Billy Sunday Essay

Billy Sunday Essay

Length: 2413 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 people stood for or against the Reverend William A. Sunday, they all agreed that it was difficult to be indifferent toward him. The religious leader was so extraordinarily popular, opinionated, and vocal that indifference was the last thing that he would get from people. His most loyal admirers were confident that this rural-breed preacher was God’s mouthpiece, calling Americans to repentance. Sunday’s critics said that at best he was a well-meaning buffoon whose sermons vulgarized and trivialized the Christian message and at worst he was a disgrace to the name of Christ (Dorsett 2).

There are elements of truth in both of these views. He was often guilty of oversimplifying biblical truths, and at times he spoke more out of ignorance than a heavenly viewpoint. He was also a man with numerous flaws. He spoiled his children, giving them everything that they asked for. He put enormous responsibility on his wife, burdening her with many aspects of his ministry. He always noticeably sought the
applause of the crowd for his own praise. He often confused the will of God with his own social and political agenda. He even sometimes compared the gospel of Jesus Christ with special interest and American foreign policy.

Nevertheless, Billy Sunday was a sincere man whose life was fundamentally changed by his response to an evangelist’s call to repent of his sins, to believe that Jesus Christ died in his place for those sins, and to follow Christ in thanksgiving by worshiping and obeying him. Following this spiritual rebirth, the convert became deeply devoted to Jesus Christ. A devotion manifested in living out many of ...


... middle of paper ...


...ee baseball seasons stood up at the street preacher’s invitation and abruptly announced to his teammates on the curb, “Boys I bid the old life good-bye.” Billy considered going down during the invitation but did not. After several days of agonizing over this Billy went back to the mission and decided, “With Christ you are saved, without him you are lost” (Sunday “Satan” 4). He “committed” his life that night to a cause that he saw was more important than any baseball game ever played.
Despite becoming largely famous after being traded to Philadelphia, it would be the results of that decision at the Pacific Garden Mission that the world would remember Billy Sunday for. Some applauded Sunday and his methods; others did not. But there is no question that Sunday’s sensational career was a phenomenon Americans would not soon forget.

Works Cited

Dorsett, Lyle W. Billy Sunday and the Redemption of Urban America. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 1991.

Ellis, William T. Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message. n.p., 1914.

Sunday, Billy. Billy Sunday’s Sermons. Omaha: Omaha Daily News, 1915.

Sunday, Billy. Face to Face With Satan. Knoxville: Prudential Pub, 1923.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Billy Sunday Essay

- 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....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
2413 words (6.9 pages)

Billy Elliot Into the World Essay

- Billy Elliot Into the World There are a variety of pathways and elements, which enables individual transition into a New World. ‘Into the World’ is about people choosing the next pathway into their life by their own determination, experiences and support which enables them to go beyond their original location and narrow view of the world. ‘Billy Elliot’ relates to the elective ‘Into the World’ as the film is about new possibilities opening up, determination, family support and individual growth....   [tags: Literature Analysis]

Powerful Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Bloody Sunday and Historical Interpretation from Two Sources Essay

- 'Bloody Sunday', as it became known, has produced many different interpretations of events. Since January 1972 people have recorded diverse versions of events depending on where they were or which faction of society they belonged to. The sources used for the purpose of this essay are all from the media. The first two are from news paper reports written 27 years after the event following new revelations made during the partial disclosure of evidence submitted to the inquiry lead by Lord Saville, commissioned by Tony Blair....   [tags: Bloody Sunday,history, 1972, ]

Powerful Essays
1182 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on An Analysis of Sunday Morning

- An Analysis of Wallace Stevens' Sunday Morning         “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens is a poem about a woman having a late breakfast and thinking about the purpose of religion. Stevens wants the readers to ask themselves the questions that the woman asks, and to explore their feelings towards Christianity. He also wants to spark an awareness of nature. The first stanza asks the first tentative questions before launching into a racy debate in the later stanzas.           Stevens uses stanza I to set the scene for the rest of the poem....   [tags: Sunday Morning]

Powerful Essays
1349 words (3.9 pages)

The Poetry of Billy Collins Essay

- The Poetry of Billy Collins In 2001 a new poet laureate was crowned and a new voice; the voice of a poetic everyman was heard by many for the first time. That voice belonged to Billy Collins. Collins was born into a working-class Bronx couple, and grew up in a typical middle-class neighborhood where he went to church on Sundays and listened to jazz music in his free time. This middle-class background and sensibilities are reflected in his poetic style and themes, and in his desire to bring poetry back into the American main stream by making it more accessible to the average reader....   [tags: Billy Collins Poet Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
1640 words (4.7 pages)

Free Billy Budd Essays: Billy Budd as Christ

- Billy Budd as Christ In this novel, Billy Budd, Melville acts as a "Creator", in that he gives Billy Budd certain superhuman qualities, which allows him to posses the traits of a servant of God. Billy Budd appears Christ-like, because of his peace-making abilities. Although, he is a peacemaker whom will fight for what he believes in and to keep peace. In the beginning of the novel, when Red Whiskers gives Billy Budd problems, he strikes him with a powerful blow and does not have any more problems with him or the crew again....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Free Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

Captian Vere's reactions to Billy Budd in Billy Budd Essay

- Captian Vere's reactions to Billy Budd in Billy Budd When Captain Vere says “Struck dead by an angel of God. Yet the angel must hang!” his attitude towards Billy Budd changes from one of paternal concern and personal respect to one in which he has set aside his personal thoughts and feelings for the sake of his nation. Each sentence represents this dichotomy by indicating his sentiment towards Billy. In the first, Billy is “an angel of God” who has “struck” Claggart dead, in a righteous manner....   [tags: Vere Billy Budd Essays]

Free Essays
414 words (1.2 pages)

Billy Budd Essay: Comparing Christ to Billy

- Comparing Christ to Billy of Billy Budd         "I stand for the heart. To the dogs with the head!" wrote Herman Melville in his June 1851 letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (Davis and Gilman 3). Yet, by the time he began writing Billy Budd, Sailor in 1888, Melville must have tempered this view, for Billy Budd depicts the inevitable destruction of a man who is all heart but who utterly lacks insight. Melville no doubt intends for his reader to connect this tale with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Billy Budd endures a persecution similar to Christ's; he is executed for like reasons, and he eventually ascends, taking "the full rose of the dawn" (BB 376)....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Powerful Essays
3199 words (9.1 pages)

Essay on Biblical Allegories in Billy Budd

- Biblical Allegories in Billy Budd Herman Melville's Billy Budd is a novel with many biblical allegories ranging from subtle references to quite obvious similarities between characters and Biblical figures. One of the most prevalent and accepted similarities is that of "Billy as Adam" (Berthoff, Certain 33) around the time of the Fall, "The ground common to most discussion of Billy Budd is the assumption that the story is allegorical ... a reenactment of the Fall" (Berthoff, Certain 32)....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Powerful Essays
598 words (1.7 pages)

Irony in Billy Budd Essays

- Billy Budd is a story filled with irony. This literary aspect can be seen through the plot and characters of the work. As defined in The American Heritage Dictionary, irony is the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. After a casual reading of the story' the many ironic aspects may have been igonred, but after analyzing the story it becomes obvious that they are of great importance. "...The fate of each character is the direct reverse of what one is led to expect from his nature" (Johnson, 185)....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Powerful Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)