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Monday, April 03, 2006

Book Review

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.

Knowing that I'm going to receive a lot of goodies at the Together for the Gospel Confernce, I've been hesitant to pick up anything I knew I might not read through by that time. I also knew it was probably time for a break from the typical genre of reading for me. So I decided to pick up the DaVinci Code.

Did I disagree with the premise of the book? Absolutely, but I knew I would going in. Do I feel threatened by the effect the book may have on believers? Not a bit. It's built on a facribation, so it's really nothing to panic about. Could non-believers get the wrong idea about Jesus? Only if we decide to keep our mouth shut. (Incidently, isn't it safe to say that any person who has not repented of their sin and submitted their life to Christ must have a distorted view of Jesus?)

I plan to write some thoughts about the controversial content of the book (in case you hadn't heard, Brown's book claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a daughter, Sarah...not quite the New Testament account), but thought I'd leave this one simply at the book review level.

Writing. The paperback version is 489 pages long. I read the book over the weekend. I'm not a fast reader, nor I'm I a very good reader, so it is obviously a page turner. I felt the book has a very Indiana Jones/Bourne Identity/Mission Impossible feel. The story is filled with twists and turns, and does a nice job of keeping you off guard. If you asked me when I was about 3/4 through the book, I would have raved about Dan Brown's abilities as an author. However, from the moment he revealed the identity of "The Teacher," I felt the book began to weaken. By the end of the book, I was less impressed with Brown than I was halfway into it. But overall, I would say I was entertained as much as any action movie has ever entertained me.

It's hard to know how to review a book like this, beyond the author's abilities. Obviously, like most novels, it depends on non-fiction to establish it's setting (France, Harvard, the Louvre, etc.), yet Brown clouds the line between fiction and non. The casual reader may believe Brown when he says thing like the Dead Sea Scrolls speak of Jesus as married and being non-divine. (In reality, the Dead Sea Scrolls make no mention of Jesus). Do I think every Christian needs to read this to know what he's facing? (Incidently, I one reason I read this book was to silence those who might say I have no right to discredit the books claims if I had not read it. I read it to silence them, but I don't buy their logic. It doesn't matter if I've read the claims, what matters is if the claims were made.) Probably not. I'm starting a book about the DaVinci Code tonight, and if I like it, it may be a good resource to check out (I'll let you know soon.)

I would recommend reading this book:

IF you are spending time in the Word daily...and,

IF you are faithfully participating in an active fellowship of belivers...and,

IF you are renewing your mind with the truths found in Scripture...and,

IF you realize you are approaching fiction...and,

IF you desire to use the book as a tool to open conversation about Who Christ really is and about the marvelous work He did for us.


  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger ~d said…

    like you, i loved the book until i got closer to the end. overall it was engaging and well-written, though i hated the fact that many people would read the way he presents fiction as factual and perhaps end up being confused. it made me hesitant to recommend it to some of my students. when i did recommend it, it was always accompanied by a word of caution. but yeah, what an interesting writer.


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