3 out of 5 Stars
Author: Billy Graham
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2011)
Buy Nearing Home
93 and Counting
Billy Graham is 93 years old writing a book. That in itself is noteworthy. 93 years. That’s a ripe old age. However, what Graham argues is that aging in itself is not enough one must finish well. He says,
The Bible is dotted with other examples of individuals whom God used in their latter years--men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.
He also argues that people advanced in years should not dread this season of life but seek God’s purpose.
Preaching in Print
What Graham does well in this book is offer practical advise on you can near home well. Often what he says is balanced and he writes in a readable prose style. Nearing Home not a robust theological treatise on dying well. It’s written more like a memoir or a letter to a friend with practical wisdom. The topic of aging, finishing well, and death is such an important topic I wish some of the theological pipework was exposed more explicitly.
Reading it reminded me of the many sermons I’ve heard from country evangelist’s sermons (not preoperative at all) filled with anecdotes, Scripture’s woven throughout, and practical application. He talks at length about managing your finances well in old age, about learning from the younger generation and sharing your wisdom with them, and also covers topics like death of a spouse, retirement, forgiveness, and even technology. And what would you expect from a former evangelist but a clear presentation of the gospel (Kindle Location 1992 of 2637) and also an invitation to pray for salvation (2545).
He argues strongly for finding ministry opportunities in retirement. He says, “Retirement isn’t something that just happens if you live long enough, and it isn’t even a reward for your years of hard work; it is a gift from God. Once you understand this, you will approach your retirement differently” (700). I found this perspective refreshing. In one of the more moving paragraphs Graham says,
Christians are not to be preoccupied with death; God has put within each of us a will to survive. But neither are we to shrink from death or act as if we must fiercely resist it until the last breath. The time may well come, in fact, when life’s burdens and pains overwhelm us so much that we will welcome death as a friend--and that is as it should be. If we know Christ, we know that Heaven is our true home, and (like the saints of old) we are “longing for a better country--a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16) (1017 of 2637)
If you’re looking for a ground level book that’s approachable, devotional, & practical than Nearing Home would serve you well.