Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dictated by God to men?

One of the participants in my class on the Bible brought the following article from a blog to the class the other day.
Why is the Bible So Badly Written?
Millions of Evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human channelers. Each phrase is considered so perfect that it merits careful linguistic analysis to determine His precise meaning.
If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Although some passages in the Bible are lyrical and gripping, many would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor kicked back with a lot of red ink.
Mixed messages, repetition, bad fact checking, awkward constructions, inconsistent voice, weak character development, boring tangents, contradictions, passages where nobody can tell what the heck the writer meant to convey. . . .  This doesn’t sound like a book that was dictated by a deity.
In the COG we were taught, just like the Mormons were taught, that God literally breathed the words into the minds of the scribes.  They essentially channelled the words of god onto paper.  It may make for a good simplistic story to feed people who have never critically studied the Bible, it is it really true or more precisely accurate?

Most stories in the Bible, particularly the early books of the Bible were never written down till long periods later.  The stories were just that, oral stories passed down through leaders, rabbi's, teachers and storytellers.  COG leaders expected you to believe that each time the story was orally told, not one single thing was ever changed in the storyline.  No storyteller ever changed things to fit the people he was talking to.  No storyteller ever blanked out while telling the story and substituted another word or phrase to make the story sound more logical.  Nope, the magical god of the church entered the mind of every prophet, sage, rabbi, and storyteller and caused them to say the exact same words for hundreds and hundreds of years without one single deviation from the original plot line being forgotten.

The article continues with this:
No question, the Bible contains beautiful and timeless bits. But why, overall, does it so fail to meet this mark? One obvious answer, of course, is that neither the Bible—nor any derivative work like the Quran or Book of Mormon—was actually dictated by the Christian god or other celestial messengers. We humans may yearn for advice that is “god-breathed” but in reality, our sacred texts were written by fallible human beings who, try as they might, fell short of perfection in the ways that we all do.
In the church many ministers proclaimed that they knew exactly who wrote every single book in the Bible.  They all said that because one man said so and that man could never be questioned.
Far from being a single unified whole, the Bible is actually a collection of texts or text fragments from many authors. We don’t know the number of writers precisely, and—despite the ancient traditions that assigned authorship to famous people such as Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—we don’t know who most of them were. We do know that the men who inscribed the biblical texts had widely different language skills, cultural and technological surroundings, worldviews and supernatural beliefs—along with varying objectives. 
How many church members knew about two different creation stories or three different 10 Commandment sets?
Bible writers adapted earlier stories and laws to their own cultural and religious context, but they couldn’t always reconcile differences among handed-down texts, and often may not have known that alternative versions existed. Later, variants got bundled together. This is why the Bible contains two different  creation mythsthree sets of Ten Commandments, and four contradictory versions of the Easter story.
The Gospel According to Matthew (not actually authored by Matthew) was written for an audience of Jews. The author was a recruiter for the ancient equivalent of Jews for Jesus. That is why, in the Matthew account, the Last Supper is timed as a Passover meal. By contrast, the Gospel According to John was written to persuade pagan Roman prospects, so the author timed the events differently. This is just one of many explicit contradictions between the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
The contradictions in the Gospel stories—and many other parts of the Bible, are not there because the writers were confused. Quite the opposite. Each writer knew his own goals and audience, and adapted hand-me-down stories or texts to fit, sometimes changing the meaning in the process. The folks who are confused are those who treat the book as if theywere the audience, as if each verse was a timeless and perfect message sent to them by God.  Their yearning for a set of clean answers to life’s messy questions has created a mess. 
The Bible is a messy book about messy people living messy lives.  Is it all wrong?  No.   Myths, legends and societal stories all contain truths, whether or not the events actually happened.  Do all of the parables that Jesus told have to have been actual events or were they stories told to tell a truth more plainly for the people he was speaking to at the time?  Can the word of God contain non-factual stories in order to tell a truth?


Anonymous said...

