In the Feb. 2009 issue of Christianity Today, there’s a fascinating article entitled, “Sci-Fi’s Brave New World: How the genre draws us to its own views of redemption” by James A. Herrick. Since I like science fiction (things like Star Trek and Star Wars), I was very interested in the article. First, because he defined myth as a “transcendent story that helps us make sense of our place in the cosmos. This common definition makes the Christian gospel, as C.S. Lewis suggested, ‘God’s myth’–not because it is fiction, but because it is a story that gives ultimate meaning. We live in an age in which new myths, born mostly of science-fueled imaginations, are crafted and propagated at an unprecedented rate.”
The mention of myth took me back to my first year of college at Long Beach State University. I was a new Christian. I was taking a philosophy class and the teacher was an atheist who loved to put down Christianity in any way he could. He kept calling Christianity a myth and I felt helpless to know how to counter his attacks. Finally, I thought of something and with trepidation after he again called Christianity a myth, I raised my hand and asked, “What is your definition of a myth?” And he gave a definition that was something very similar to the above quote. It was obvious to me and the class that he had been trying to use the word “myth” as a pot shot based on misunderstanding.
I thanked the Lord for giving me that insight to ask that question. I don’t remember if anything came of it but I felt encouraged to know that asking a person’s definition of something and how they are using the word can sometimes diminish an attack.
More tomorrow about that article….