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My Reaction to the Da Vinci Code

There are some things you just can’t get away from no matter how hard you try. The Da Vinci Code, book, movie, or simply passing comment, is one of these. I have a friend who is much more interested in these things than I am, and I’ve even promoted his willingness to talk about it, and his published materials (the Consider Christianity Series, by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.). Today I got an e-mail from Christianity Today, wondering if I was making the most of it. (No, I’m not personal friends with someone over at CT–it’s an e-mail notification I’ve subscribed to.) Now Christian groups in Asia are protesting the movie, and in at least one country, Thailand, have gotten it cut.

So here comes my short response to the DaVinci Code, book, movie, or casual comment. You may wonder how I’m responding this morning, when the movie is released today. Again, I have no special friends. I haven’t gotten a preview of the movie. In fact, let me confess–no, let me proclaim–I haven’t even read the book!

I’m not in any sense trying to say anything bad about those who have read the book or seen the movie, or want to do so. My bottom line on this book is that it is entertainment, it’s fiction (wow! whoda thunk it?), it’s supposed to be fun. If you think it’s going to be fun, go see it. If not, stay home, like me. If you think you can share your faith through discussion of the movie, go ahead and do so. That’s not my style, but I think it’s good that people do so.

So if I think it’s fine to read the book, watch the move, to discuss it both literarily and historically (to the extent one can), what’s my problem. Let’s see. Oh yes . . . it bores me. That’s all. I’m just not interested. I’ve read dozens of books on the historical Jesus, ranging from volumes by authors who claim Jesus never existed, to fundamentalist defenses of the finest details of the story. I’m interested in that type of thing, but over time I’ve gotten to the point where I need something that challenges me intellectually. Books as wide ranging as John Dominic Crossan’s The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant and Darrell Bocks Jesus According to Scripture have great interest for me, as they both challenge my way of thinking and my understanding. But it just happens that right now I don’t want yet another theory about Jesus presented as fiction.

I don’t know how good of fiction it will be, but the indications I’m hearing aren’t all that good. I’m absolutely not saying, “This is a bad movie, which is why I haven’t seen it.” I’m just telling you it’s OK not to find the whole thing all that interesting and to just continue to live your life. If The Da Vinci Code is your kind of movie, enjoy it guilt free. Use it in witness. Discuss it historically or literarily to your heart’s content. If, like me, you don’t plan to bother, don’t feel guilty. There really are people who just aren’t that excited about it.

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  1. I just got the book.

    I was mostly ignoring the phenomenon, because it didn’t sound like it was actually anything new, just a bunch of the same old conspiracy theories rehashed. If you want conspiracy theories, read the Illuminati Trilogy. And the number of books about the lost feminine archetype is huge.

    But I heard it was a decent yarn. I got it for summer popcorn reading.

    It’s hard for me to believe that anyone is taking this seriously. It’s fiction, ya know? Then again, a lot of people seem to take the Left Behind series of novels seriously too.

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