"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem." Isaiah 28:9-14

the Word of God may be lost on you high and mighty, highly evolved types, but us country hicks been Given understanding...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

c f ben yochanan writes:

"the Word of God may be lost on you high and mighty, highly evolved types, but us country hicks been Given understanding..."

Bibles, guns, pickup trucks and Dixie flags refreshes me, I'll tell you whut!

Dennis Diehl said...

CF. No offense, look up my"line" upon article on this site and realize the COG has always taken this grievously out of context and has NOTHING to do with how to study the Bible. Not that you will change your mistaken view of it

Dennis Diehl said...

Labeling yourself a " country hick" while often used to give a rather perverse credibility over critical thinking types, as if God is more on your side, is not a credible way to argue a perspective. Nor is falling back an academic igorance by noting " for God has chosen the foolish of the world to confound the wise" a good enough defense of mistaken interpretations

RSK said...

Don't forget pain pills and butt chugging.

Jim Butler said...

Why is the Bible written so "badly?" An excellent and a fair question. It would take a long article to really answer the question. I will give a short answer.

It has everything to do with the plan of God. For those that believe in a God I would think they realize that God is a zillion times more intelligent than any human. Looking at even the limited knowledge we have of the creation, human beings, our minds, even the intelligence of animals would give us some idea that God is intelligent beyond anything we can even imagine, much less understand. With that belief one would think God could inspire humans to write a book(s) that is clear, understandable, without contradictions, interesting, and so on.

That was not his purpose. A lot of his purpose, I think, has to do with free will, developing character, and eventually setting up a godly government for all eternity.

Human beings cannot really begin to understand free will. It is extremely complex. Even using the term "free will" is probably not the right term. (another long article) But God is creating beings, even as humans, that remember everything. We are not capable of retrieving all these memories now, but they're all there and we do remember everything. Enter "free will." We will always have free will. It seems to me that always having free will, for all eternity, presents an incredible challenge, even for God.

How so?

Because a fundamental part of the plan of God is, eventually, life will work, people will live happy lives, people will get along, and continue to learn and grow. And it will be because people will be living God's WAY of life. Will there be mistakes made? Probably. That takes us back to the need for godly government.

I believe God set things up so it would be difficult for people to understand truth. And not only truth in "doctrine" but ESPECIALLY truth about relationships/Christian living. By making it difficult, I believe, it made it "easier" for God to make his decisions regarding who would be part of his government. As I think most, if not all, of you know the Church of God refers to these people as the "first fruits." The first fruits will have no doubt that the only reason they "qualified" (not earned) to be first fruits was because they had God's spirit. They had their part, they had to use their free will, but they will always know that it was only because they had God's spirit that helped them to qualify. At the end of their human lives they will not have a problem with true humility. (which is very rare)

Yes, the corporate churches of God are very dysfunctional. This is also a big part of what God knew would happen and goes back to making it easier for God to decide who would be a first fruit. (another long article)

So, why is the Bible written badly? And I believe it is. All people can gain a lot of wisdom and understanding from the Bible, as has been said above. However, God made it difficult to understand, even the principles of Christian living, so he could discern our honesty, our diligence in THINKING about his WAY of life and our desire to obey what we understand. One of the aspects of honesty is admitting that we don't know something. There are many parts of the Bible that we can honestly say--we don't understand. One example of what God looks at in judging our honesty.

Godly leadership will be needed for all eternity. One truth that we should all understand looking at the past 6000 years.

Dennis Diehl said...

Jim, and you know this or merely speculating an apologetic?

Percy K. Euttodd said...

The "country hick" type will consider whatever their knee-jerk private interpretation might be as "obviously true" and thus, straight from god's mouth directly into their heart by way of magic, and then simply just stop there.

And so it is that they take their sophomoric ignorance, their shallowness, their thoughtlessness, their intellectual poverty, as though it were to their credit, as though that were something that somehow should be expected to make them wise. As though a worthy deity would reward such recklessness, while perversely punishing those who dare scratch below the mere surface. The hubris!

Of course, if every "country hick," against all odds, counter to every statistical prediction, came up with the exact same interpretation, then maybe they'd all have a collective point. But what we observe is exactly what we'd expect to see if the christian god weren't there and the bible was just written by iron age men, so they don't have a point.

