Part 2: Myth and Meaning

For the next four days I am in Atlanta speaking to a couple thousand of my closest youth worker friends at Youth Specialties. I’m kicking this trip off today by speaking for a total of 4 hours (Research for a  Productive Generation (because I’m really tired of research just being used as ammunition) and Answering the Tough Questions on Sexual Identity), 2 book signings and a couple meetings. So here is a quick thought for the day:

Here is Part 1 

Levi-Strauss, the father of Structural Anthropology, twice, referenced the following quote regarding the human mind’s quest for order:

“Since, after all, the human mind is only part of the universe, the need to find order probably exists because there is some order in the universe and the universe is not chaos” (p. xi and p. 13).

I found this quote thought provoking because although Levi-Strauss is coming from a secularist point of view, his quest is to explain humanity’s innate yearning to find meaning and purpose/order within a chaotic world—the reason why religion is such a prominent construct, and has been throughout history. I get a kick out of realizing that the ultimate answer to this structural anthropologists question is the Answer found in Christ Jesus. Humanity can rationalize or research anything to the point they feel as though it is understood (or not, as Levi-Strauss admits: “Every myth is driven by the obsessive need to solve a paradox that cannot be solved.”), but the unchanging depth of our Lord is still profound centuries later. There is order to the universe—and something had to create it.

As a famous evangelist says, “When people today look at a house, they innately know someone built it. They don’t just think it was created without planning and structure; like it just somehow became a house. They would never live in such a place.”

Much love.

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  • Dwain Rogers

    I just wanted to drop you a long overdue note to say how much I appreciate you and your ministry. Since hearing you speak at the NYWC in Pittsburgh last year I have been so encouraged and challenged by what you had to say. Like you, I have come a long way in my journey on how to treat, and reach, the gay community. Going from avowed homophobe to someone who knew that there was more to this than what you hear on the news and in most churches. The talk you gave in Pittsburgh completely blew me away and connected a bunch of stuff that had been floating around in my brain for a while but I was not smart enough to put together by myself. So I can’t wait to read your book! (My wife got it and got you to sign it, so when she puts it down I’m gonna grab it!) The talk you gave this year on the “tough questions” was great. I told my wife that when I left I felt like I had been to Sears and had gotten a box full of great tools that I can put to use right away. And she felt the same way. She is a youth pastor and I am her #1 volunteer. In the church we are in now, we have encountered an unusually high (for our limited experience) number of openly gay or bi teens. And some of them have started to attend our youth group. It is so exciting to get a chance to love on these kids. And God brought your insight to us at just the right time. Please know that we are thankful for you and your ministry and we are praying for you as you seek to proclaim God’s love to all of us.