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The Gospel Narrative in Culture
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The Gospel Narrative in Culture

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  • Ed Tylor, the father of anthropology, had apparent negative feelings towards religion, and especially Christianity. He devised an evolutionary theory as to how theology developed; it has gone unchallenged for decades. [The postmodern theory of competing narratives came out of this flawed view of various cultures] He claimed that cultures go from animism to polytheism and finally end with monotheism. Unfortunately, the Church bought into Tylor’s logic about religious evolution but the truth is that most cultures around the world began with the belief in the one true God, the creator. Endnotes Don Richardson, Eternity in their Hearts (Ventura: Regal Books, 2005), 55.
  • He goes on to say that missionaries are able to bring clarity to of the gospel message but the message, the narrative, was already there. Everyone is telling the same story.

Transcript

  • 1. Gospel Grand Narrative
  • 2. Gospel Grand Narrative Nearly every story mirrors Christs sacrifice or the prodigal’s return home. I call this ‘Holy’ subtext.
  • 3. Biblical Sin/diseaseMeta-Narrative enters the Paradise Paradigm world. Paradise is The restored Some villains live Hook/Fall for the sequel Separation from the Showdown In most narratives, the hero risks his father or 1st Adam life to find the cure as Orphan Sacrifice that will restore paradise. 1st Adam Act 2 is filled 2nd Adam Most stories as with suspense as Martyr combine the 1st Wanderer like being and 2nd Adam, as chased, keeping Enter 2nd most stories are secrets, and Adam as parables of the racing against Warrior grand narrative. time.
  • 4. AbsentationThe grand narrative on the previous slide hasalso been called the Absentation structure orthe orphan model.Here are some more examples. Inpopular films and television.
  • 5. Prince of Persia Once upon a time there (2010) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Model Things were Thankfully [hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 6. Pirates of the Once upon a time thereCaribbean (2003) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Model Things were Thankfully [hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 7. Batman Begins Once upon a time there (2005) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Model Things were Thankfully[hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 8. Hunger Games Once upon a time there (2012) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Thankfully Model Things were [hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 9. The Avengers Once upon a time there (2012) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Model Things were Thankfully [hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 10. Spider-man Once upon a time there (2002) was a lonely orphan… ..who was And everyone friends with lives Happily The social ever after outcasts. End Orphan Model Things were Thankfully[hero] defeats good until the [villain] with evil… a… Parables …tried to take over… Today Consulting
  • 11. Meta-narrative This concept of story telling was widely accepted in western society until Lyotard and the book The Postmodern Condition.
  • 12. Meta-narrative• Lyotard professes a preference for plurality, arguing that small narratives compete with each other.
  • 13. Meta-narrative• Within the narrative purview of literature, Lyotard defines the postmodern condition as a rebellion against the grand narrative idea.
  • 14. Meta-narrativeAfter books like The PostmodernCondition, this grand narrative ideawas ignored and even laughed at.
  • 15. Meta-narrative The rebellion to grand narrative was happening parallel to Campbell and Vogler developing evidence for cultural and film mono-myth theory.
  • 16. 1. Ordinary Act 3 12. Return World Act 1 with Elixir 2. Call to Return adventure Separation 3. Refusing 11. Climax, the Call Showdown Classic mono-myth 4. Meeting Mentor structure Known World 10. The Unknown World 5. Crossing the Road Back threshold 6. Testing 9. Reward 7. Approach Act 2B 8. Central Act 2A Ordeal,Initiation rebirth Decent
  • 17. Meta-narrativePeople gravitated to the postmodern viewmostly for political reasons.70’s and 80’s were the ‘me’ generation.Now it is the ‘we’ generation.
  • 18. Meta-narrativeFunnily enough, Lyotard later admitted that hehad fabricated a significant amount of researchto validate the theories he posited in his book.He even referenced a number of books thatnever existed.
  • 19. Meta-narrativeHe also considered thisbook to be the worst bookhe ever wrote and hopedno one would ever take itseriously.
  • 20. Meta-narrative• Unfortunate for him, and the world of literature, this book has been taken very seriously.
  • 21. Meta-narrative For more detail into this story check out this book. Specifically pages 24-27.
  • 22. Meta-narrative With the rapid spread of technology, postmodernism has been eclipsed by transmodernism. We are all literally connected; narrative and all. Even with rebellion, this shift has caused more people to return to meta-narrative theory.
  • 23. Meta-narrative According to Walter R. Fisher, human communication is storytelling and we are all telling the same story.
  • 24. Meta-narrative According to Richardson, there is evidence that the same gospel meta-narrative was embedded in every culture before missionaries met them.
  • 25. Meta-narrative For example, the Chinese word for righteousness can literally be translated into he who is under the lamb.
  • 26. Meta-narrativeThe Gospel narrative has been embedded intheir culture for centuries.
  • 27. Meta-narrative Chinese culture also tells the grand narrative through Shang Ti.
  • 28. Meta-narrative In Korea, the name used for the one true God in their version of the Grand narrative is Hananim.
  • 29. Meta-narrative These stories of ‘the one true God’ predate Confucianism, Toaism and Buddhism by an unknown number of centuries.
  • 30. Meta-narrative C.S. Lewis was an atheist most of his life but, as a professor of literature, he became fascinated with all of the ‘dying God’ myths in the ancient pagan cultures.
  • 31. Meta-narrative Tolkien explained to him that all these myths reflected the ‘true myth’ (or grand narrative) found in the gospel.
  • 32. Meta-narrative“Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while -J.R.R. Tolkien . Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we would call real things”
  • 33. Meta-narrative The apostle Paul makes a similar case at Mars Hill when he referenced the altar dedicated to the ‘Unknown God.’
  • 34. About 400 years before Paul steps on the scenethere were three alters in that place, alldedicated to the one Unknown God.
  • 35. There was a plague in the land and a prophetsuggested that there is a God above the otherGods that may be able to deliver them.
  • 36. When Paul steps on the scene he was simplyreminding them of Gospel meta-narrative thatwas already embedded in their culture.
  • 37. The ones who stayed and listened to him were apart of that culture.
  • 38. The ones who left were not, they were visiting.So his references did not mean much to them.
  • 39. Christians have a model, here in scripture, toapply a meta-narrative/grand narrative theoryto present-day film and television culture.