Thursday, May 25, 2006

WIR

What I'm Reading:

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.


I was thinking of writing an article in response to this book, but decided against it. I would not think to provide commentary on the literary acumen of Dan Brown. I do not know this genre and I am far from a literary critic. However, as to the religious claims of the book, I am an expert and would feel somewhat obligated to help the conversation, except for:

Breaking the Da Vinci Code, Darrell Bock
Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code, Bart Ehrman
The Da Vinci Hoax, Carl Olson
The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction, Hank Hanegraaff
The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers, Josh McDowell
Exploring the Da Vinci Code, Garry Poole
Discussing the Da Vinci Code, Lee Strobel
The Gospel According to the Da Vinci Code, Kenneth Boa
Truth and Error in the Da Vinci Code, Mark Strauss
The Da Vinci Code:A Catholic Response, Amy Welborn
The Real History behind the Da Vinci Code, Sharan Newman
Cracking Da Vinci's Code, James Garlow
Fact and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code, Steve Kellmeyer
The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code, Richard Abanes

This is a quick sampling of the books available that show that The Da Vinci Code's religious/historical/cultural claims have no basis in reality or truth. It's just so easy to write on this subject, everyone is getting in on it. Publishers (and authors) are trying to ride the easy wave of popularity generated by the media machine of this book/movie. Why? Why is it so popular if it is so wrong? Here are my thoughts.

In the American society (and most well-educated societies throughout the world), everyone agrees that Jesus was a great man, a great teacher and a great spiritual leader. True. However, when we examine the gospels, we see that he claimed divinity. No good man could do this unless it was true, and if it is true, we owe him our lives. So, we are all hoping that it is not true. We want a safe Jesus. Therefore, any theory that (1) helps explain that Jesus was not who he said he was, and (2) keeps him as a good person is going to be attractive. People are not decieved for lack of facts. People are deceived because they want to be deceived. Christian friends, let us not be quick to judge others, though. Instead, let us understand the fear of a divine Jesus, and proclaim the truth that he does not come to us in judgement, but in love. He is the Lord of the universe, and yet gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love. He is the good King. Not safe, but good. Unpredictable, but trustworthy.

2 Comments:

Blogger nickg said...

Willy, I think you've diagnosed the fascination accurately and given a good application on how to respond. I'm editing a lecture transcript of Dan Doriani's for the Covenant Worldwide site in which He said almost the exact same thing (though, he wasn't responding to The Davinci Code, which hadn't been written yet). So, you're in good company.

I would add that we can be compassionate with nonbelievers not only because Jesus is compassionate and patient toward them, but also because He is so with us. We too would prefer a "tame" Jesus, who is just a friend and teacher, rather than our Lord who demands a life devoted to Him. Part of the proof we ought to be able to offer others of Jesus' love and compassion is the humility we have about our own shortcomings and our assurance that He is compassionate toward us.

7:05 PM, May 25, 2006  
Blogger W Sofield said...

Thanks, nickg. Good thoughts.

7:01 AM, May 26, 2006  

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