Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

I ran across this blog entry when it was republished in Christianity Today. It was written by Barbara R. Nicolosi, a scriptwriter, author, and speaker. She has some very opinionated things to say about The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Her basic premise is that we should stay far away from the book and the movie, as utilizing it for discussion purposes or to educate ourselves with it for those purposes would be similar to arguing with the Devil himself. She likens a discussion with anyone advocating DVC to an exorcism of demons. She criticizes those that might fall away from God because they did so "over this cartoonish, illiterate, dishonest piece of hack drivel..." instead of something bigger and more important like a love affair. Her depiction of "typical DVC inspired dialogue" paints the advocate as a close-minded, rude, sex-crazed, demon-possessed individual. Wow! Nothing like being open-minded, eh?

I just got The Da Vinci Code out of the library (the huge, illustrated, coffee-table version, since it was the only thing left) and started reading it the other night. It's an OK book so far, not great. And I plan on seeing the movie when it comes out, either in the theater or more likely on DVD (since I have a baby now). Why? Not only do I really like Tom Hanks as an actor and Ron Howard as a director. I also need to be prepared. I have heard much about the book, but have experienced none of it first-hand. I need to be prepared to know what I'm talking about when the topic comes up. And come up it will. If I were to take Ms. Nicolosi's high road, and one of my students were to approach me with questions about some of the so-called facts that the book or movie espouses, how would I respond? "Sorry. I didn't read or see it. It is spiritually-unfit for me to consume. And just the fact that you are asking me about makes you the Devil!" Come on! Let's be a little less closed-minded and impractical. Jesus Himself in Mark 5 not only communicated with the demons, but also granted their wishes by casting them into a herd of swine. I am not putting myself or anyone else on par with Jesus, but this book will open conversations with people about God, even if they have skewed opinions of Him. 1 Peter 3:15 exhorts believers to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that in them, and with humbleness, not pride. I would much rather be prepared to dialogue and give an answer for my hope than to condemn...


Barry said...


gmw said...

hey Fitz, I just bought the paperback DVC at Target last night. Pretty much, what you said. Reasons I'm reading it and seeing the movie at some point (we've seen exactly 1 movie at the theater since Big Ben arrived, that for our anniversary):
1. To know what the heck people are talking about. And let's face it, we're not talking about everyone watching a hard-core porno movie and saying, "yeah, umm, I need to watch that to know what's going on..." It's a mystery novel that may be trying to come off as historical fiction when it isn't! Just good to know what's going on.
2. I love reading. And even several novels I read, I get something like this or Grisham or something I can just fly through and enjoy the ride. Some folks really like his storytelling, others do not, but on balance the consensus is, yeah, this is a pretty entertaining story. I anticipate enjoying that part.

Ok, that's a pretty long-winded way of saying what Barry said, but you've known me long enough to expect it!

Oh, and Ben said to tell Colin, "howdy."

Anonymous said...

At least you're reading it. I did and found it to be intriguing and entertaining, and there's a reason why it's in the FICTION section of the library. I was embarrassed for LaCroix when a member was quoted in the Southeast Missourian as saying he was going to attend Ron's small group about DVC because he hadn't read it and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Why WOULDN'T you read it if you were going to discuss it? Dan Brown himself hit the nail on the head when he said in the book that the Roman Catholic Church was more concerned about this coverup than the abundance of pedophiles in the ranks of their priests. Sad but true. It's the world's oldest institution and it will change only when it wants to. I'm not Catholic but I grew up surrounded by them. It's amusing to watch people overreact to a novel. I'm looking forward to the movie, and it will be just a movie - nothing more, nothing less.

clave said...

Check out this post on DVC. Pretty interesting.

Joey Deese said...

I really do not agree with you. Below are the reasons why.

1. You do not need to see the movie and line the pockets of people stripping the deity of Christ away especially if you have already read the book.

2. There are plenty of Christian books describing what the book is about so that you can be prepared.

3. You say that you do not want to be closed minded about this. Well you have to remember that you are a Christian and if you like it or not, we are different from the world.

4. Next time when a movie comes out that tries to strip Christ of His deity, will you support that one also?

I am not calling you out and saying that you are a non-Christian so please do not think that. Your reasons though for wanting to see this movie, especially since you are a youth pastor, are not valid.

Fitz said...

First of all, welcome Joey to my blog. You must have run across it on the tag to my e-mails to you and Joe about the Mercy Me CD. I hope this doesn't affect you sending it my way :-) To respond to your points:

1. You're right, I probably shouldn't line their pockets. Just like I shouldn't line the pockets of the adulterers, and thieves, and drug addicts, and (fill in your favorite sin here) in Hollywood or the world of sports. Granted, "stripping the deity of Christ" is a particularly big offense, but follow the money you spend on movies or sporting events or cable TV around long enough and you will find that you are supporting someone that is an unseemly character. Where do you draw the line? At the tax evader, or the homosexual? Or maybe you would rather stay in your Christian ghetto. Shoot, didn't Jesus tell His followers to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's," knowing full well that Caesar was forcing people to worship him?

2. In seminary, we were trained in Inductive Bible Study. What this meant is that you study the Scripture and allow it to interpret itself, instead of simply opening a commentary and finding out what someone else says about it. I would rather do the hard work of formulating my own opinions about a topic, rather than simply saying, "But James Dobson didn't like the movie because..." Can I read some of the books to back me up (like one would do with commentaries in IBS)? Certainly. But it is helpful to have a first-hand account.

3. I understand that we are Christians, and it depends what you mean when you say that "we are different from the world." Does that mean that I plug my ears and scream, "LA-LA-LA-LA-I Can't hear you!" when something controversial comes up? When I say that I want to be open-minded, I am in no way suggesting that I should listen to what Dan Brown has to say and go, "Hmmm, maybe he is right and Jesus was not really considered deity until the 4th century and that the early Church fathers wrote the Bible to suppress the sacred feminine." What I am suggesting is to be open-minded enough to listen to what someone else has to say so that you can understand their perspective, and in doing so, they may be more open to hearing yours.

4. Refer back to my answer for question #1. This is pretty much the same issue you had with me then.

Thanks for not questioning my Christianity. I have been a Christian for the past 24 years. Just ask your boss, Joe. But to question my wisdom and motivations as a youth pastor, that's pretty much not cool.