Meaning and Myth

This short video from N.T. Wright is a helpful discussion on understanding the use of the term “myth” as it relates to conversations around Gen. 1-3. Many people get hung up on terminology when they are trying to attach historicity concerns to literary elements of a narrative. If Genesis is a narrative about God’s creation, humankind, and sin, then we need to attend to those elements when considering its interpretation, not time-lines and modern notions of history.

The Know It All

Kid in dunce cap

Wikipedia has made us all smartasses.  The speed and ability to search for information regarding virtually anything at the stroke of our fingertips has resulted in a flattening out of what was once considered wisdom.  Forget knowledge experts, we are the wikiexperts.  Sitting in class, one can do a quick search on an unfamiliar person mentioned in passing and gain a brief awareness of the individual in question, or, if you want to get the run down on a philosophical argument…bam! it rights there, glowing on your computer screen for your viewing pleasure.  This raises the question however of comprehension.  While anyone can look up information on a subject, the question remains, do you understand what you are  looking at?  A recent study showed that children believed virtually everything they saw on the internet.  They had almost no filter for discerning between what was fake and what was real on the world wide web.  I recall when the internet was finally gaining steam, that many a joke was told about the pseudo truthfulness of content on the web such as  “It’s true, I saw it on internet!” often as the punchline.  Yet, this fiction is becoming reality.  The blurring of distinctions between the real world and the hyper real is making us less sensitive to the physical world around us.  Who knows what this means for our future but it certainly raises some questions as to the passive nature of the internet and its affects on our society.  Which brings me to the know it all.  This enlightened individual likes to believe that a cursory glance at any topic on the internet instantly makes them an authority of the subject.   Let me be the first to say that this is not wisdom.  People can know a lot of information about a lot of subjects but this hardly qualifies as wisdom.  If there is one thing I owe a debt of gratitude to my liberal arts undergrad for, it is that they taught me how to think.  Information recall is but a single aspect of comprehension, which includes  analysis, judgment and sound reasoning.  There are a number of factors beyond simply information recall that contributes to a well-informed perspective.  I am reticent to even write a post like this because I know I am all too often guilty of failing to take my own medicine.  Yet, it needs to be said and let this be a warning to the know it alls.. I’m onto your game 🙂