Tuesday, May 16, 2006

351 A completely biased review

Reviewing the book or the movie The Da Vinci Code would never be assigned to me; I haven’t read it and don’t intend to see the movie. Why? I don’t like the thriller/mystery genre--never have--codes, corpses, and clues aren’t for me. But more importantly, once I know an author has lied to me about the structure on which he hangs his story, I’m not about to spend my time with him. And Dan Brown is a liar, a cheat, and a tool of Satan. Well, so much for being an unbiased reviewer!

Brown asserts that Jesus never claimed to be God; that this was settled 300 years later by Emperor Constantine for evil purposes; that he was married to Mary Magdalene and she was supposed to lead the church; and that the Gospels are a fabrication designed to meet masculine power grabs. There’s other nonsense, but you can see how this would appeal to nominal Christians who have grown up with the "Jesus is my best friend" theology and unbelievers who rarely have any exposure to the Christian faith except on holidays. So IF you go to see the movie that is being released to the glare of an adoring public and press in May, put on a little son screen by watching a new DVD by Lee Strobel first.

Although I’m not going to the movie, I will recommend "Discussing the Da Vinci Code" (Zondervan, 2006, $19.99) which is a package of a DVD with four sessions, a discussion guide and a small book you can use for personal outreach. I think it would work best with a group that meets weekly--just for the pacing and holding people’s interest. However, if you have a group that is willing to stay on task and spend 90 minutes together (skip the snacks and chit-chat that evening), you can go through all four sessions together in one sitting. You'll have time to touch on the guidebook's questions, and you'll still send your folks out into the world semi-prepared. It is beautifully done, well-paced, and really held my interest. Lee Strobel, the narrator and interviewer, talks to his audience against a background of Paris and London and allows his guest scholars to speak to the issues.

Chicago Sun Times story on what churches are doing about the movie.


Susan said...

Our church used this as part of a four-week pre-movie release class. I think my mom's church did also.

It's good to be prepared when the queries fly!

Anonymous said...

The book is a wonderful work of FICTION.........please do not be so closed minded. It sounds as if you are a follower of a brainwashing cult called church. If you enjoy reading any kind of fiction then give this book a try, you may find that you enjoy Brown's talented writing skills and deeply developed characters.

Does the church not realize that they are creating such a media frenzy that many people are flocking to the book and the film just to see what all of the hype is about.

Food for thought.......perhaps your precious Bible is ficticious in whole or in part!

Anonymous said...

Here here Anonymous. And as a librarian, you should understand the difference between fiction and non.

Norma said...

I think that is "hear, hear." Makes more sense.

My dear Mr. and Ms. Anonymous have missed my first point--I don't read mystery/fantasy or goth/horror or pornography or racing forms, for that matter. It's a myth that librarians read a lot.

So even if Brown didn't deny the diety of Jesus, even if he weren't a liar, even if he didn't put more value on 4th century gospels than 1st century gospels, I wouldn't have read this book. I don't have to use a cracked egg to know it shouldn't be used.

Brown makes it very clear that he has written a fictional story based on what he believes to be facts.

However, Christians are in no danger from this book specifically. They are endangered by their own ignorance and sloppy teaching and preference for the sweet and simple rather than solid theology. If they've lost disciples to the "Brownies," it's their own fault.

Chad said...

Instead of doing a study on how to protect your insulated thought, how about doing a study on the council at Nycene.

This council actually did decide what you believe (along with most of the church), hundreds of years after the Christ. Check it out for yourself.