Some voices in our culture see the events of Easter merely as a helpful metaphor. One such person is the influential Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson. He wrote in the The Times of London over Easter, ‘The idea that the Saviour is the figure who dies and resurrects is a representation in dramatic or narrative form of the brute fact that psychological progress — indeed, learning itself — requires continual death and rebirth.’
While Peterson is very interested in the Bible’s message, he is not committed to an historical reading of its storyline. Instead for him, the Bible is a repository of useful language to aid human wellbeing.
Just before Easter at Jannali we hosted a talk with Richard Chin, the director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Under the title, ‘Jesus is worth exploring’, Richard considered the great claim Jesus makes of bringing a lost humanity back to God through his death on the cross for sins. By reading the gospel with us on the night, and by explaining it, Richard followed the approach Christians have always taken. Rather than approaching the Bible like we already know what it says, we listen and submit to its claims about God’s work in history.
That is also the approach we take in the Christianity Explored course, which began the week after Richard’s talk. The course follows the text of Mark’s gospel and considers Jesus Christ. Each Wednesday night from 7.30-9pm a group is meeting to consider his identity, and his purpose by pouring over Mark’s gospel.
The gospel is not presented as a metaphorical or mythical guide for life. It is an historical reality which has forever stamped our world with the good news that God’s Son is alive and that he loved people enough to come into our world to save us. So in our special events, our Christianity Explored courses, and in church each week, we listen and seek to understand God’s word as it comes to us.