Dave’s post about Tolkien on the JBB got me thinking. Has anyone heard of Joseph Campbell? The Hero With 1000 Faces? He’s this famous guy in the study of mythology. His thing is that if you look at the myths of different cultures, there’s a lot of stuff in common (hence The Hero…) which is really interesting. Kind of a Jungian common oversoul type thing going on. Incidentally, he was a big influence on George Lucas and Lucas tapped into some of this stuff in making Star Wars. It basically uses the common story of the journey.

Which is why I personally think that whole weirdo Anakin virgin birth theme was in Episode I. Learned from Campbell that the story of a virgin birth is a very common theme in mythology. I think Lucas’ intention was to pull another universal mythic theme and use it, as he used other themes in 4-6. The problem is, in the modern West, this particular theme is so associated with Christ that it seems weird.

Anyway, the fact that a virgin birth appears in many myths in many cultures is a reason some deny the virgin birth of Jesus. To them it’s another example of a culture (like many other cultures) attaching the common myth of the virgin birth to their hero. Other cultures did it. And Christianity is no different.

I never bought that. At the very least, it’s not a logical implication. Meaning, the fact that it’s a theme seen elsewhere does not logically imply that it is thus necessarily a myth in Christianity. That’s faulty reasoning, and something liberals commonly do in my opinion – take something that’s possible and elevate it to certainty. But whatever.

One interesting response that some Christians have had to this is that of course it’s a theme that’s seen in other places. It’s another example of how God wants us to know Him. Parts of His message message can be found in a bunch of places. E.g. creation testifies to everyone. It should be no surprise that there’s something in us that makes that theme common. It was meant to be a sign.

And I think Schaeffer said something like this, but a universal truth of humanity is that we need God, not a God, but the God, so we should not be surprised when we find universally that need expressed. We all need God so we should expect to find common themes that show this to be true. I dunno if you buy that (as it applies to virgin birth myths) but I think it’s interesting.

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