WHY WE TEACH MYTHS by April Sumner
The word, “myth” often comes with the understanding of something not being true. However, in the correct literary usage, a myth is a type of story. It asks why are things the way they are?
We do believe that the Bible offers the true explanation of why things are the way they are. However, we see that there are seeds of truth in all myths because all humans are made in the image of God. God is a God of TRUTH. Any truth points back to Him, even when it was written before the Bible. When we see glimpses of it, truth always leads us to wisdom, worship, and wonder.
Angelina Stanford is one of my favorite thinkers when it comes to thinking well about literature. She speaks about myths on the podcast “Your Morning Basket” and talks about how the myths only can be answered by the Gospel. Click here to listen to her speak about the importance of teaching myths.
We also love learning about people themselves. To understand a culture, we have to understand that culture’s stories. And in doing so, we make connections between the myths and the questions and beliefs of the people. So, in learning the stories of the Greeks, we learn about the Greeks themselves. And in part, won’t we also learn about ourselves?
A personal update from Mrs. Sumner… 12/5/19
Last May I went to see my first superhero movie. Yes, it was really my first. It was the last movie of many years of a particular franchise’s stream of superhero blockbusters. As I tried to figure out who was who and what was going on, I was blown away with the idea that you could give any character any power… and, it was so interesting that they didn’t always have pure motives, even for the good they performed. And so it is with our myth characters. As we are reading they myths, I often refer to them as “superhero-gods”. The students and I are having fun hearing people’s imaginations of how things *perhaps* came to be. And often those things are a result of these superhero-gods being much less than super, and even less so, heroes. And although we are laughing often at these imaginations, we are also gasping in relief that our God is not a moody superhero, but a Good and Holy God.