April 11th, 2011
11:40 PM ET

Should Christians tithe?

A survey released last week from the National Association of Evangelicals found most of their  leaders don't believe tithing is a biblical requirement for Christians. 

Tithing refers to the tradition of giving ten percent of one's earnings to a church.  CNN's T.J. Holmes talked with NAE President Leith Anderson and Pastor Brian Kluth about the practice and the new survey.

Read more about the survey results.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Money & Faith • Uncategorized

April 11th, 2011
10:34 PM ET

Explaining the 'Lazarus effect' on AIDS patients

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The "Lazarus effect" is a phrase coined by doctors and relief workers in Africa to describe what happens to AIDS patients after they start receiving antiretroviral medicines.

On Sunday, churches around the world read from the Gospel of John and heard the story of Lazarus, in which Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, as part of Lazarus Sunday.

The ONE campaign, an advocacy group co-founded by the rock star Bono to help alleviate poverty and fight AIDS in Africa, hoped the metaphor would carry on to their project to get people more involved in AIDS advocacy.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Faith & Health • Movies • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

April 11th, 2011
04:13 PM ET

U.S. ambassador faulted for faith writing and speaking

Douglas Kmiec, center, at a 2006 U.S. Senate hearing.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The U.S. ambassador to Malta has upset the State Department by devoting so much time to writing and speaking about faith-related issues, according to a report from the department’s inspector general released last week.

The ambassador, Douglas Kmiec, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 after Kmiec helped spearhead Obama’s outreach to Catholic voters in the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Based on a belief that he was given a special mandate to promote President Obama’s interfaith initiatives, he has devoted considerable time to writing articles for publication in the United States as well as in Malta,” the State Department’s Inspector General’s Office said of Kmiec in an inspection report on the Maltese embassy released Thursday.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Politics

April 11th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Explainer: Islamic headscarves and France's new burqa ban

France's controversial ban on wearing Islamic veils such as burqas took effect Monday.

The ban pertains to the burqa, a full-body covering that includes a mesh window over the face, and the niqab, a full-face veil that leaves an opening only for the eyes.

The hijab, which covers the hair and neck but not the face, and the chador, which covers the body but not the face, apparently are not banned by the law.

Click through the gallery to see what the main types of Islamic headscarves look like - and to see what's banned and what's not under France's new law.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • France • Islam • Politics

April 11th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Leading atheist publishes secular Bible

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

The question arose early in British academic A.C. Grayling’s career: What if those ancient compilers who’d made Bibles, the collected religious texts that were translated, edited, arranged and published en masse, had focused instead on assembling the non-religious teachings of civilization’s greatest thinkers?

What if the book that billions have turned to for ethical guidance wasn’t tied to commandments from God or any one particular tradition but instead included the writings of Aristotle, the reflections of Confucius, the poetry of Baudelaire? What would that book look like, and what would it mean?

Decades after he started asking such questions, what Grayling calls “a lifetime’s work” has hit bookshelves. “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month. Grayling crafted it by using more than a thousand texts representing several hundred authors, collections and traditions.

The Bible would have been “a very different book and may have produced a very different history for mankind,” had it drawn on the work of philosophers and writers as opposed to prophets and apostles, says Grayling, a philosopher and professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who is an atheist.


- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Bible • Books • Culture & Science • Ethics

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.