“It’s All Good” (Not Really)


You’ve heard the phrase before: “It’s all good.” People toss it out there all the time. I’ve caught myself saying it to try to smooth over situations where something bad has happened. Andrew and Randall tore down the notion that everything is “all good” with their realistic but hopeful writings. Bob Dylan satirized the phrase “it’s all good” recently in song:

The widow’s cry, the orphan’s plea
Everywhere you look, more misery
Come along with me, babe, I wish you would
You know what I’m sayin’, it’s all good
All good

Not to harp on the subject, since we’ve already had two posts on it, but it’s an important one. This is why Tolkien wrote,

“Anyway, all this stuff (his reflection about his stories) is mainly concerned with Fall, Morality, and the Machine … There cannot be any ‘story’ without a fall – all stories are ultimately about the fall – at least not human minds as we know them and have them.”

There was, as Andrew and Randall both said, a time when death wasn’t inevitable and evil wasn’t a part of the stained fabric of our world. But that time cannot be, and as such, there can be no story without conflict, without a fall. All stories that have a fall are reflecting on the simple, inescapable reality (not matter how hard we try to escape it!) that the world is not as it should be.

The Lord of the Rings is so real a story to us both because the evil of Sauron is very real and potent, and the evil inside Frodo the same. The Chronicles of Narnia are so powerful because each character has to deal not only with evil witches and deceitful enemies, but with deceit and evil within. Thankfully, Aslan is gentle and merciful, for all his terror and holiness.

I have a suspicion that the real reason the anti-hero has become so popular is not because we’ve become more depraved in our thinking and in what we want from our heroes, but because we know we’re every bit as bad, as fallen, as those anti-heroes. The anti-hero, or the Gothic hero-villain, represents our hope that despite the gigantic mess we’ve made of our lives, it can all be redeemed.

It’s not all good. But it will be.

Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven. ~ Jesus


  1. Jaclyn

    As much potential as this subject has for rolling in the gloom, this post makes me smile (and not just because I can picture my way-cool preteen self droppin’ the phrase =P). It’s always refreshing to deal in truth. Our reality is so much better than any illusion I may fabricate to comfort myself:

    No, it’s not good now, but as it once was, it will be Good again.


    Thank you for the insight.

  2. Chris Yokel

    Good point about the anti-hero Travis. I was just thinking about this in terms of one of the shows I watch, Heroes, and the character of Sylar. His storyline is probably one of the most interesting and compelling in the series, especially lately, because of the very things you mentioned.

  3. Laura Droege

    The world is not as it should be, as you said. Someday, though, God will set things right, all will be restored, and the world will be what He intended it to be. Even though I cannot do what He can (make the world be completely right), I can make a tiny difference in this world; then I’ll be bringing a little bit of heaven down to earth.

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