May 17th, 2011
03:27 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Robert Jeffress is pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas and the author of 17 books, including the forthcoming "Forget Saving America!"
By Robert Jeffress, Special to CNN
In January 1961, a few days before John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as president, he invited Billy Graham to spend a day with him in Key Biscayne, Florida. After a round of golf, Kennedy and Graham were returning to their hotel when Kennedy stopped the white Lincoln convertible he was driving by the side of the road.
“Billy, do you believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to Earth one day?” Kennedy asked.
“Yes, Mr. President, I certainly do,” the evangelist responded.
“Then why do I hear so little about it?” Kennedy wondered.
Were Kennedy alive today, he probably wouldn't be asking the same question.
May 17th, 2011
01:44 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail," the physicist said in an interview published Sunday in Britain's Guardian newspaper. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a terminal and debilitating illness that causes loss of mobility and impairs speech - at age 21 and was not expected to live long after, also talked with The Guardian about his own mortality.
May 17th, 2011
10:37 AM ET
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
If you want to see how American evangelicalism has lost its way, you need look no farther than Billy Graham and his son Franklin. Billy Graham was a powerful preacher of the gospel. Franklin Graham is a political hack.
Billy Graham, now 92, was released from a hospitalization for pneumonia earlier this week, but I will always remember him as a vibrant young revivalist who mesmerized me, and hundreds of millions of others, through his televised crusades.
He was somehow square and hip at the same time–he more than held his own in a conversation with Woody Allen in 1969 television special—and he challenged us to devote our lives not to money or power but to God.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.