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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What made DaVinci Code possible?

The book is fiction, and so it the premise, but what makes this book believable to some? I would suggest that there are a few things that Brown has witnessed that made the come together. These are also the things that the reader notices that give the book a hint of credibility to some. As I've mentioned before, this book focuses on the Catholic church, but there are lessons we should notice as well.

Some of the things Brown directly or indirectly refers to that help weave together his story:

1. Where is the gospel? Brown looks at the church and he sees influence. He sees a group of people using Jesus to acheive their own agenda. To him, the church then appears to be a place where people are manipulated by some vague promises of spirituality held only by the church. In the abscence of a clearly articulated gospel, Brown sees nothing but worldliness cloaked with spirituality. If the church becomes more about providing comfort, working against abortion, or even feeding the hungry than it is about proclaiming the gospel, people will see a political/social agenda, and not the spiritual battle in which we are truly engaged.

2. Covering out tracks. Several times, Brown reminds the reader of the scandal in the Catholic church with priests and young boys. Brown uses this issue to establish that the church is about the business of covering stories up. "If they would cover this sex scandal," Brown makes you wonder, "what else might they be covering up?" When the church (or individuals within) try to cover up sin, it has no positive effect. God still sees it. The truth ends up being revealed. People distrust those who tried to cover it up. We even find the gospel message clouded as we believe we have to convey a personal perfection instead of presenting believers who have sin that has been paid for by Christ. It makes you wonder who we really think we are "protecting" when we keep information from others.

3. Secret societies. What outcome can there be but distrust when a secret society exists? Brown blends a whole tapestry of distrust using the fabrics of secrets, ritual and closed door meetings. We must guard against ever conveying the concept of being a closed society. [I plan to post more about how I see this creeping into Protestantism later.]

4. Finance. This one is probably the most difficult to distinguish. Yet Brown makes it very clear through out his book (whether through high dollar payoffs, or fancy cars and jets) that the Catholic church is not hurting for money. Who really defines wealth? Is that not a subjective term in many ways? Couldn't basically anyone in America be deemed wealthy in comparrison to others? Yet, he projects the concept that the church has built for itself a financial structure that is intended to serve the people within the church. How do we use what we have, and convey that all we have is intended for His glory and is not meant for our own personal gain?

Brown is obviously an unbeliever. Without the Spirit within him, it's understandable that he would misinterpret much that he sees in the church. We will be misunderstood and some charges we will not be able to escape. However, if the world we are trying to reach does not have that Spirit within them (obviously), then we need to be extra careful on how people might perceive us.

The more about Brown's book we can keep as fiction, the better.

2 Comments:

  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger ~~anna~~ said…

    Danny, while in Lynchburg this fall, I attended church with our daughter Shan. The guest speaker that Sunday was focusing on "the Davinci Code" to debunk it. (hopefully that is a legitimate word). He was speaking for two Sundays and I was only there for the first. He did a great job of showing the falsehood of what was stated in the book without attacking anyone personaly.
    He knew where the book was wrong and was able to use that to then illustrate the truth of Scripture. It was great!
    Wish I could have heard his 2nd week. I haven't read the book yet, but have been curious about it.

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Our church will begin a new series on Easter Sunday called "DaVinci Decoded". Check out my blog for more post on the Divinci Code.

     

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