Fact: This is a novel. Fact: You should read it as such. Fact: Don’t get hung up with the symbolism. Fact: You shouldn’t critique any work until you have studied it firsthand. OK punny sermon over… you’ll only get the laugh if you’ve read the book.
This is an unbelievably engaging drama. Brown is a brilliant writer who intricately weaves this 2-day story together. The characters he employs are captivating and make you want to know their stories. Every time I had to take a pause this week I really wanted to keep reading. I was at a conference in Oklahoma this week and brought several movies with me for evening entertainment… I watched one in 5 days. All I wanted to do was read this book.
So why are so many Christians in a huff over Da Vinci? Should they be? Many Christians seem to take the historical references in The Da Vinci Code as literal. There are entire books written to make sure that people know the facts of Christian history vary greatly with the accounts found in this book. My first caution (the one I mentioned earlier) is to remember that this is a work of fiction. As I was traveling this week the overwhelming feeling I had through casual conversations with people was that they understood that this book is a story. Thankfully the fact that it is about to become a Hollywood movie will likely help others to understand that this is a fictional work.
The other reality is that Dan Brown and others may well believe that there are conspiracy theories of church history. This gives Christian people an opportunity to have intellectual discussions with people on the truths of history. This demands that those of us who follow Christ must know those truths. So Da Vinci Code can be a reminder to know. Know why the New Testament scriptures are reliable. Know who Mary Magdalene and other Bible characters mentioned really were. Be able to use the questions of others as an opportunity to talk about truth.
One thought on “Week #14: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown”
I have heard many a debate over this book, and I have to tell you, I find it extremely interesting. From the Christian perspective, most say that it is to be avoided like the plague due to its blasphemous content. From the Secular point of view, I have heard it used to justify the fact that the Bible has many different ways to be interpreted. Bottom line is that the way you view it is going to be based on your beliefs. Bible believing Christians are going to take offense at the fact that the artistic liberties taken by the author are nothing more than the twisting of scripture. Those that are not believers, but perhaps grew up with religous backgrounds, have told me that the book has “opened their eyes” to a different perspective. Those who claim to be agnostics or athiests will find it to be a marvelous work of fiction.
Bottom line is that this book will not (or should not) shake the faith of any true Christian, but it may have an adverse affect on those without spiritual discernment. Would I read it? I answer that question with some others. Would I want my children to read it? No. Would I want it seen in my home where, perhaps, someone struggling with the Christian faith might see it? Probably not. Would knowing this book help me in being a witness to others? Perhaps. Bottom line is that I probably will not read it, but I will not condemn another Christian for doing so.