But why should the "country hick" think that the academics they disdain haven't already thought of their interpretation, among many others, and don't agree because they've been forced to dismiss it upon a preponderance of disconfirming evidence? Why should they assume that doing one's due diligence somehow breaks the magic juju? Why should they assume that their god would respect the slovenly, sloppy, careless approach of the "country hick"?

Why indeed. What on earth would make the "country hick" expect to find wisdom in a multitude of counsel, rather than in the midst of nothing but the vacuousness of their own individual paucity? On which side do we really find the hubris?

Quite simply, the "country hick" hasn't thought this far. Because thinking is not his strong suit. He reaches his conclusions based upon how he feels. Thinking doesn't enter into it. He feels that something could be true, and proceeds to conclude that upon that basis it must be true. No need to check. No need to prove anything, let alone all things.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Great post Gary!! If God dictated or inspired this book, HE IS THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION! Any real God would never attempt to communicate his will or rules through the written word as it is so easily twisted and misinterpreted. There are over 30,000 different churches claiming to be Christian, with divergent doctrines and dogma. "Age of Reason" makes this point in a very eloquent fashion. Thomas Paine was a genius!

If there is a god who cares about mankind and his creation, he should be able to make his rules crystal clear so we all have the same unified understanding. It is so obvious that religion is a man-made device, created to organize and control. It may have been necessary when it was developed, but it has long outlived its usefulness.

Anonymous said...

I praise our Lord for having the Wisdom to "write the Bible badly", so that only people like myself who are chosen and godly will have what it takes to understand it, because in Eternity, God will be counting on me and people like me to be in Godly Leadership positions.

God is certainly thankful because there's me and my peeps who have the required wisdom and honesty, and we'll be God's besties forever and ever.

Anonymous said...

As a longtime member of the Church of God, I have to say that I would take your criticisms and commentary a little more seriously if you actually believed in the same Bible that even most of modern Christianity believes in to some degree, and a divine all-knowing God that even most nominal Christians believe to exist.

Seeing that this blog and many of its active supporters do not believe in any of these things and ridicule and condemn anyone (COG or otherwise) who happens to do so, then your "take" on what we do or don't do or have done in the past simply hold's no merit whatsoever to any of us. At least if a "good" Baptist or Catholic strives to disprove what I believe, I'll at least have a little more respect for them. In my view, they at least stand for something, even if I believe they are wrong. You people here? Your're just a bunch of bitter and hateful folks will fall for anything. Sad.

RSK said...

And yet... the post bothered you enough that you had to go claiming you dont care when clearly you do. Liar. Go ahead, give us some more cliches. Bet you're hanging around "this blog" right now just waiting to show us more virtue signalling.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:22 PM... if you're an Armstrong COG member, you believe that the Baptists and the Catholics are just as deceived by Satan as are the Buddhists or the Hindus. Also, if you are an ACOG member, you have special honor for the Jews as the ones to whom God has entrusted His oracles (Romans 3:2). Yet those Jews are just as disbelieving of the New Testament as are any of the most cutting critics on this blog. So, your beliefs as expressed in your 12:22 PM post are a confused mess and are heretical from a Church of God perspective. Why should anyone care about your heretical views any more than Dennis's?

NO2HWA said...

Anon at 12:22 wrote:

"As a longtime member of the Church of God, I have to say that I would take your criticisms and commentary a little more seriously if you actually believed in the same Bible that even most of modern Christianity believes in to some degree, and a divine all-knowing God that even most nominal Christians believe to exist. "

I actually believe and have been leading classes in the Bible for the last 10 years. Critically looking at the Bible does not destroy my faith or anyone's else faith, but makes the study of the Bible way more fascinating than sitting down and taking Herbert Armstrong's interpretations unquestionably.

"Seeing that this blog and many of its active supporters do not believe in any of these things and ridicule and condemn anyone (COG or otherwise) who happens to do so, then your "take" on what we do or don't do or have done in the past simply hold's no merit whatsoever to any of us."

