Have you heard the Good News, or Gospel, of Jesus before? Did it seem distant and irrelevant? How could some guy from 2000 years ago or an old-fashioned term like “sin” matter today? Looking at the preeminence of good and evil in our favorite stories and in the latest news coverage, we’ll conclude, however, that nothing can be more central to our lives than the message of Jesus.
Joseph Campbell boldly claims in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that ancient stories across cultures portray the “monomyth”, detailing the hero’s journey. Testing the assertion, does Jesus Christ of the Gospels follow this template? To a degree, yes, but his life and teaching also stand in contrast to the underlying worldview that Campbell professes. Let us delve into his story and come face to face with Jesus the Hero.
Cloud Atlas, a movie based on David Mitchell’s novel, tells the story about the universal struggle for justice. Consequently, this cannot be limited to one point in time, but occurs around the world and over the span of centuries. While people make the same mistakes and find similar solutions, the characters and audience learn we need the stories of those who have gone before us, and we need to see the world through the eyes of the oppressed.
Why do we love stories?
Why do they have so much in common with each other?
What if we could learn the deepest truths about reality (and ourselves) from our favorite movies, television, and literature?
Sound absurd? Perhaps our fiction reveals truth in life because God created us to love the Story that He is forging in human history. None argue this better than John Eldredge in his book, Epic, where he breaks all time into a four act play. The following appears in his prologue:
Continue reading Knowing the Larger Story