August 1, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Okay, so I finished reading the book. (I know it is quite a ways out.) The first 150 or so pages were filled with most inane description that I almost put the book down. But after thost 150 pages, the story took off and was rather exciting.

I can understand why people would want to respond to The Da Vinci Code. It speaks of historical and current organizations and documents as though they are actual history. And, they are somewhat historical. I also understand that this book is a work of FICTION. But, we know that fiction always carries something of what the author believes to be true. Fiction is simply a story used to relay non-fiction thought, ideals, and values.

I have two problems with Dan Brown's assumptions as he writes. I know he can let himself off the hook by saying, "It is only fiction," but lets assume he actually wants us to believe some of this stuff.

First, he does not fairly distribute the distrust. By this I mean that the same caution and distrust that he aims at the Catholic Church and, more importantly, early Christianity should be aimed at the Merovingians, Gnostic gospels, and secret societies. He assumes that what they say is true without once considering the possibility that they have ulterior motives or that they would lie.

Second, he is functionally agnostic. The Christian faith believes that God spoke. The religion of the Jews, as expressed in the Old Testament, is vastly different from the worship of idols surrounding Israel. Yes, there are similarities, but there are some vast and important differences. Robert Langdon and others in the novel assume religion to be part of society, but never believe that God, if one actually existed, would speak any kind of truth into the world.

Ther are some historical problems. Dan Brown wrongly has Robert Langdon say that early Jewish practice had temple prostitutes. They had temple prostitutes when they strayed from God and took on the worship of idols, but this practice was always condemned by Jewish Scripture and God's prophets. This is one among other things.

All in all I liked the book as a work of FICTION. I completely disagree with the premise, but I am sure it could be said I am simply defending what I know. To each his own.

I did read another blogger who simply asked, "Why do people want to believe this?" I think that is the church's biggest question.

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