Welcome to Mythic Mission with Professor Michael Jahosky! On this podcast, I am dedicated to bringing you a Christian apologetic that appeals to both the imagination and the intellect. I will be focusing on the concept of mythos (understood as "narrated worldview") as it relates to Christian apologetics and discipleship and exploring the intersection of worldviews and the arts. Please follow me on my website (https://lastdunadancom.wordpress.com/) to find out more--and about my book on Tolkien!
A former atheist who came to faith, Professor Mary Jo Sharp has experienced two worlds of American culture: the post- Christian culture of the Pacific Northwest and the evangelical culture of the Bible Belt. She first encountered apologetics in her own spiritual search while seeking answers. Mary Jo is now an assistant professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University and the founder and director of Confident Christianity Apologetics Ministry. She has been featured in Christianity Today’s cover story “The Unexpected Defenders” and is an international speaker on apologetics, focusing on love and logic to uncover truth. She lives with her husband and family in Portland, Oregon. You can connect with MaryJo on social media and on her website, which will all be in the show notes below.
Web Site: www.maryjosharp.com
This episode was streamed on Facebook LIVE as well. Today, I talk with Dr. Brad Birzer about the "central explanatory text" of Tolkien's mythology, "The Debate of Finrod and Andreth," which you can find in Volume X, Morgoth's Ring, of the History of Middle earth series edited by Christopher Tolkien. We also discuss Tolkien's views on monarchy, how it intersects with his theology, and how the theme of God as king--a very prominent theme in the Bible-- permeates his mythology.
You can learn more about Dr. Birzer here: https://bradbirzer.com/
His book, which we also discuss in today's episode, J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle earth can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K5EBJ2O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
In this episode, I interview one of my favorite authors, Donald Robertson, who is a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist and a student of Greco-Roman Philosophy, especially Stoicism. This is a topic special to me because I spent 6 weeks in Rome for a study abroad program where I not only crystalized my decision to study Greco-Roman and Biblical history, philosophy, religion, and the arts, but met my best friend and future wife (and the co-host of Mythic Mission!), Sarah. Marcus Aurelius's Meditations has always been a part of my life, and today we discuss, among other things, what the Cross has to do with the Purple (a reference to the robe of the Roman emperor). How are these traditions similar and dissimilar? Can Christians learn anything of value from non-Christian worldviews (yes!)? In earlier episodes of Mythic Mission, I discuss (Episode #13 on Anchor, for example) how Christians can practice discernment wisely. Don and I also discuss Marcus Aurelius's alleged persecution of Christians, the 12th Legion miracle, and other fascinating topics. Enjoy!
Mythic Mission Main Page/Donations: https://anchor.fm/michael-t-jahosky *Please consider supporting our show by clicking "Support" at this above link!*
Donald's Website: https://donaldrobertson.name/
Book of the Show Link: https://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Like-Roman-Emperor-ebook/dp/B07D2C5NNV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=how+to+think+like+a+roman+emperor&qid=1621011853&sr=8-1
MYTH, epistemology, faith, indirect communication, apologetics, and Kierkegaard oh my! All of these subjects and more come up in today's AWESOME episode with my new friend, Dr. Aaron Simmons. There's a lot to love from today's show, so be sure to take notes.
*I hope you'll consider going to the main page of Mythic Mission today and click the "Support" button to help support the release of more great episodes that we have been offering for free. I will continue to offer these for free, but we are asking for you to consider supporting our lay ministry here and, if we get enough support, to help us support the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Your support will help us with the costs incurred to keep great content coming and get some new equipment, which is sorely needed. Lastly, if we get enough support, we will be starting a monthly giving to the Make a Wish Foundation.*
Go here: https://anchor.fm/michael-t-jahosky and click "Support"
*ALSO...look forward to May 14's interview with Donald Robertson on Stoicism and Christianity, June 4, Dr. Brad Birzer on Tolkien, and sometime in July, an interview with Dr. MaryJo Sharp!