This blog is one of the very few that allows everyone to share opinions, both for and against Armstrongism and its teachings, and that includes the church interpretations of the scriptures. Not a single one of us here could ever destroy anyone's faith if they truly believed what they claim to believe. The problem arises in that most church members have never critically studied the bible but let their leaders, ministers, evangelists, elders and others tell them what to believe. If anything good happened with the Tkach administration was the chance it gave to people to finally question and challenge what they had been taught. Armstorngism can be easily debunked and that is what most here have discovered.

"You people here? Your're just a bunch of bitter and hateful folks will fall for anything. Sad."

If you think that most there are bitter you are truly deceived. Bitterness and anger are the least of the things I have ever had to worry about concerning my 45+ years in the church. Was it all good? No. Was it all bad? No. I have met several commenters on here and bitterness is not one of their defining characteristics. I think the one thing that joins us all is seeing the blatant lies of false teachers like Bob Thiel, James Malm, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Gerald Weston, Vic Kubik and many other COG leaders. We have all witnessed the abusive tactics of these men and of Herbert Armstrong and know for a fact that they are wrong. We are also all tired of seeing peoples lives destroyed by the filth these men promulgate as "truth." These men are not godly men and need to be exposed for the vile beings that they are.

Retired Prof said...

Why is the Bible written so poorly?

Circumstances of its composition and amalgamation. It's an anthology of Israelite literature, and because it comes from so long ago, antiquarians scrabbled together whatever scarce documents they could find. That meant they couldn't afford to be as selective as someone putting together an anthology of, say, British plays from the 16th and 17th centuries. I've read a good many of the ones that don't make it into high school or undergraduate literature books. Although this period produced some of the best-loved plays of all time, most of them are truly bad. William Shakespeare wrote many of the best ones. But even he wrote some crap. Take _Timon of Athens_. Yuck!

The principle is given the name "Sturgeon's Law" or "Sturgeon's Revelation," after sci-fi author Theodore Sturgeon, who said about the crap found in his own field, "Ninety-nine percent of everything is crap."

In the Bible we get this great big agglomeration of Israelite collectibles nobody has culled the crap from and thrown it away. Every scrap is considered too rare and precious for that. Thomas Jefferson tried, with his edited version of the New Testament, but it has not caught on. Looks like we're stuck with the whole pile--a good deal for those who enjoy scrabbling around in a smelly mess looking for valuable nuggets. Not everybody, though, has the patience for that activity.

Dennis Diehl said...

I'm not a heretic. I'm an Apostate former minister" according to Robert Thiel. Dave Pack once ended a sermon with " And yes brethren, I am an Apostate" so the concept is not new. Patrol Holding of Tectonics Apologetics called me "A Hihg Priest of Molech" which I took as a promotion over Preaching Elder.šŸ˜‡

Anonymous said...

The Bible books were assembled by what the WCG would label the catholic church or at least it's ancestor.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Anon 11:02, you are a riot!! Who are your peeps?
Happy Valentine's Day!

Great response Gary. I hold no bitterness or anger. I am just happy to have escaped and regained my freedom of thought. That is my sincere wish for everyone still in their personal prison.

The church leaders you name are contemptible users of the sheep. Their messages are warped and insane, just like HWA's. At least he invented his own crazy belief system, these guys are just copy cats.

Byker Bob said...

I don’t see so much a problem with the Bible as I do with a certain percentage of its readers or students who labor over it with an anal retentive, or obsessive-compulsive attitude. In other words, those who are using it as a basis for legalism with which they can manipulate others. The vast majority of those who read or study the Bible are looking for positive lessons or principles to improve their understanding, their behavior, or their relationships with God and fellow man. It is possible to lose sight of the law behind the law (royal law of love) and to exclude or beat people up, using the Bible against them, rather than for all of us. Unfortunately, that is what happened to those of us who experienced Armstrongism.

My opinion may make me part of a very small minority, but I believe it to be both balanced and eminently fair.


DennisCDiehl said...

