Monday, January 17, 2005

The Myth

The Bible myth has informed Western Civilization since it began, although relatively few of the population are aware of it.

According to the myth God created the world and made it good. But the world fell; it went bad. But in the "right time" it was/is/will be redeemed.

Having this information in hand gives a great deal more meaning to the Bible than it would otherwise have, especially if you give it a mythopoeic reading.

There are several temporal episodes of the myth. God created Abraham's family good, but it fell (in particular when Joseph's brothers threw him in the pit). Consequence: 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Then God redeemed Israel using the deliverer, Moses- the original archetype.

Again they fell and went to other captivities, notably to Babylon, God redeemed Israel using the deliverer, Cyrus.

Once again they fell into captivity-- to Rome. This time God redeemed the world using the Saviour.

Since then people have been created good, but soon become something less. God redeems us using the Saviour.

These are temporal manifestations of the myth, but it also exists outside of time.
The good creation, the fall, the redemption may be going on simultaneously. (Paul said I die daily, and most of us should be able to see at least one death in ourselves.) We are created anew time and time again, maybe every morning. And we miss the mark repeatedly, over and over, and the grace of God redeems us and renews us.

William Blake's myth is a recreation of the above, which is why he is such a fountain of Bible interpretation.

Now in our time Walter Wink has written books interpreting the myth to the slowest of us.
His "fall" is called the 'domination system'-- in which we all live. Jesus redeems it (and us) day by day, as we allow him to.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.

4 comments:

kiznath said...

A friend of mine likes to say that we think of the Fall as something that happened, but maybe it's something that happens - everytime we make the choice to do right or wrong.

Larry said...

I agree, Kiz; As Walter Wink puts it the whole bit happens eternally and temporally. In other words it applies to the race and to you and me. Both of these events may be seen as happening concurrently both ways-- in other words back in the past and right now.

Marjorie said...

I wanted to comment on The Fallen, but I couldn't do it, so I'll comment here.

I love the idea of the Fall because God always helps pick us up again. I feel like I'm tripping through life. My hope is that as time goes on, the falls will be fewer and farther between

Larry said...

Marjorie:
We're all like the little boy who had just learned how to run. He ran outside into the yard, fell and skinned his knee. You know what happened next: "MOMMA."