Captain Marvel, The Bible, and The New Mythology


Gallup says that the percentage of adults who believe the Bible’s account of creation is at an all time low.

The percentage of U.S. adults who believe that God created humans in their present form at some time within the last 10,000 years or so — the strict creationist view — has reached a new low. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults now accept creationism, while 57% believe in some form of evolution — either God-guided or not — saying man developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

As the Bible, in general, and the creation story, in particular, has waned in the collective consciousness of our culture, a new mythology has emerged. Some would say had to emerge. It seems a culture, a pop culture, must have an origin story to give meaning to the chaos. Myth comes from a heart longing for meaning and casts a shadow of hope that we can pull ourselves out of this maelstrom with the help of super heroes and beneficent gods.

The New Mythology

The New Mythology involves super heroes fighting the forces of evil on our behalf. It is no coincidence that Hollywood has evolved from the simple exploits of ordinary super heroes to convoluted origin stories of complicated, hybrid super heroes. There have been 78 DC and Marvel super hero movies since 1978 making billions upon billions of dollars. In the latest Marvel movie coming out in March, Captain Marvel, the heroine, Carol Danvers, has “cosmological” powers and it tells of her “origins”. As a side note, there is a GoFundMe fundraiser to buy Captain Marvel movie tickets for girls. It is that important.

Myth is central to culture and meaning. Bulfinch’s Mythology highlights the gods of Greek and Rome and shows us the spiritual foundation of ancient religions. The gods of ancient mythology demonstrate laudable deeds giving an example and moral order to a culture. The lesson here is that what starts out as a myth has the possibility of becoming a religion after a while.

Creation Matters

The creation story of the Bible has fallen under the label “myth” for many in our culture. There has been a constant attack on the Bible’s account of creation for the last 200 years. The 19th century higher criticism scholars majored on undermining creationism and the onslaught hasn’t abated. Popular culture ridicules all who would suggest creationism should be in the discussion of origins of the world.

Christianity Today published an article recently entitled, “Ten Theses on Creation and Evolution That (Most) Evangelicals Can Support” that lays the framework for discussing creation and suggests that as long as we believe that creation was “God-guided” we’re okay. In other words, literal creation or God-guided evolution are both orthodox and acceptable for Bible believing Christians. Sounds reasonable, even, progressive, until you realize that “God-guided evolution” contradicts Jesus’ interpretation of the creation story.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3 NIV)

The Creator

Jesus is Creator and should know how it all went down “In the beginning”. Jesus believed the creation account of the Bible and affirmed it with word-for-word quotes from Genesis when he answered the Pharisee’s question about marriage,

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? (Matthew 19:4,5)

Jesus explained the creation account as a historical fact with an unqualified quote about what took place at the time of creation, “… at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’”. He didn’t hesitate to affirm the creation of men and women fully formed or “in their present form”. He didn’t hint that it took millions of years for them to be formed from a primal pool of slime. He should know, he was there. If the creation story is not historical fact, then Jesus Christ becomes either an imposter or a fool. He is neither.

M.R. De Haan puts it this way, “The attack on the veracity of the historical account of creation as given in Genesis, even though disguised as a sincere search for the truth, is more than an attempt to discredit the written record, it is in reality an undermining of the incarnate Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.” (M.R. De Haan, Portraits of Christ in Genesis, author’s emphasis, p.16)

Every culture throughout history has had its own mythology but there is only one based on historical fact. The Bible tells us plainly how it happened and Jesus confirmed it. The super hero movies are all fun and games and are known for their humor. We don’t get the humor all the time but we know super hero movies are obsessed with speculating about what happened at the beginning, how we came to be, and why we are here.

Why are we here? Good question.

Blessings – René and Gloria