Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gordon Atkinson on The DaVinci Code

Real Live Preacher sums it up nicely.

I have no interest in discussing Dan Brown’s scholarship or lack thereof. Anyone who paid attention in seminary has heard of these extra-biblical sources and knows that Mr. Brown’s book is an adventure story and not a biblical or historical treatise. The Da Vinci Code has roughly the same relationship to biblical and church history that James Bond has to the world of secret agents. And hey, what’s wrong with that? It’s a good read. Like a Clancy novel.
...when will religious groups finally figure out that publicly denouncing a book or a movie is the surest way to guarantee its success? Religious people never seem to understand that the world is filled with people who do the exact opposite of whatever they suggest. Hell, I'm one of those people myself. If I hear that church people hate a movie, I'm in line for tickets on opening day. Has the Church forgotten Salman Rushdie? Would any of us know that name if he hadn’t been condemned by the Muslims? Has the Church forgotten Martin Scorcese’s movie, “The Last Temptation of Christ?” In that case, the Church in America single-handedly turned a mediocre movie into a blockbuster hit.

...Christianity is a major, world-wide religion. It is 2000 years old and is the largest common expression of spirituality in the history of humanity. Does the Christian Church really need to worry about a book and a movie?...In my mind, every time the Church responds to something like this with angry words, it is a bold indictment of our lack of active love, and therefore lack of relevance in this world.

I can't think of anything to add.
Seems to me that Lewis' Screwtape Letters have something to say about giving power to evil by recognizing it, but allowing it to wither and die by ignoring it.

I thought I was done, but I came across this from Michael Spencer, The Internet Monk.
A word to preachers: You’ve been snuckered. If you waste four sermons explaining this movie to your people, you might want to consider that the time would be better spent answering REAL questions about Jesus. The people in your church who believe the New Testament is a lie, the church suppressed the truth of Jesus’ marriage and the descendants of Jesus are having tea and crumpets in English church yards is surely small. If you are still compelled to preach on this Hollywood train wreck, then plan future series on the Loch Ness monster and NASA’s conspiracy to fake the moon landings. In fact, I’d suggest you start listening to old “Art Bell Coast to Coast” programs, and have your services at 2 a.m. when moonbats are most likely to appear.

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