In anticipation of the upcoming movie and all of the discussion that it will probably start I am listening to the DaVinci Code in my car. Let me start by saying that it is a compelling story, even if it isn’t very well written. (but I am a bit of a snob when it comes to popular fiction so don’t take my word for it.) On the whole "Christianity" side of the story there are 2 things that jump out at me.
1) There is a bunch of stuff that they talk about that they say "The church is trying to cover up" like the stuff about the how they put together than cannon and stuff. But most of this stuff isn’t a secret, it is just boring. When you start talking about it people get a glazed over look in their eye. It isn’t that we are trying to keep it a secret it is that people don’t really care. Maybe we should make a book about it.
2) I am fascinated by how much the Catholic Church and "the church" are considered on an the same by our society. At least by the society that isn’t involved in church. I know that for a long time there there was only the Catholic church and that church became very political, but I think they have reformed a bit, and I know that there is a big chunk of the church that is outside of the Catholic tradition.
Now I grew up in the south so I have never really been around a whole lot of Catholics or lived in an area that was dominated by Catholicism so when I see on TV and in other media outlets people speaking of Catholicism as the only aspect of Christianity I am always sort of surprised.
When you read a book like this you see some very biased opinions against organized religion, and there are times when I have to say that I agree with them. I think one of the biggest problems we have in the church right now is that we are more concerned with bureaucracy than worship. I also think that too many churches aren’t encouraging their members to seek after truth. The DaVinci Code makes the church out to be this place that stifles the arts and hides the truth. The reality of God is just the opposite God must be worshiped through art because words are insufficient and any relationship with God will continually lead to more truth. I want people to dig in and find the truth. I encourage people to study and learn and make their own decisions. Our church isn’t a place where we will tell you what to believe. We are a place where we will show you what we have learned and encourage you to seek the truth.
But the image of the Church that is portrayed most often is one that is closed minded and afraid. We are children of God. We are followers of The Way, The Truth and The Life. We can never be afraid of knowledge because God is knowledge.
I had something else that I was going to say about the book, but I can’t remember what now. I do hope that when the movie comes out and this book come back to the front of our national consciousness that people will remember that it is a work of fiction and not a text book.
Oh yeah, I remember what I was going to say. One of the things that the book does bring up besides the whole deity of Jesus thing is the role of women in the church. I strongly believe that we have missed the boat about women in many ways and that if you look at the Bible and the way that Jesus really exalted women (compared to his contemporaries) then the church should be a champion of women’s rights. But that is really for another post.