Myths and Legends

Myths and Legends

I saw Bigfoot once.

Okay, not really. I’m not even sure I can tell you the last time I was in the woods. Maybe a few years ago? I bet I was pretending to be chased by zombies or some such thing.

Bigfoot, though, he lives in the woods—supposedly—in the Northwest, or Canada, or some other god-forsaken landscape that doesn’t see much sun and sees far too much rain. Actually, that sounds kinda nice. I much prefer cooler, Fall-like weather over that of the sun and all things hot.

But, I digress.

Between Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Kraken, humans are found of creating fairy tales. We have used fairy stories for millennia in order to explain the ordinary, miraculous, and strange happenings of existence. We use them as a means of entertainment and imagination, a method of creating dreams and calming nightmares.

Typically we hear of myths and legends and acknowledge their fantastic nature. King Arthur and his Knights, a not-so-young hobbit named Bilbo going on an adventure, a young maiden taking up residence with seven dwarfs (which, is that not weird to anyone else?), all contain the inner-workings and makings of spellbinding myth.

There is one other such myth that is even more fantastical and awe-inspiring than those concocted by various writers over the centuries—the story of Christ.

Now, don’t be alarmed. The stories of Christ—the Gospels—are, what hobbit-creator J.R.R. Tolkien called the “True Myth.” It is reckless for us to think of a myth as simply a lie. Myths are not lies, instead they communicate the essential truths of life. Myths explain the explainable. To think myths are simply nothing less than well-crafted lies is to ignore the supernatural elements of the universe.

The universe is more than physicality, it is full of metaphysical truth.

We want to look at the world and believe everything that is or will ever be are contained within observational evidences. However, we emphatically know for certain this is not the case. What then are thoughts, ideas, social constructs, or simple imagination? These are immaterial realities that shape and guide what we do, how we think, and what we create.

While the mythical nature of the stories of Christ detail the supernatural, they are grounded in what we find to be relative reality. There within contain stories of historical persons, places, and events. We find the recorded history of various peoples, the confirmation of historic events (many of which are still being proven through archeological discovery), and eye-witness testimonies. The stories of Christ cannot be analyzed via scientific method, that is simply not how history is studied.

If the Gospels were to contain mere record of people and events, then the myth would not apply. Yet, what we find are stories of the miraculous among the record. We can take the approach of Thomas Jefferson and remove all of the miraculous things from the Scripture, but what we are left with is contaminated history. If one aspect is false, what would make us believe that the rest is true?

The miraculous story of Christ contains all the trappings of myth and reality. We only have two choices then: either all of it is true, or none of it. It comes down to, as C.S. Lewis put it, that Christ was either a madman, a liar, or exactly who He claimed to be—Lord over all creation.

So yes, the stories of Christ are myth—they are fairy tale—yet they are true. This makes the life of Christ, and everything that means, the “true myth.”

Besides, who do you know of that has ever died for their belief in Bigfoot?

Until next Monday, adiós.

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