I’ve heard it said that Christianity in America is on dangerous ground these days, because we have so many media choices to choose from that fewer and fewer people will be sharing the same metanarrative. But that’s not only true for Christianity. It’s true for every worldview.
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a metanarrative is “an overarching account or interpretation of events and circumstances that provides a pattern or structure for people’s beliefs and gives meaning to their experiences.” Media can shape the kind of metanarrative we hold, and the fewer media choices there are, the more likely we are to share metanarratives with those around us. That’s the way things were before the information age arrived.
Now, however, everything is different, because we have the internet.
Now everyone can access information on all the various social, political, and economic systems, not to mention the whole range of religious worldviews, plus we can customize our media consumption to suit our own individual needs and whims. And because we have such a wide variety of choices, and so many different religious and cultural metanarratives to choose from, each different metanarrative, such as Christianity, is less persuasive and influential than ever before.
With all these choices, people are more likely to isolate and construct their own micronarrative, rather than engage in shared narratives with others.
My answer to all this is found in John’s Gospel, Chapter Six,
After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” ~ John 6:66-68, ESV.
In other words, regardless of how many micronarratives or metanarratives are out there, there’s only one narrative that’s going to save my soul and get me into Heaven, and that’s the Story of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, and resurrection on the third day.
So no matter how many choices they present me with, my answer will always be, “Where else would I go? Only Jesus has the words of eternal life.”