BUT WAIT, there's more! I've also registered mythicmission.com as a domain for our website! Please don't forget to subscribe to alerts from our site, where I occasionally blog and send updates out. All of my professional work, interviews, and information on MY book are on this website!*
On today's 19th episode, I speak with Dr. Holly Ordway about her new book, "Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle earth Beyond the Middle Ages" and the diverse array of literary influences which helped fertilize Tolkien's rich and deep imagination, and which ultimately had an impact on the writing of his Middle earth legendarium. Not all the influences had an equal impact, and none of them invite "this equals that" correspondences between the works which influenced Tolkien and his legendarium. Nevertheless, Tolkien was influenced by modern literature and did read beyond the Middle Ages, and these modern authors' works did exert an influence upon the creation of his hobbits, geography of Middle earth, and major characters such as Galadriel and Eowyn, just to name a few examples. Tolkien was NOT just a Medievalist, and he was not out of touch with modernity. Follow Holly at the links below, where you can also buy her new book:
On the 18th episode of Mythic Mission, Sarah and I interview Dr. David and Crystal Downing who are co-chairs and co-directors of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Illinois. Join us as we discuss the writings of C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers and J.R.R. Tolkien and the impact that their Christian faith had on their fictional writings! Enjoy the show, and if you want to learn more about the Downings or the Wade Center, go here:
David Downing: https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wadecenter/about/staff/david-c-downing/
Crystal Downing: https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wadecenter/about/staff/crystal-downing/
Marion E. Wade Center: https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wadecenter/about/history/biographies/marion-e-wade/
A special Holy Saturday podcast episode covering the topic of Holy Saturday, different conceptions of Purgatory, and an exploration of the ideas of Matthew Emerson and Jerry Walls in their respective books, "He Descended to the Dead": An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday and "Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory."
For Mythic Mission's 15th episode, I interview Joseph Pearce, author of Frodo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of the Lord of the Rings (among many other excellent books) about G.K. Chesterton's philosophy of myth, why the Christian story--and the Incarnation--is the "master key" to understanding reality, and Chesterton's influence on both Tolkien and Lewis. To learn more about Joseph Pearce, please visit his website here:
On today's 14th episode of Mythic Mission, I am very grateful for my friend David Bates @ Pints with Jack (https://www.pintswithjack.com/) who has graciously allowed me to share his interview with me about my book, "The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle earth" that I did on his show in early March 2021. This was one of my favorite interviews! Enjoy!
In today's surprise episode, I discuss what Sacramentalism is and how it is related to "Tolkien's art of the parable," the difference between "Looking at" and "Looking Along," and religious pluralism, among other things.
Today, I discuss two letters of J.R.R. Tolkien--Letter 181 and Letter 211--which have to do with the alleged "historicity" of Middle-earth and whether this does or does not affect the argument that the Incarnation is present in Middle-earth that I have presented in my book, The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle-earth.
This quote from Homer's Iliad sums up my interview with my good friend and colleague at St. Petersburg College, Dr. Matthew Sims, who is also the author of the forthcoming book: Ancient Greeks on the Human Condition: Themes in the Writings of Homer, Aristophanes, Euripides and Thucydides
Dr. Sims and I discuss his forthcoming book, myth, and what Christians can learn from reading the Greek classics particularly about the human condition. Dr. Sims presents in his book four views for examining the human condition: The Heroic, The Tragic, the Comedic, and the Absurd. You can learn more about Dr. Sims here: https://web.spcollege.edu/instructors/id/sims.matthew
Yes, you read the title of today's 10th episode of Mythic Mission correctly! Narnia IS a real place--indeed, it is MORE real than the reality we are currently living in. The realms of Narnia and Middle earth are portraits of reality as it OUGHT to be, and as it will be, according to the Christian worldview. One day, all things will be made new and the New Heaven and New Earth which God began to prepare in Eden, and which came to fruition in the Incarnation (Jesus Christ) will be complete. Narnia and Middle earth are sacramental visions of this "true country," which will one day be our home. Here and now, we get foretastes and glimpses of our true country now and again, just over the horizon, but we are still pilgrims in a foreign land. Today's special guest is Dr. Brian Williams who is the author of C.S. Lewis: Pre Evangelism in a Post Christian World: Why Narnia Might be More Real Than We Think. Dr. Williams speaks to us about our longing for our true country, among other things with me, and walks us through the 5 main chapters of his new book. Enjoy and God Bless! You can find a link to his Amazon Author Page and the Book below:
What is Cultural Apologetics? What does it have to do with myth? How we can we draw on culture to point people toward Christ? What does it mean to be disenchanted? Re-enchanted? What does it mean to see the world as Jesus does? What does Dr. Gould think of Tolkien and Lewis? Check out our newest episode to find out!
Today, I address this question that I've been asked a lot since the publication of my book where in the Preface, I said that I was returning to the Catholic Church as of Summer/Fall 2020. I explain in today's show that I have not yet made the full transition and that my family and I are still wrestling over this decision. I also bring up several points of agreement that I have with the RC and some concerns about others. Prayers appreciated--I will keep everyone apprised of our decision once it's made, as I know many are interested. Enjoy today's very personal show.
