the da vinci code

No, I haven't read it.  But here are some insightful comments I've come across recently.

From Sojourners' recent interview with Brian McLaren

What do you think the popularity of The Da Vinci Code reveals about pop culture attitudes toward Christianity and the church?

Brian McLaren: I think a lot of people have read the book, not just as a popular page-turner but also as an experience in shared frustration with status-quo, male-dominated, power-oriented, cover-up-prone organized Christian religion. We need to ask ourselves why the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown's book is more interesting, attractive, and intriguing to these people than the standard vision of Jesus they hear about in church. Why would so many people be disappointed to find that Brown's version of Jesus has been largely discredited as fanciful and inaccurate, leaving only the church's conventional version? Is it possible that, even though Brown's fictional version misleads in many ways, it at least serves to open up the possibility that the church's conventional version of Jesus may not do him justice?

From a recent post @ Internet Monk:

It’s interesting to watch American Christians scramble for cover from the Da Vinci Code phenomenon. It’s not like these questions don’t have answers. Lots of good writers are cranking out books with the answers to Dan Brown’s Weekly World News version of Jesus.

No, the problem isn’t the answers. The problem is the questions; in fact, the problem is the whole topic. American Christians just don’t talk about the history of the canon, the process of coming to creedal consensus and the interaction of heresy and orthodoxy in Christian history. What we get- want?- is a laundered, cleaned up and, of course, unanimous version of Christian history that implies little of any interest really happened until our own problems this past week.

Protestants are especially nervous about church history that starts getting close to the topics of “tradition” and “the Catholic Church.” One reformed blogger summarized Christian theology as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Macarthur and, of course, himself.

If it weren’t so true, it would be funny. Most of the mature Christians I know have no idea of even the general contours of Christian history, and very little idea of what historical theology contributes to the church. No, the majority of my evangelical lay friends believe a simplistic mythology worthy of the beginnings of Mormonism. It was all neat, clean, simple and everyone- except the Catholics- has always agreed with what they believe now. It’s been a short trip from Jesus to pastor Bob.

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2 responses to “the da vinci code

  1. I haven’t read any of McLaren’s books, but I wonder what his understanding of the church’s conventional version of Jesus may be. I guess I should read one of his books.

    Internet Monk makes a good point that Christians (although not just an American phenomenon)do not talk much about the canon of scripture. I believe as I’ve been reading and studying on this topic myself that understanding how the Biblical canon came about can only strengthen one’s faith in the trustworthiness of God’s word and providential care.

    Joel

  2. i like mclaren’s in your face approach comes across. it’s very much in line with his colonialism/empire beliefs.

    internet monk is right on with saying the questions are the important piece.

    i hadn’t read the book, but i took my youth to the film. i found that the questions they had were more along the lines of “is this new?” i’d response, “no”. and they’d be like “oh, so what’s the big deal?” end of discussion

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