Sunday, December 03, 2006
The Da Vinci Code
Dave and I are of two different minds regarding The Da Vinci Code. He has not read the book or seen the movie. I, on the other hand, have read the book a couple of times and I watched the DVD with Jonathan about two weeks ago.
I thought the movie was fairly good, but I enjoyed the book much more. In order to avoid becoming overly long or confusing, the movie had to cut out some of the puzzles and theoretical discussions that made the book so fascinating.
Why, you may ask, do Dave and I hold differing opinions about this story? Dave finds it offensive because he feels that Dan Brown's purportedly scholarly claims may confuse people who are not familiar with biblical scholarship and church history. You may know that Dan Brown had to backtrack from some of his initial claims regarding the integrity of his scholarship. His research was not as rigorous as he and his publicists claimed and they got caught out by several scholars.
I, on the other hand, am not offended by either the book or the movie. I think they provided great opportunities (which, as far as I know, most churches missed) to open up fresh discussions of church history, theology and biblical scholarhip. I find the story fascinating and well-constructed as a work of fiction. If people in our churches and corps were asking questions about the truth of Brown's claims, then pastors and officers should have responded by tackling Brown's claims point by point. How many people would have come to a corps or a church for a presentation or discussion on "Is The Da Vinci Code True? Does It Matter?" Advertise something like that in the local newspaper and see how many people show up for mid-week meetings!
Perhaps, instead of dismissing controversial books and movies out of hand, as we usually do, Christians should use them as starting points for sharing the gospel. Perhaps we should have conversations about questions people are actually asking rather than the ones for which we've already prepared our answers. Perhaps we'd be pleasantly surprised at the results of such conversations.