a billy graham center archives exhibit
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Rader the preacher

Paul Rader was one of the most powerful preachers of his day, a man who almost unthinkingly clothed the Gospel in modern words and slang.

Central to Rader's appeal was his preaching. His sermons were preached at the Tabernacle, over the radio, on street corners, in the downtown auditoriums he rented for men's-only meetings every Thanksgiving, at summer camp, at foreign mission stations, and at evangelistic campaigns around the country. He was also a frequent preacher at other churches. His language was simple and full of stories and images from everyday life. Although not as full of slang and acrobatics as Billy Sunday's, his style was meant to be as entertaining and attractive. The result was a Tabernacle that was always packed when he was in the pulpit. Using various ways and numerous personal anecdotes, Rader's sermons stressed the same topics over and over: God's great love for humanity, the need for every person to face up to his sin and be saved by Jesus Christ, and the importance of putting your Christian faith actively to work in your life and in the world around you.

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