By Stewart Simms
I was, quite frankly, stunned by the headline over an article in our local newspaper, “Georgia graduate pens epic poem as sequel to Bible.” I was stunned by the audacity of it, stunned by the presumptuousness of it. Christians value, even revere, the written word of God, the Bible, as His revelation of Himself to the world. It goes together in our faith with the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. But a” sequel’ to the Bible?
Epic poems have long been used to transfer to paper old oral traditions from generation to generation. There have been great ones. The Greek The Iliad and The Odyssey and Dante’s Divine Comedy are just three famous epics. Some epic poems have been based on biblical themes, but were not intended as sequels to the Bible nor represented as “inspired” as was the Bible.
Some sequels to famous movies have been quite successful such as the continuing voyages of Star Trek, the sequels to Star Wars, The Godfather, Superman, Batman, Indiana Jones, and the Harry Potter series.
Others have been complete flops. The Bible, as we have it, needs no sequel. There will be no need for a sequel because the one we have takes us up to the beginning of eternity, then leaves a stunning pause, which God will complete as events happen. There will be no need for a written sequel for there will be no one left on earth to read it. Besides, man’s ideas about what will happen, ultimately are just that, man’s ideas. Compare that with our view of Scripture, that it was written under the direct inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.
No claim of authority or inspiration
The author of this “sequel,” Brett Farkas, makes no claim of authority or inspiration by God. This poem began he says, as a “fun idea.” So by implication, his work is a collection of either wishes, fantasies, hallucinations, or creative thinking.
His “sequel” suffers from several highly significant and killing problems. It has no Divine Author, therefore no inspiration. It misconstrues and misrepresents the main idea of the Bible which is salvation and the triumph of Jesus Christ and his church over everything. Farkas says in his work that the main point of the poem and the best final outcome for the world is that God will turn the Devil from bad to good, so that he too can rejoice in heaven. That will not happen. The enemy will, in fact, be cast into the lake of fire.
This supposed sequel comes from the point of view of a man who believes in no religion, much less Christianity, yet he would presume to finish the sentences of the Almighty! Farkas’ view of the best outcome for the world is that “it is a portrait of God’s entire family united for the very first time.”
Of course he means all people regardless of their belief or unbelief, their righteousness or unrighteousness in living, or their faith or cynicism in this life. He completely misses the point that the glorification of Jesus Christ, the eternal completion and wholeness of all believers in Christ, and the triumph of justice are the main points and the pinnacle of God’s purpose in the Bible.
Ironically Farkas also says his poem is the third installment of John Milton’s “Paradise series” (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained). Apparently he believes Milton’s work was as inspired and authoritative as the Bible, which it was not.
Bible already has a perfect ending
The Bible as it has been “delivered to the saints” already has a perfect ending. Christ is the victor over all things. The haughtiness of one man who wants to change the ending is not only egotistical, it typifies the ultimate sin which is pride. Or perhaps he is not satisfied with the Bible’s total message and wants to reshape it. Augustine of Hippo wrote, “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.”
One professor mockingly said, in words of blasphemy, “It’s natural to want more, but in the end, maybe God had only the one book in him.” The idea of a sequel to the Scriptures, with adjustments made according to the whims and desires of people, may play well in certain communities, such as academicians, the majority of which are likely cynics, skeptics and outright anti-theists.
But remember the words of the one who gave us the inerrant and absolutely sufficient book, The Bible. “ … if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Rev. 28:18). Though there was a somewhat limited context for this verse, the principle is clear enough. The Bible may not give us all the information we want, but it gives us all we need, for now. Any so-called sequel would have to be filed on bookstore shelves in the fiction section.