A Critical Examination of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Ministry of Equipping Evangelists Via the Amsterdam Conferences
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ABSTRACT A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION’S MINISTRY OF EQUIPPING EVANGELISTS VIA THE AMSTERDAM CONFERENCES Brian David Bohannon, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2017 Chair: Dr. Adam W. Greenway Chapter 1 articulates the research problem and identifies the intent to analyze the three international conferences for itinerant evangelists that the BGEA convened in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The thesis contends that in equipping evangelists via the Amsterdam conferences, the BGEA prioritized the calling of the evangelist and the gospel message, and that this contribution is significant in light of a proclivity to emphasize methods in evangelism. Chapter 2 is a biography of Billy Graham. This biography shows that Billy Graham contributed to world evangelization and demonstrated that one of his contributions to global evangelism is his work of equipping evangelists worldwide. Consequently, the biography prepares the reader for an examination of the BGEA’s ministry of equipping evangelists via the three Amsterdam conferences. Chapter 3 covers Amsterdam ’83 and Amsterdam ’86. Concerning Amsterdam ’83 this chapter evaluates the evangelist’s role as a preacher of the gospel, concentrates on his spiritual walk with God, and analyzes his equipping ministry. Regarding Amsterdam ’86 this chapter investigates the evangelist as a person, the evangelist’s message, and the various methods of evangelism. Chapter 4 covers Amsterdam 2000. This chapter focuses on the following nine themes: the need for Evangelism, the evangelist’s message, the Bible, Christ, the Savior, the mission of the gospel, the Holy Spirit and the evangelist, the evangelist’s personal holiness and spiritual walk God, the church and the evangelist, and the evangelist and the world. Chapter 5 concludes that the entire analysis demonstrates that in equipping evangelists via the Amsterdam conferences Billy Graham prioritized the calling of the evangelist and the gospel message, and that this contribution is significant in light of a proclivity to emphasize methods in evangelism. Finally, the chapter offers suggestions for further research.