Picky? Yes. Because it matters. [DaVinci Code – review]

DaVinciCodeSo we finally got around to watching the Da Vinci Code tonight at the Astro. Gotta love the $2 theater.

promise me you’ll read everything I write before giving up or posting a comment. 

It seems like Christians tend to embarrass ourselves with over-the-top knee-jerk reactions to pop culture. A book or film comes out that we disagree with, and everyone wants to burn it, crucify the author/director, and preach hellfire sermons against anyone associated with it. “Don’t go see it!!” This, in turn, makes Christians look to the world like we’re either
1) afraid of the “big truth” we don’t want anyone to find out about (why else would we be so intent on censoring a film?), or
2) wound so tight that we can’t handle anyone disagreeing with us (“look at those intolerant Christians!”).

Either way, our reactions can make the Truth look like it’s fighting from a defensive, weak position instead of a strong one. (It is Truth after all — and God can handle any question thrown at Him.)

The number of books, articles, sermons, TV talk show programs, and other Da Vinci Code material is daunting. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see the battlefield right in front of you:  thinkers on “both sides” arrayed against one another, leading the average bookstore shopper to assume the truth is probably “somewhere in the middle.”

There are a lot of bad reasons for condemning the Da Vinci Code outright. It’s not the most atrocious attack on Christianity ever penned/filmed. It’s not singlehandedly able to dismantle the Church overnight. It’s not baldfaced deception so beautifully crafted that it’ll suck in anyone who reads it.  Nor can it leap tall buildings in a single bound.  *coughs*

By the way, the point of the book (a feminist diatribe about how wonderful goddess worship was before the Church screwed it up) and the thrust of the movie (Jesus was human not divine and the Church is hiding that) are quite different … but both are, at the core, an attack on the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Brown’s historical inaccuracies are so blatant and so awful that they ought to strike people as either hilarious or illogical.  Unfortunately, even most Christians don’t know their church history well enough to refute what he suggests about the history of the Church, how we got our Bible, the purpose of the Church councils, or the fact that pagan religion did NOT venerate women. Hmph. Heck no. If anything, women were more abused in pre-Christian societies.

If anything, the Da Vinci Code left me angry and grieved — the same way I’d feel if someone attacked the character of my husband or my pastor or my best friend.  Because that’s what it is — an attack on who Jesus is … and, by extension, an attack on His Bride. (The book/film targets the Catholic church but make no effort to separate Protestants out of the mix … all us Christians are lumped together as “hiding the truth.”)

The Church should respond with grace, not with a sputting kind of outrage that just plays into the hands of people who’d like to chip away at Truth. Censorship would be foolish. At least people are talking about who Jesus is/was. He’s certainly not a marginal issue at the moment.

But Christians should be ashamed that the Da Vinci Code, even riddled with so many historical errors that it can hardly stand up for itself, catches most of us flat-footed.

  • Can you explain how the Bible got here and what “inspriation” actually means (and doesn’t mean)?
  • Do you understand why it’s wrong to think that the Council of Nicea “decided” which books are inspired and which aren’t?
  • Can you explain to someone else why it’s not accurate to say that the Council “decided” that Jesus is divine?
  • Do you know why we defend both Jesus’ divinity and His humanity?

… and those are just the theological issues … I’m not even asking the Church History questions or about the pagan / goddess worship stuff he throws in there. 

heh. If I were a seminary professor teaching Apologetics this year, I’d spring this essay question on my students:
“Given [such and such] passage from The Da Vinci Code, point out the logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies in Brown’s argument, note any areas of truth, and state the orthodox response.”

… and with that, I should probably take my own advice and read up on some of this stuff…

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