Friday, December 4, 2009

On Myth . . . and Jesus

I am very moved by myth. In our current age, the term is often used in a derogatory fashion. "That's just a myth," is used as an insult, usually against beliefs or ideas that are not ostensibly based in science. This is a commentary more on the thought of our times than on what myth really is. Myth is story that conveys truth. Myths persevere because of the truths they contain.

I have long been convinced that the reason stories speak to us so deeply, the reason myth moves us so much, is that all stories, certainly all myths, are reflections of the Great Story. The stories we love reflect the story of God, of Satan, of man, of the fall, of Jesus. This is not a new idea with me. John Eldredge illuminated this in his book Epic. Others have said it before him. But when you grasp this, it will help you see the Great Story in the small stories of life.

John Mark Reynolds says this very well in a recent essay in Scriptorium:

"Knowing Jesus must have been hard in this way. He was a walking myth . . . all the stories come true . . . once He was, the Lord of time, happy, and forever alive: the factual basis of every fairy tale. It is no wonder that people who knew Him either converted or wanted to kill Him. The symbolism of His every move could have provoked Socratic discourse to discover the deeper meaning. The gospel writer says that the world could not contain the books that could be written about His life and this is not hard to believe in a man who threatened to make every cup He used a Holy Grail."

You can (and should) read the whole thing here.

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