Thursday, September 21, 2017

Competing Sources of Truth: The Bible and the Grand Narrative of Olympianity

In an essay entitled, “TV: The Bible of Olympianity” (April 28, 2015), I argued that we get our Grand Narrative, the story embodying our worldview as a civilization, from corporate media especially TV. This is particularly embarrassing for us as Christians and churches since we should be structuring our personalities and churches in terms of the biblical witness to Jesus Christ rather than in terms of the painfully Olympian gods of modern media.
This Grand Narrative of Olympianity, renewed each day by TV news and sustained universally by all the corporate media, including textbooks, has two characteristics. I discuss these in detail in my essay, “The Grand Narrative: The Importance of Myth Today” (June 25, 2016). In that essay, I mention that the Grand Narrative identifies the gods we worship as a civilization and contains the basic stories of the gods and how we relate to them personally and through history.
Because of these key characteristics, the Grand Narrative is able to serve several important functions. It explains everything, establishes the meaning of everything, justifies what we do in terms of the gods whom we serve, provides deep personal happiness, and binds us together.
James Ussher wrote an important book called Annals of the World (1658). To write it, he diligently searched the Bible to determine the date when Yahweh created Heaven and Earth. By doing so, he was able to discern that, according to the Bible, Yahweh created Heaven and Earth on October 23, 4004 BC. Ussher then went on to identify the dates of all the important events from the day of creation, through Jesus Christ himself, to the early Church.
In terms of today’s Olympian worldview, Ussher’s date of creation is ridiculous. According to that worldview, creation began some 15 billion years ago with a big bang. This apparently more accurate date was determined by applying sensate logic to astronomical, geological, and biological data.
But here’s the odd thing. Even Olympians themselves, and our whole global Olympian civilization, do not live by the Big-Bang Theory. That theory is not what provides us, as societies and personalities, with explanation, meaning, justification, happiness, and solidarity. The astronomical, geological, and biological data do not identify the Olympian gods we adore, who we are in relation to them, and why working together like slaves to construct a Global Technological System (GTS) has been meaningful enough to threaten ourselves with extinction for doing so.
What purpose, then, does the whole Big-Bang theory have? Its primary purpose is simply to discredit the Bible as a credible witness to the only true god of freedom, truth, love, and vitality. Its primary purpose is to discredit the normative witness to that god so that the painfully conventional gods of Olympianity have an easier time keeping us all thinking inside their box and slaving away on their GTS.
No, today’s Olympians and Olympian GTS get their meaning from the much more up-to-date narrative provided by TV and other corporate media. That media barely recalls the day before yesterday, let alone anything occurring billions of years ago. It ties our meaningfulness to remaining current; that is, to the daily subjection of ourselves to the historical amnesia that serves them best.
James Ussher’s identification of 4004 BC as the beginning of creation may sound too recent in terms of the competing Olympian Grand Narrative. But he does us a proud service by carefully studying the whole biblical witness to creation and helping us to understand much more clearly how all the subsequent events of the Bible relate to creation and Christ. We do well to immerse ourselves in the same Bible and to gratefully use his careful conclusions to understand it that much better.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.