Stories and Worldviews, Part II

March 10, 2011
Paul Loewen |

I touched on it last week - stories shape who we are. What do I mean by this? 

Nowhere do I find it more prevalent than in teenage society today. It used to be that pride was a huge concern - but I don't think that's the case anymore. I've talked to enough Youth to know that pride isn't a huge problem - just the opposite. I would argue that, even though my history of data is quite limited, self-esteem is at its lowest ever for teenagers. Why is that? For multiple reasons: 1) they no longer work and receive value from that, 2) they have become a financial burden to their parents, 3) they are deemed useless in media, 4) everyone receives a "participant" trophy, and 5) the worldview being shoved down their throats promotes uselessness and futility. 

When the Creation story was written, Israel was in need of an identity. Surrounding nations had creation "epics," large sweeping tales of events that spawned an Earth and the human race. These tales involved multiple things: 1) bloodshed, often producing humankind out of the remains of war (for example, the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian epic), 2) violence, a subduing of a lesser being by the more powerful, 3) deceit, treachery, evil. In essence, many middle-Eastern cultures believed they were born out of tragedy and evil. It's hard not to believe the world is evil when that's your Creation story.

On the other hand, the biblical account of Creation was not necessarily intended to be a science textbook. Instead, it proposed an alternative to the stories being told by surrounding cultures, based on many things:

  • God subdued chaos (as opposed to creating it)
  • There was no violence in Creation
  • Creation was GOOD
  • Humankind was the pinnacle of God's creation, as opposed to a byproduct or a slavery system
  • Creation, humans, and the world have intrinsic value

Why is this important? Because in a world where self-esteem has hit rock bottom, I believe a huge and fundamental role in this degradation of teenagers is the theory of evolution. I'm not talking about the theory's validity or scientific evidence, and please don't enter into an argument. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that teenagers are the first generation that is being told, repeatedly, that they are one step in millions of an evolutionary process. No wonder self-esteem issues are rampant. 

Maybe it's time for the purpose - the true and original purpose - of the biblical Creation account to speak to this generation again. 

Taking Heart,


Author Name: 
Paul Loewen
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