Aug 24, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - my take

So I just finished reading "The Da Vinci Code." I know, I know...I'm a few months, even a few years, late. Still haven't even seen the movie, and from what I've heard, it's not very good anyways, although it does have Jean Reno in it, one of my favorite actors.

I first heard about "The Da Vinci Code" from a girl I used to work with back at Davanni's, one of my original trainers actually. Knowing I was a Christian, and her quasi-Jewish (or whatever), she wanted me to read this book and tell her what I thought. I never got a chance to read it because she promised to lend me her copy, she forgot, and a few months later she left the company. But I've always been meaning to read it.

I've had a copy of the book for several months now. Was going to read it during the school year, and then during the Summit trip, but life and other books got in the way. Still, a few days ago when I realized I didn't own a copy of the book I wanted to be reading next, I decided to just pick up Da Vinci and give it a try.

And you know what? I feel like I just read a 450 page Goosebumps book. Meaning it was a light, quick read, with a lot of fluff, and a passable plot.

This is the book that was supposed to turn people en mass away from Christianity?? This book?? Couldn't it have been something of better literary quality?

The book was entertaining. I'll give Dan Brown that. But it was boring up until roughly page 240, which is when they start going into the "true" history of the Holy Grail and the early church. Up until that point, the book was just one event after another, with each event lasting maybe 15 minutes real time, and yet taking 8 chapters to tell! Look at his writing style. Do you really need to start a new chapter after each new sentence from a main character? While it makes the book much more easily readable, especially in bite sized chunks, it is really annoying also. You just never get anywhere, and if you want to advance the story, you have to read another 50 or more pages!

Dan Brown's theories he presents in the book are interesting. I did a quick search a few minutes ago for any of those readily available articles that prove him wrong. Its interesting to me at least that every single one I looked at, they all chose to prove Brown wrong in the same areas: that Jesus was really the Son of God, that the church believed that without question, and that the Bible wasn't debated over as much as he claims. All good stuff, all worth pointing out to most people.

But none of these articles decided to call into question the whole idea of Jesus getting married and/or having children. Granted, I only looked through a handful of websites for information, and once again, this is a really old "theory," but I was still surprised it wasn't addressed.

While the Bible never specifically says Jesus married, it never says otherwise either. I don't think most Christians personal faith would be challeneged if it was revealed that Jesus Christ had a wife. Now, some will point out that Jesus does indeed have a wife, which is the Church; but lets keep it grounded in physical reality set during His earthly ministry. Is the idea preposterous? I don't think so. I personally do not believe He was married, but I won't discount the fact that He possibly could have been either. It's really a non-issue to me.

There have been a few things bugging me though while I read throught the book. One was that Dan Brown goes to such lengths to discredit Christianity, but bears hardly any mention to Judaism. Christianity came out of that religion, and yet he doesn't really try to prove it wrong at all. Aren't the two linked somehow? Seems like an odd thing to do...

There were other thoughts, but I'll post those later, if I remember them...

I had a conversation at church a while back with someone about the Da Vinci Code. After sitting through the usual (at the time) public condemnings of the book, the movie, and their author, I remember one person saying that they would not endorse anything that tried to prove Christianity wrong. They then went on to make the claim that they wished the book had never been written and that no good would come out of it.

I don't think I agree with that position. If anything, this book/movie has caused many Christians to actually learn church history and more about their faith. I use the term "faith" to mean a more concrete thing than simply "belief." As much as archaelogy evidence can help strengthen your belief, trust, and "faith" in the Bible, so can a movie/book like this that raises questions and causes you to seek the truth. I agree there is a danger to nonbelievers, and especially to people who just seem to hate all things Christ, but as believers, isn't it our responsibility to be equipped to defend our faith?

In conclusion, a question for all you people older and hopefully wiser than I am:

Was there this much church fervor over those Indiana Jones movies?

"come along now, junior!..."

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