, but he wasn’t kind to spew out bitterness. Jacob struggled with a divine being and prevailed, exchanging his identity of a heel-catcher to one who is a prince with God.

      Graham’s belief system doesn’t allow for a struggle, and neither does Templeton’s.

    • R Clark

      Creation is the only apologist God needs!!! Nobody saw the beginning of the universe so to equate current predominate formulations of how things came to be with the scientific method (e.g. evolution as fact) is plainly intellectually dishonest. If someone doesn’t choose to accept the existence of a Creator as fact that is his/her decision since no one knows but the defacto canonization of Darwinian evolution by “scientific” academia has severely injured western cultural society. Many early scientists were Christians exploring God’s creation. However, the albeit imperfect church, is now blamed for lack of progress during the middle ages when in fact much earlier knowledge and even the scriptures were protected by the monks, who in some cases, like Gregor Medel, were scientists themselves.
      Although I’ve not read his book I suspect that Charles Templeton was just caught up in the “heat of the moment”. Everyone has to come to the point of either accepting God from observing the complexity of creation and His secondary revelation in scripture or rejecting them. How sad that there are those in popular society that are so vested in their faith that He doesn’t exist that they can’t bring themselves to admit error.
      Arrogance is the core of all sin. Lucifer’s arrogance put creation in a state of war that will last until God makes all things right in eternity. How can people like Richard Dawkins presume to understand an eternal God who exists outside of time? There will always be details of origins that no one knows regardless of which side is chosen. Contemporary “scientific” academia chooses to withhold the known weaknesses (and there are many) from the minds of young impressionable biology students. They even become verbally belligerent when anyone suggests that these be pointed out. Isn’t academia supposed to be about open, explorative, free thought; apparently not. Mr. Templeton’s example should serve as a humbling example of the deceit of arrogance.

    • Princess

      I wonder why Templeton, when confronted with errors and problematic issues in his faith, failed to explore other faith options rather than closing the door on all? Perhaps it was a knee-jerk, polemic reaction?

    • Weston Harris

      Thank you for this article. Very well written and expressed. I love that story, in spite of it’s sadness.
      This world is filled with those who stuck to the course and those who didn’t. The results of their lives speak for themselves. The first die happy, fulfilled and content. The others die miserable, having kicked against the pricks their whole life from the moment they turned. Very sad indeed, but very motivating to me to stick to the course and win the prize…my peace and total happiness with myself, my family and my God.

    • Bob Hutton

      The Bible IS the inspired, infallible, inerrant, invincible and indestructible Word of God. If it says that God made the world in 6 days (as it does) then that is what happened. People who disgaree with this are arguing with God, not with me.

    • […] Interesante – la vida de Templeton, Charles Bradley Templeton (7 de octubre de 1915-7 de junio de 2001). Fue un gran evangelista “cristiano”, anduvo con Billy Graham en una época, luego negó la fe y, como agnóstico, escribió contra la fe cristiana. Para más información sobre él, véase este y otros enlaces:… […]

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