Mythic Reality

Now I understand what John Eldredge means. He is using parable, or fairy tale, or myth as a synonym for story. It is all a means of communicating Eternal Truth, the larger meaning, or transcendent truth which is larger than what we see in the physical world.

To break that down: Jesus parables were not always about real people or real situations. We listen and hear those parables not even considering whether the details He gave were fact or not. Jesus uses the details he gives us to make a point–usually a very powerful and sometimes life-changing point to those hearing Him.

Eldredge goes on to say that story brings you a glimpse of the eternal and that story awakens your heart to deeper truths in life. Rolland Hein says: “Myths are, first, stories: stories which confront us with something transcendent and eternal.”

So the parables of Scripture are the means Jesus used to get Eternal Truth into your heart. He is still in that business. He wants His deeper Eternal Truth, in your heart. He wants to give you and I meaning and purpose. The parables He told 2000 years ago on this planet were designed to do that throughout history. Those stories have transcendent truth and it does not matter whether they were written down on stone tablets or in a blog on the internet, they transmit eternal meaning to the hearer and the seer.


7 thoughts on “Mythic Reality

  1. Since some of my energy as an academic focused on myth I have a keen interest in what you say, and affirm it. One thing I came across that set me thinking though – what if all of the parables actually “storify” real people and events? Perhaps what Jesus used was fictionalized real rather than invented fiction. It makes no difference to your conclusion, but it got me thinking – and thinking…


    • Hey, I like “thinking and thinking…” I greatly desire men to reflect on what the word says and more importantly, “what is the Word saying to me?” So much do I desire that that I have stopped calling quiet time, quiet time and choose rather to call it reflection time.

      Most of my reflection time is spent in the Word of God. But occasionally God will speak through a line in a movie, and event, something a person says to me, even a bird singing. God speaks and we need to be ready to hear and reflect on what He says and it’s implications on us. There are great implications because this is God after all. Blessings and a good day always David.


    • BTW, I had a real hang up with the term myth used in reference to the bible or anything from the bible. That was because I had always associated myth with fantasy and non-reality. That’s why I did this blog on Mythic Reality because myth in the sense used in the Waking the Dead book is much different that the popular definition of myth.


      • Yes. One of the things I carry from my academic days is gratitude that we defined terms and most scholars used the same definition, so we knew what each other was talking about. Many good words get diluted by popular use/misuse.


    • I did not comment on your main point David. The parables may have been based on real people and real events in their lives–absolutely. Jesus knew of people and events from all of history. The beauty of parables was that they brought to His audience, an audience that extends to us today, relevant truth to life. To the hearers in that day, the set up was related to life as they knew it then.


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