EDSWHFNT Thanks for the kind words. I could show you an email I just got that takes a different view of my being here. :)

Near_Earth_Object said...

I put this on Rumney's site a few times.

I believe that the Bible, though touted for its majesty, is a punitive document. A written text was not how God intended to communicate with mankind. God intended to communicate directly. The Bible is a product of human rebellion. And we just have to get over it.

The "automatic writing" (God speaks and the scribes write automatically) model just doesn't work. Where did that idea even come from? The Bible nowhere describes itself in this way. Only people describe the Bible in that way.

The Incarnational Model describes the Bible the best, I believe. This model was developed by Dr. Peter Enns. Christ was incarnated at a certain time in history.
He ate the food of that time, wore the clothes, used the dialect, used the figures of speech, used the vocabulary and the views and concepts.

And the elements of the Bible, like Christ, are stamped with their incarnational milieu. The Bible passed through the hands of people who lived at certain times and in certain contexts. But the Bible is not about the history of its curation. It is about a narrative arc.

Genesis uses the vehicle of ancient Semitic cosmology. This cosmology does not coincide with modern cosmology. But Genesis is not about cosmology. It is about a theological message. To fret over the medium is to lose the message.

Anonymous said...

You would think God would write a book entitled, "The how to, step by step guide to salvation". When the Tkatchs changed the doctrines of the WCG to salvation by grace scriptures where used that backed-up salvation by works and different scriptures where used to back-up the new salvation by grace teaching by the other side. The truth is the bible is not clear at all about the most important question of, how do we obtain salvation?. You would think that God would make that very clear to us. This is the ultimate evidence that God did not inspire scriptures. It is clear to me that men from different groups with different ideas wrote this book.

Near_Earth_Object said...

And the Bible is not hard to understand so only the blessed by God can understand it. It is hard for everyone to understand. Christians understand it so poorly that there are two great schools of theological thought: Calvinism and Arminianism.
Yet based on the same Bible.

I won't go in to how hard it was for Hebert Armstrong and Vernon Howell to understand it.

Jim Butler said...

Dennis, what I posted is simply my opinion of the only thing that makes sense; believing much (not all) of what most in the churches of God teach and how I read and understand the Bible.

I do believe that God makes clear in both the old and new covenants that many of the leaders in the many churches of God have not lead in a godly way. Again, this is what God knew would happen. I know the entire idea of first fruits comes across as self-righteous to many but this is something anyone that disagrees with this must take up with God. It is his plan---not ours.

Anonymous said...

indeed Christ saw fit to Choose from among societys marginalized to lay the foundation of His Church: poor fishermen, men of galilee, as it were; and to them He Gave an Eternal place in the Kingdom of Heaven at the top eschelon; and what ever wisdom they may not have been Created with as men He will make up for that by Giving them Wisdom that exceeds that of lucifer, cuz He is able...

and you will find that your own wisdom pales in comparison, and why? simply because you did not believe; and not only did you not believe, you put faith in your own limited perceptions and powers, neither of which prevented your death, nor could you raise yourself from the ground, any more than you could conceive your self...

and then you also reject the Gift of God, and scoff at those what understand their limitations and hence seek the Lords Grace...of course the Word of God is a stumblingblock to you...

for it is Written:

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

you wouldnt be the first generation, nor the last to scoff at the Word of God, because the spirit of scoffing transcends the mortal body...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

great demonstration of the inherent blindness and natural limit of those what put their trust in the limited perceptions of the five senses of the flesh...

not all country hicks fit that stereotype...i am a country hick whose ancestors can be traced back to a single slave girl in 1793 louisiana territory...

if you had been led by the Holy Spirit you would not have made fun of my being a country hick, and hence you wouldnt have jumped to the erroneous conclusion that i would also be flying the dixie flag, which, btw, most country hicks in this nation do not do...

c f ben yochanan

Dennis Diehl said...

Anon 638. The problem in solving the grace/works issue is yo understand the conflict between the Jewish Christian James who challenged Grace only Paul with "show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works found in Romans. The book of James was written to counter Paul's teaching.

