This post is necessary. It helps complete the foundation of this blog's premise (click here to read the first foundational post): that the universe exists as a metaphor for Jesus and also -- and this is extremely important -- as a metaphor for what Jesus would do, specifically what He would do on the Cross and in the tomb three days later. It's useless to assert that music/sound were created to be metaphors of Jesus and His spiritual truths if we haven't been convinced that the universe itself was created for the very same purpose.
Here is where it all hinges:
Revelation 13:8 describes Jesus as He "who was slain from the creation of the world."
1 Peter 1:20 says, "God chose Him [Jesus] as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days" (NLT).
Ken Ham, the man who recently debated Bill Nye about Creationism vs. Macro-evolution, explains Rev 13:8 this way (the full article on his site is here):
"Think about this: before the universe was created, before time existed, before man was created, God knew that we (in Adam) would sin. He knew we would rebel against our Creator. And in the wisdom and love of God, in eternity, He predetermined a plan so that we could receive a free gift of salvation. In eternity, God planned for the Son of God to step into history to provide the ultimate sacrifice—the sinless Son of God would suffer sin’s penalty of death, be raised from the dead, thus providing a way of salvation. Hebrews 10:10 declares: 'By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.'"
The theological truth that God has embedded the Cross and His plan of Jesus' life -- which is the ultimate hero "story" -- into the very fabric of Creation is essential to refuting the attacks of postmodernism.
Let me explain.
If you're a Christian, you should know something about the current philosophical flavor of the age. Postmodernists scoff at your claim that the "myth" of Jesus and the narrative of Christianity is absolute truth. Yes, our friends the postmodernists are the ones who came up with the idea that "all truth is relative," and there "is no absolute truth" -- though their claim is self-refuting because their statement is itself a declaration of absolute truth. Essentially, they're saying, "I declare with absolute truth that there is no absolute truth!"
Postmodernists do not believe that your little story about Jesus dying and rising from the dead is historical.
They even have a theory about it.
If you haven't heard about it yet, you should be aware of postmodernism's Monomyth theory. Interestingly, just as pagans involved in earth worship are searching and hungering for the divine in nature because they're instinctively sensing God in Creation (as Romans 1:20 said they would do), in a similar way, some postmodernists (I believe) are instinctively sensing God when they hammer out their theory of the Monomyth, which was penned by Joseph Campbell -- though the term was coined by author James Joyce.
In brief, the Monomyth -- at least as it is concerned with Christianity -- states that Christ and the Gospels are 1) not historical; and 2) are simply one of many versions of the same "hero's journey" -- or the monomyth -- that pops up in many civilizations and time periods.
However, William Albright, one of the most respected and accomplished historians in, well, history, concluded that the Gospels are the most well-documented historical events in ancient literature in terms of having documents written in the time of the events, documents scrutinized by eye-witnesses. The Gospels are documents that are verified to have been written within a few years of when the events happened, which is unheard of the study of ancient history. The Gospels as historical texts are far more reliable than many other historical documents upon which textbooks declare without hesitation to be factual accounts of history. Josh McDowell, when he tried to refute Christianity for a paper in his law studies in college, explains why he finally had to admit that the resurrection of Christ was indeed a historical event. Read his arguments here. C.S. Lewis, an Oxford don and one of the greatest thinkers and writers of the 20th century, also believed the resurrection was historical, which he wrote about in Mere Christianity.
"Like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed, the story of the Cross is a myth that actually happened. It is the one true "myth" that the Creator has written into the stars before time began, and then He introduced it into history when Jesus Christ was born."
Secondly, Campbell's observation of the same hero story -- the same Gospel-like Hero's Death-Resurrection narrative -- in other cultures and time periods is just what we would expect to see if God's plan of the Cross has been embedded and symbolized in the basic elements of the universe. In other words, the Bible asserts that it is not just a coincidence that, for example just off the top of my head, the sunset and sunrise provide a startling picture of the Cross story of death and resurrection -- complete with the crimson color of blood in the sky. The Bible asserts that the Cross has been written into Creation and is perceived and sensed even by people who have never heard or read the Gospel account. This is why remote tribes have been found to have a crude understanding of Jesus even without ever having heard the Gospel. They have deduced, on their own, that the God of Creation covered our sins by sacrificing Himself. They perceived this in the nature of Creation.
Other cultures in other time periods who have similar hero stories that echo the Gospel come from societies who instinctively sense the story of the Cross that God has written in creation for them.
Yes, there is a Monomyth -- one epic hero death-resurrection story that all other stories are derived -- except it is not a myth. Like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed, the story of the Cross is a myth that actually happened. It is the one true "myth" that the Creator has written into the stars before time began, and then He introduced it into history when Jesus Christ was born.