Is The Lord of the Rings an Allegory? The answer we give in today's episode might surprise you. Most people are familiar with Tolkien's "cordial dislike of allegory," but few are familiar with what else he said in his letters about allegory. In Letter 186, he identifies LOTR as one kind of allegory, but not the type he disliked in Letter 131, which he called "the conscious and intentional" kind of allegory. Joining me to discuss this and to help put our finger on why we love Middle-earth so much is Dr. Devin Brown, who is a Lilly Professor at Asbury University and the author of many books about Narnia and Middle earth. Don't miss this episode! Relevant links for Dr. Brown are below:
Dr. Brown's Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Devin-Brown/e/B001JS67MW%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Dr. Brown's Website: https://www.asbury.edu/about/directory/devin-brown/
What is typology? How are the concepts of myth and typology related? How do these concepts illuminate our understanding of the relationship between the "Pagan Christs" and Jesus Christ? What role do other non-Christian myths have--or do not have--in our coming to Christ? What about those who have not heard of Christ, have not accepted Christ today? What about those who lived before him? What role in myth and typology play in C.S. Lewis's writings? All these questions and more will be addressed today in my interview with Dr. Owen Anderson, who is professor of philosophy and religious studies in Arizona State University's New College. In 2013-2014, he was the William E. Simon research fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University and a visiting scholar at Princeton Seminary. He has published seven books including "The Declaration of Independence and God" (2015) and "The Natural Moral Law" (2013) with Cambridge University Press. His areas of research include epistemology, the ethics of belief, intellectual history and the problem of evil.
For this week's midweek episode, the title says it all! In this podcast, I argue that parables are incarnational stories, that they are perfect vehicles for communicating the central truth of the Christian worldview: that God has become human. Parables are in their literary form what they wish to communicate in content: God becoming king on earth as in heaven! In this episode, I talk about the relationship between myth, allegory, parable, and fairy story (content from my book, The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle earth) and argue that many Tolkien scholars have overlooked some important nuances about Tolkien's view of allegory because they have not read widely enough on this subject in biblical scholarship, and because parables have not been a central part of their theology. Parables are not the same thing as the "conscious and intentional" allegory which Tolkien disliked, but they could be said to be a subset of allegory (as many scholars have argued). I also point out that in a letter, Tolkien does, in fact, call The Lord of the Rings an allegory--but obviously not the kind which he "cordially disliked" (the conscious and intentional kind). Finally, I argue for the resemblance between fairy stories and parables as one of Tolkien's good friends Father Robert Murray began to do in his 1992 essay "Tolkien and the Art of the Parable," and develop his argument further (which is what I do in my book). Fairy stories/parables are a type of allegory, but distinct from the type Tolkien disliked! The way this kind of story reflects truth, and how it is "incarnational" is the final topic of this podcast, and I think you're really going to enjoy it!
"Is Man a Myth"? is one question we try to answer in tonight's episode with my special guest, Dr. Charlie W. Starr, author of The Faun's Bookshelf: C.S. Lewis on Why Myth Matters. In addition to delving into Starr's take on Lewis's understanding of myth, meaning, truth, and reality, I also ask him to share his expertise on C.S. Lewis's handwriting (Dr. Starr is the world's leading expert on Lewis's handwriting!), his own definition of myth, and the value of myth in Christian apologetics and discipleship. We may have raised more questions than we did answer them in this episode, but it was great fun and I got to meet another one of my theological heroes (Dr. Markos and Dr. Starr in one month!?).
This mid week episode deals with the concepts of myth, meaning, truth, and reality as it relates to Christian apologetics and discipleship. In my book, The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle earth, I argue that myth ought to be understood as a "narrated worldview," an understanding that has been established by some top apologists today such as Alister E. McGrath. Moreover, myth is a sacramentally unitive experience, a holistic story that is in form what it is trying to say in content.
Welcome back to Mythic Mission! This week's episode has my beloved best friend and wife, Sarah, interviewing me about the Preface of my book, The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle earth and my journey (my "road into Jerusalem") to become a Christian and Tolkien's role in that journey. We also discuss what a myth is, what it has to do with Christianity (and other religions!), apologetics, and future interviews and episode content to look forward to!
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Mythic Mission's inaugural podcast episode starts off with an interview with Dr. Louis Markos of Houston Baptist University and the author of The Myth Made Fact: Reading the Greek and Roman Myths Through Christian Eyes. Please follow the links below to find and buy his book! https://classicalacademicpress.com/pr... https://www.amazon.com/Myth-Made-Fact...
In this episode, Dr. Markos and I talk about his new book and the concepts of myth, meaning, truth, and reality. We also discuss that the commonly heard argument against Christianity being "just another myth" is in actuality an argument FOR the complete truth of Christianity AND a great opportunity for Christian apologists. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Wordpress page, and check out the audio version of this podcast on Spotify and Anchor (Will be on ITunes soon!).