06 December, 2018

8. Genesis is Myth

8. Genesis is Myth

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. 
—Proverbs 30:5-6

"The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth that really happened."

These words were written by J. R. R. Tolkien (author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) in a letter he wrote to his good friend C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia).

According to the dictionary, Myth is: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

By that definition, myth is interconnected with history. But wait. History is fact and myth is fiction, right?

According to the historical theory of myth, myths are distorted accounts of historical events. So the original historical event is true, and then each culture that experiences that historical event endeavors to pass on that history to its descendants in a narrative that incorporates the social order and values of that culture.

This understanding of myth as history dates back to ancient times (the days when the Greek gods of Percy Jackson were worshiped).

But today we “know” myth is fiction, so what happened?

The ASA.

The foundational premise of the ASA is the assumption that anything that involves the supernatural is automatically fiction.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “there is no attempt to justify mythic narratives or even to render them plausible. Every myth presents itself as an authoritative, factual account, no matter how much the narrated events are at variance with natural law ordinary experience.” (Emphasis mine)

So, by the ASA’s standards, because the Bible includes events that are at variance with natural law and ordinary experience, it is automatically fiction; relegated to myth. Its historicity is denied, and the only value it possesses is as literature.

And since the Bible has proven itself to be myth, there is no reason to study it for plausibility or truth, even if evidence supports its claims. Any such evidence must be vehemently refuted, debunked, or denied.

But what if the ASA is wrong? What if there was a historical event that precedes these myths? How do we determine which culture’s narrative of events is an account of the actual historical account?

The next post (and the rest of this first segment) addresses just that.

While you wait, check out this awesome clip from ETWN’s portraying a debate between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on whether or not myths are lies. This debate was ultimately instrumental in C.S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity.(FYI: CS Lewis liked to be called Jack.)

Swordcraft Tips: Highlight Proverbs 30:5-6 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit:  Tolkien and Lewis movie poster /  Greek Gods