God, the reclusive author of the best-selling book of all time, The Bible, hasn’t published anything in nearly two thousand years. Why is that?
Most authors with that kind of success would be eager to write a follow-up. Not a sequel, necessarily, but he could at least write something that clears up all the confusing passages and glaring contradictions in his first book.
If you’re a Christian, you might say that God doesn’t need to write another book because he already said everything he has to say in the first book. But is that true? There are so many new moral questions that were never addressed in the Bible: Should marijuana be legal? How much gun control is too much? Is it okay to clone a human being? What about sexual reassignment surgery?
The Bible doesn’t say anything about these issues, and that’s just the beginning. There are plenty of other moral questions people face every day to which the Bible only has vague answers. So vague that it depends on your interpretation. Why couldn’t God be more specific? If he had, maybe there wouldn’t be so many denominations.
Here’s a great example of a modern moral question that the Bible doesn’t answer: Is abortion permissible? You might think the Bible is pro-life, but the truth is, there isn’t a single passage that forbids abortion. There are verses where God says he knit people together in their wombs and knew them before they were born, but those verses refer to him creating people and seeing into the future. It’s quite a stretch to say they condemn abortion. In fact, there’s even a passage that explains how you can terminate your wife’s pregnancy if she cheated on you, so if anything, the Bible is pro-choice.
In order to answer these questions, God could write a new book that specifically says “Thou shalt not slay an unborn child” or “Marijuana should be avoided” or “Cloning a human being is an abomination” and so forth. Then Christians wouldn’t have to debate these things anymore. So why doesn’t he?
It’s not just that the Bible doesn’t address modern moral dilemmas. As I explained in this article, the Bible isn’t a very good read. In fact, it’s a slog. Have you ever tried reading it from start to finish? It’s almost impossible. You’ll fall asleep halfway through the Old Testament.
The Bible is unorganized, hard to understand, and very inconsistent. If you disagree, then explain the fact that there are entire stores devoted to selling books that expand upon the Bible. If the Bible is so clear, why do we need tens of thousands of Christian books to explain it to us?
I’ve heard Christians defend the Bible by saying God rewards those who diligently seek him. In other words, if the Bible seems boring and confusing, you just have to keep reading and praying it until it makes sense. But why would God set it up this way? If he wants to save as many people as possible, why not write a book that is clear and interesting? Imagine how many more millions of people would be saved from eternal damnation if God had written a better book.
So once again, why doesn’t God write another book? Does he have writer’s block?
Imagine if he did write another book. How would he go about it? Probably the most interesting thing he could do is come down from Heaven and write it himself. He could appear in all his glory–white beard, glowing robes, and all–perhaps standing 50 or 100 feet tall, and he could do it somewhere there are lots of cameras, like Times Square or the White House lawn. He could say, “I am the Lord thy God, and I am here to write a new book.”
Next, he could make a golden typewriter appear from thin air, and as it floats in front of him, he could type up the entire manuscript in a flash, proving that he never gets writer’s block. After that, he could carry his manuscript to the nearest book publisher while news cameras follow every step of his journey. Lastly, he could walk inside, hand over his manuscript, and command them to publish it immediately.
Wouldn’t that be amazing? If God did that, everybody would know he wrote the book himself and that it wasn’t written by someone pretending to write for him.
Christians think I’m joking when I describe scenarios like this, but I’m not. If God can do anything, then surely he could do this. Yet Christians never expect God to do anything but be invisible, help with small tasks like finding car keys, and occasionally heal people who have the type of diseases that can go into remission on their own. It’s almost like they don’t actually believe in God.
According to Christians, God doesn’t write that way. For some reason, he prefers to use ghostwriters. Lots of them.
So instead of appearing in public and writing the book himself, God would probably appear in private to a few people and ask them to write his book. Let’s say he appeared to Rick Warren, James Dobson, and Franklin Graham. Three ghostwriters isn’t very many compared to the 40 or so (some of whom are anonymous) who wrote his first book, but whatever.
If these men saw God and heard his voice, I’m sure they would dutifully write down everything he says. Next, they would announce to their followers that God had commanded them to write a new New Testament and that every word in this Testament is God-breathed.
Here’s my question to Christians: If your favorite Christian leader said this, would you believe him? I’m willing to bet that most Christians wouldn’t. In fact, most of them would call it blasphemy, and the careers of the preachers making this claim would be over.
But wait a minute… Why is it so difficult to believe that a modern preacher like Rick Warren wrote on behalf of God, yet so easy to believe that an ancient preacher like Paul the Apostle wrote on behalf of God? What’s the difference?
The only difference I see is time. For Christians, it’s easy to believe in amazing miracles like people walking on water or rising from the dead, so long as they happened thousands of years ago. I’m not sure why, exactly. Probably because old miracle stories are difficult to falsify, whereas modern miracle stories could potentially be proven false. I think on a subconscious level, Christians know this, so they’re reluctant to believe in new miracles (unless, of course, they’re the kind of “miracles” that can also be explained by natural phenomena).
The same rule applies to a modern preacher claiming to write God’s latest book. They know it’s more likely the preacher will be found out as a fraud than that God is actually speaking to him.
So to sum up, with all the modern moral dilemmas and thousands of Christian denominations, a new book by God would answer lots of questions and probably save millions more souls. God could appear and write a new book, but he prefers to hide. He could get someone to write the book, but few people would believe it was dictated by him.
So here we are, stuck with an ancient book full of silly stories, ritual instructions, mediocre poems, religious letters, and strange prophecies by dozens of authors, all cobbled together into one long and boring book that is often vague and doesn’t address modern problems.
Do you really believe this is how God chose to communicate with humanity? Or is it more likely that the Bible is just another phony religious book like all the others?
So why hasn’t God written any books lately? Because he never wrote any books in the first place.