Da Vinci Code
In the past two weeks I have encountered two interesting blog posts relating to the Da Vinci Code. One was from Scot McKnight, noted New Testament Scholar. He asks the simple question: Why do so many people want to believe that the Da Vinci Code is true? (http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=574)
The second is from Dan Kimball, who writes that is he thinks the Da Vinci code will present a greater opportunity than the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. In his words, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is an insiders show – you understand the metaphor Lewis was using if you know the story of Jesus Christ. If you don’t know that story then you’ll probably love the story, but miss the Christ-metaphor. He also makes the great point that he hopes people see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and become interested in Lewis and read Mere Christianity. (http://www.dankimball.com/vintage_faith/2005/12/why_i_am_lookin.html)
I think what both McKnight and Kimball get is that too often the church looks at things like the Da Vinci code and proceeds to give a parent-like scolding to the society thereby ghettoizing itself. The reaction from those outside the Christian community: “Dan Brown must be right because the church is obviously scared of it”. What if a church rented out a theatre and afterward had an honest discussion about the movie? Just imagine the teaching moment! This is a classic case of what so many people are realizing: When you’re in a missionary setting you can’t pretend to be some big shot and issue a parent-like scolding. You need to serious engage culture. In many ways we need to look to Origen, who sought to seriously engage his culture around him as an example of what we need to do.
I do need to note that Origen was eventually declared a heretic because in some ways he over accomdated the faith to the world of greek philosophy. However, he is still very useful – I recommend John Franke’s assessment of Origin in The Character of Theology Pgs. (92-100)