Kay is an Olympic junkie, so we had to watch the opening ceremony. It’s always an amazing spectacle, like Cirque du Soleil done large. Talk about amazing creative expression — you’re not likely to see anything like this done by any church! But every church interested in image-centric experience should watch and learn.
And what did I learn last night? As I watched Eros moon-walking high above a parade of stylized Greek history, I said to Kay, “The church needs to rediscover the power of myth.”
In the modern era, the Message of God was explored for its logic. Folks, there was nothing wrong with that! Every culture needs to rediscover Jesus in their own context, and the Message is certainly “reason“-able. Now in the postmodern era, we are rediscovering how the Message is “sense“-ible, something to be experienced. But I have not heard anyone talk about the mythic elements of the Christ story. This has tended to be the domain of non-Christian sociologists, perhaps because naive Christians are scared away by the word “myth”.
But in my religion and sociology classes at Purdue (unusual fare, perhaps, for a computer science major), I learned that calling something a myth has nothing to do with whether or not the story occurred in history. It has everything to do with the power of the story to define what is important. I’d say the Christ story has that in spades! C.S. Lewis said it is THE myth that all other myths point to.