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The Da Vinci Code - A Christian Response?

15 May, 2006 10:33 AM

Da-Vinci-Code-2 I'm fascinated by the response of the church here in Australia to the Da Vinci Code.

On one hand there have been a number of 'campaigns' that I've come across encouraging Christians to boycott the Da Vinci Code movie and book. The reasoning is that if we all avoid it we send a clear message that it's not something that we believe in. The fear behind the boycott is that if people do see it that their faith will be rocked and that it will lead people away from the Church and Jesus.

On the other hand I've seen a number of churches who have booked out cinemas on opening night and who are going to see the movie as a group. Not only that, they're encouraging their members to bring along non church going friends and family. They are seeing the Da Vinci Code as an opportunity for evangelism. The theory behind their approach is that people will be going to see the movie whether the Church boycotts it or not and that they think that rather than it being a potential threat to faith that it's one of the few natural opportunities that Christians will get these days to have a conversation about faith, Church and Jesus.

Quite a few people have asked me over the past year or so what I think about the Da Vinci Code and whether I'd read it or not.

My own opinion of the book was that it was not particularly well written in a literary sense but that the story was a good one from an entertainment perspective. I read it as a novel and not as non fiction (as it's been intended to be read). I don't understand why anyone would read it in any other way.

I didn't feel my faith or beliefs were impacted by the experience in one way or the other but do see it as an interesting discussion starter on the issues that are contained within it. In fact I've had a number of conversations with people who have read the book that have led into what I call 'God moments' where people seem to have new encounters and understandings of God. I believe that God used the Da Vinci Code in these conversations to do something significant as people were stimulated to ask questions and search deeper as a result of the themes that were raised in the book.

I think the second approach (of churches actually engaging with Da Vinci Code and seeing it as a connecting point) is a great one. I've seen similar approaches work really well when people have engaged with children around Harry Potter.

I find that in the culture that I live in that there are not a lot of things that cause people to talk about the deeper issues of life (this is especially the case for men).

Movies (and books) are things that people still do talk deeply about (some movies more than others of course). Rather than purposely stepping out of the discussions that people will have about Church, the Jesus story and faith I think we need to intentionally step into it.

I believe that God uses all types of things to draw people to himself. Some of these things we might classify as 'Holy', others might be more unexpected. The question I guess we need to answer as Christians is whether we'll join him in the unexpected places to be a part of his work?

Comments

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I would agree. I think that to boycott the movie wouldn't really help things. People are going to see it anyway.

I do think that as Christians, we should be educated on the issue. I mean, that is how the whole apologetics thing got started anyway. During the first century, the Christians were very educated on what they believed, so that they might give an answer to any question, and that they might be able to be a part of any conversation... both defending and confirming their faith.

mattharmless » 15 May, 2006 10:43 PM

We are going to see it as a small group so that know what people are talking about. We want to be prepared totalk about where the story digressses from the Truth with work friends.

The problem with the Da Vinci code is that people are taking the info presented in the book as fact. Sales of Gnostic bibles are taking off becasue pelpeple want to learn more about this alternative perspective.

There are some good christian resources from Focus on the Family , discussing the opportunities and concerns this book/movie represent.

Jeff » 16 May, 2006 4:27 PM

What is the Church's responsibility? The responsibility of the Church is to faithfully teach sound doctrine, the Truth, but to resist and shun godless myths. Not support it by taking up the likewarm cry by claiming it's a good witnessing tool. There are hundreds of those. Where do we begin?
Let's not lump all believers in the 'mature' basket, we have to acknowledge that their are new Christians still on milk and to see the movie could be harmful for them. Remeber, all things are open to us BUT not all things are beneficial for us. And as always, you can't stop people from doing what they want to do in their own time, but we will all one day have to answer to Jesus himself. Let this influence your every thought, word and deed. Do we stand up for Jesus or fade into the sea of compromise?

Elle Pedder » 17 May, 2006 12:50 PM

The Da Vinci Code taps into the fear, uncertainty and distrust (FUD) that many in the modern world have for religion and the church. Fear of being lied to, uncertainty as to who is telling the truth and distrust of institutions and people that have been caught in bold faced lies, child molestation and corruption.

The book did not create these fears, only those from within the church could do that. However it taps into these fears to make a fictional story believable, or possible.

The best way to tackle FUD in any forum, is to tell the truth, allow and encourage questions and to understand and address the root of the fear.

Being defensive only makes the church look more suspicious.

scientaestubique » 4 June, 2006 7:26 PM

Maybe it isn't true...but what if it is? I believe this question could be posed for both Dan Brown's book AND the Bible, both having been written by men.

Sabra » 7 June, 2006 5:28 AM

I've read the book, but haven't seen the movie. For me, it worked well as a thriller, but I didn't find it particularly well written, and like Darren, it had no impact on my faith whatsoever. My concern is for those who accept Dan Brown's outlandish claims, whether they be younger Christians or those outside the church. The Da Vinci Code isn't that hard to disprove, but we have to know the truth to do this. It's a reminder to me to know your apologetics and know your Bible.

Ross » 15 June, 2006 10:33 AM

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