Allen Dexter said...

There's a Bible sitting beside me here on my desk. Most of the time, it's very dusty, but I refer to it once in awhile and often go online to a more modern translation when I'm debunking it. I feel sorry for those who can't get that inspired and infallible notion out of their heads. It's a hodge podge of myth, fables and outright lies like the seven day creation that never happened, a flood that somehow didn't stop ancient empires and nations from continuing flourishing at that supposed time even in the Americas, an Egyptian slavery that never happened along with a totally fictional exodus. I could go on and on to the Jesus whose name wasn't even decreed until the Council of Nicea in the fourth century AD, etc., but if your fetish is to believe lies in the face of historical and scientific facts, go on in your dream world. I long ago decided it was more fulfilling and sane to face the facts head on.

The facts are that there is no god and never was. Jesus is a human sacrifice concocted out of whole cloth. And, you're throwing your lives and time away on a baseless bag of fiction set up to maintain the power and wealth of several succeeding religious hierarchies, which includes the now defunct WCG and all those splinters and goes back to the parading priests of the Catholic Church and the nation of Judea.

Anonymous said...

dd, is also Written: "But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."

indeed, the bible is "badly written" on purpose; it is designed to be a document what only the faithful can believe, amen; and daily we are laughed at for believing...

but one thing is made clear in the bible, though: the same spirit of mocking and scoffing that existed thousands of years ago persists to this day: though we animals die, the same evil spirit that entered the puppets of the apostle Sauls day and caused them to clown, scoff and persecute continues to linger in the so called 21st century, pulling the strings of silly marionnettes, making you do unto others what you would not want done unto your selves, even unto old age like tired old dogs, yet never tiring of barking insults and pointing the accusatory finger...

c f ben yochanan

Near_Earth_Object said...

"Why is the Bible written so poorly?" or "messy".

Let me point out that these are a "loaded" questions. They reflect a certain perspective based on certain personally defined critieria. The criteria are not always clearly stated and tend to be anecdotal.

By my set of standards the Bible is well written for its intended purpose. My view of its purposes may well differ from yours.

In communications, the receiver must impart meaning to the message. Maybe you have imparted the wrong meaning.

Note that we have a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, a relatively simple document.

Back to what I said: The Bible is a punitive document.

Hoss said...

WYSIWYS, scripture is in the language and zeitgeist of when it was written.

Byker Bob said...

People always see what they want to see, anyway. Today, one of my customers told me she enjoyed talking with me because she felt like she was talking with an old hippie biker. I told her I never was a hippie, but then again, back in the day, most people didn’t realize that they were hippies until someone else called them a hippie. Honestly? I just liked the hippies’ music. And Kerouac. Not much else.


NO2HWA said...

FYI I deleted all of the Nazi crap.

True Bread said...

Allen Dexter wrote:

The facts are that there is no god and never was

Nietzsche: "God is dead"

God: "Nietzsche is dead"

Good luck Allen......hahahaaaaaaa.....

Byker Bob said...

All I know is that that Dick Tater feller sure made his rounds throughout the Armstrong empire! Seemed to be just everywhere.


Anonymous said...

Gavin Rumney once wrote a paper titled "Questions About the Biblical Canon". This paper opened my eyes to the contradictions, fallacies, and other errors within the Bible. It helped me understand the book wasn't one contiguous work prepared by some fantastical God.

That's the beauty of a belief in a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent being. If the Bible is His divine word, then there cannot be even one mistake in it -- if so, every bit of it then is called into question. Errors could be everywhere if a mistake is found in even one bit of the text. The whole thing is a house of cards.

This realization led me into freedom. And for that I owe a lifetime of gratitude to Gavin. I wish I could have thanked him in person.

Anonymous said...

Jim Butler makes many a good point. Why is it that we humans have such a hard time acknowledging the existence of a creator that gave us a way to live abundantly. Worldly religion has done much to skew our respect for a creator God. Would anyone think that we are on our way to encouraging a better future existence for humans than what the bible tell us?