SKEPTIC: In a 2006 Newsweek interview, Billy Graham angered some Christians when he seemed to make a couple of major changes in his theological point of view. First, although he'd always been a literalist when it came to the Bible, he now says that he is "not a literalist in the sense that every single jot and tittle is from the Lord." Also, even though he had always preached that you must be a born-again Christian to go to Heaven, he now seems to be open to the possibility that those of other faiths may also be granted entrance, saying that God "loves everybody regardless of what label they have" and "it would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won't."
What is your take on these statements?
SKEPTIC: I'm not sure why you say the article is biased. I thought it was a very fair and largely favorable retrospective on Graham's life and the changes he's experienced. Can you point out examples from the article that you think are biased in some way?
Your attempt to minimize his change in thinking regarding the literalism of the Bible as a reference to "copyist errors" seems like wishful thinking on your part. The article gave no indication that such was the case. Indeed, it states clearly that Graham has acknowledged that this represents a change in his thinking and he now believes that some parts of the Bible should be taken figuratively, not literally.
And you must admit, his "hands-off" position on the question of who gets into Heaven is a big change from what he preached most of his life, i.e. that only Bible-believing, born-again Christians will get the "golden ticket" to Heaven. If his current position were so benign, you wouldn't have so many Christians screaming for his head on a platter (if I may invoke a John the Baptist reference). The same thing happened more recently, you may recall, when Joel Osteen took pretty much the same position and was roundly pilloried by true believers.