Mythic Jesus?

Find truth in myth by finding wisdom in proverbs over at Proverbial Thought!

My wife and I have been in a class at Phoenix Seminary for the past two months, and this class is “Technology in Ministry”.

One of the first ideas introduced to us is the idea of technology becoming mythic. This idea is that once a technology is introduced it relatively quickly seems to have always been with us, usually within a generation.

Think about it: what would life be like without the wheel? What would life be like without light bulbs or refrigerators or running water? What would life be like without the internet or cell phones?

And to drive that last part home, cell phones are less than 20 years old (affordable, small, portable, able to fit in a pocket), yet almost every people group on the planet has cell phones. I personally witnessed it in the mountains of Morocco, and a friend has seen them in the mountainous regions of China where there is almost no other modern technology.

Children born in the past decade will have no experience in a world without the internet or touchscreens. For this children, touchscreens and the internet are mythic. They have always been here.

Other things become mythic, too.

When we hear the word “myth” we automatically jump to the same conclusion as C.S. Lewis before he converted to Christianity: myths are lies and fancy.

What J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson showed him, however, is that myths are always based on some element of truth.

The ancient myths most likely were derived from actual people and events in history, but over time they became embellished and twisted. They are not lies, but they are stories that lost their way.

In other words, myths are simply stories. Some contain more truth than others.

Over centuries and even millennia, many stories of human history, stories that pointed to the truth of God, were embellished and twisted. Many people assume there could not have been a global flood. It just seems so outrageous. Yet, virtually every ancient culture around the world had flood stories that are eerily similar, stories that may have been embellished and twisted here and there.

But because these stories have always been with us, we just disregard them as mythic.

But what if a myth was shared that was not embellished or twisted? I mean, it always happens, especially in an age of instant gratification in which people share a story before having all of the facts and the story gets blown out of proportion and people get hurt (like the woman who sued McDonald’s over hot coffee).

Our stories quickly become mythic. There is truth, and it is possible to find that truth.

The thing that Tolkien and Dyson helped Lewis to see is that the myth of Jesus Christ is a true myth.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2 Peter 1:16, ESV

 

  1. I’m glad you’re enjoying seminary.

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