19 May 2006

DaVinci Code

The movie is released today. Are you breathless?

I'm not. The reviews have been not so wonderful. I read the book a number of years ago and found the premise intriguing. Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of this book and now the movie. I'm going to spoil it here, so don't read any further if you have neither read the book nor seen the movie and don't care to have it spoiled for you.

The premise of the book is that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a son. I can't remember if the son was born before or after the crucifixion. It doesn't matter. Mary M. and the son were carted away to Gaul (France) and hidden there to protect them after the crucifixion. The Knights Templar were created to protect the son and his descendents. This bloodline became the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend.

This is the bit that has so many Christian in such an uproar. A friend (unaware of the upcoming movie release) recently said, "What's with all the DaVinci Code stuff again? I thought we put that to bed." We told her about the movie. So now everyone is having "discussions" and Sunday School classes and debates and trying to be open and all sorts of hoo-haw about this all over again. But it's really a tempest in a teacup.

Here are the two main points ... that most Christians miss.

First, being married and having a child in no way changes Christ's divinity. It doesn't stop him from having been crucified and rising from the dead. Those possibilities don't really change anything about him. He never made any claims about being a virgin, only about being fully human and fully God.

Second, IF there were any descendents of Jesus they did nothing. At this point in history (2000 years later) their "blood" has been so thinned as to be non-existant.

Third, Jesus' main points had nothing to do with what this book is about. And people who are Christians ought to know that. The DaVinci Code is titillating reading and fun international intrigue, but people who take their faith seriously cannot possibly be frightened or put off by it. After all, it's just fiction.

UPDATE: Real Live Preacher has some of the best thoughts I've read yet about the whole mess. Here's a bit to whet your whistle:
Anyone who paid attention in seminary has heard of these extra-biblical sources and knows that Mr. Brown’s book is an adventure story and not a biblical or historical treatise. The Da Vinci Code has roughly the same relationship to biblical and church history that James Bond has to the world of secret agents. And hey, what’s wrong with that? It’s a good read. Like a Clancy novel. (May 24, 2006)


Blogger Mike Croghan said...

Amen. However, N.T. Wright believes (and I think he's got a point) that there's an important lesson (for Christians who are paying attention) in this book's popularity. The lesson regards our culture's hunger for Gnostic-style spirituality. When I blog my notes from Wright's lecture last Tuesday, I'll try to elaborate on that a bit.

5/19/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger kate said...

I'll echo Mike: "I agree. However..." It's fiction. But Dan Brown writes with obviously gleeful attempt to strip away Christianity's credibility and significance. He claims some things as "fact" that just plain aren't. And he said, were I writing a nonfiction book about this, I pretty much wouldn't change a thing.
The line (paraphrased) that so angered me -- wanted me to throw the book across the room and stomp on it -- was his condescending perspective that "if it makes some feel better to believe in miracles, they can go ahead. But it's all crap," essentially. Can't remember if that was Langdon or Teabing.
The better question: Why do I care what Dan Brown thinks? Hmmm.
I would hope that anyone with faith in God and Jesus (however you want to put that) wouldn't be deceived by this. I hope that, and I think that to be true. So, as you say -- tempest in a teacup. We love to have something to rant about, don't we!
And the reviews have been absolutely horrible. Not merely 'not so great.' Shockingly bad, in fact. Almost as bad as Hanks' hair!
Kinda makes me want to see the movie now, perversely.

5/19/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

What do you think about his new book that's rumored to be coming out soon? It's set in Washington and has the Masons worried.

5/21/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I'm not a big reader of fiction even when it is called an "intellectual thriller." However, I find it ironic how adherents of the world's major religions seem to lack faith in their particular faith. When the Passion came out, Jews were whining about how their religion was being dissed while the Christians were desperately trying to show Hollywood who had the real pulse of America's heart. Then more recently, Muslims were up in arms (pun not intended) about caricatures which belittled their prophet. And now, Christians across the world are gathering protesting steam as this film has just recently been released. In my opinion, it is an opportunity to have true faith in the face of opposition. If all of these religions had more faith in their faith, these situations wouldn't bother them as much. And it's not like any of these religions are going anywhere anytime soon, seeing that they have lasted 4000 yrs., 2000 yrs., and 1300 yrs. Frankly, it's rather nauseating and I look forward to the satires and parodies that are soon to follow which will once again show all of us religious people how ridiculously silly and paranoid we can be.

5/21/2006 10:11:00 PM  

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