At my church, we've been doing a weekend message series about The Da Vinci Code. We've been looking at some of the claims the book makes, comparing them to Biblical teachings as well as historical records. It's been very interesting and fun. I'm giving the next talk (May 20, 21). It's about the Bible and The Da Vinci Code
In researching material for this weekend's message, I listened to an hour-long interview with the author of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown. He's an interesting guy. Very thoughtful...a deep thinker as you might imagine. Here are a few interesting tidbits I learned about him:
- He claims to be a Christian. Interesting. He says he grew up with a dad who was a math teacher and a mom who was a church organist. He says he always felt conflicted when it comes to science vs. the Bible because of this interesting dynamic in his life. He comments that as a young boy, trying to decide which way to believe, he chose to land on the side of science rather than biblical teaching because it just made more sense to him. He also says that as he's grown and learned, he's decided that science and religion actually compliment each other and should be viewed as partners in a person's faith.
- He reinforced the fact that the book is a novel. He thinks religious leaders have made way too much out of all of this (although I'm sure he welcomes it--it helped him sell over 50 million books). He says he doesn't pay much attention to the press and has not looked at a single book that "refutes" or "rebuts" his book.
- I also found this very interesting: here's a guy who just got paid $6 million for the movie rights to Da Vinci, he's sold over 50 million copies of the book...in other words, he could live anywhere, do anything, etc...and he chooses to live in New Hampshire...and he says he's in front of his keyboard by 4 a.m. each day (he feels like if he's not there by then he misses the most productive part of his day)...and he's working on the sequel to The Da Vinci Code. You've got to admire/respect that kind of dedication.
- He keeps an hourglass on his desk and takes a break every half hour to do push-ups, sit-ups, and hang upside down (he says it helps the blood get to his head and helps him with new ideas--a fresh perspective).
- He claims to write an average of ten pages for every one page that actually makes it into a book.
- He's thrilled with the way the movie turned out. He says it reminds him of what the whole movie theater experience used to be about--he says that when he was a kid, movies took him to places he'd never been, they challenged him, they moved him, they scared him, they inspired him...he says this movie is just like that.
- He thinks its great that the book has generated so much talk about faith and has caused people to investigate the claims of Christianity and the Bible. Of course, it helped him sell a whole bunch of books. But I got the impression that he's sincere when he says this.
The movie opens this Friday. And, yes, I plan to go see it. I've read the book. It was interesting, and fun. I expect the movie to be the same. The key for me is that I approached the book as it ought to be approached--as fiction. If one approaches it otherwise, it certainly could confuse a person.
It's amazing to me how many people have read the book and taken Dan Brown's "fictional theories" as fact. I guess if people see it in print, they tend to believe it...even if it's written as a part of a novel.
I think another factor in all this is that everybody loves a good conspiracy. So we're always looking for things we can say, "Ah-ha!" to. We're dying to believe that stuff is "not always as it seems" or at least "not always as I've been taught to believe."
One more thing, at the risk of getting this thread locked for being "religious" (it's really not, it's just intended to be a Da Vinci/Dan Brown thread...but here goes):
I think that there is, within the dark part of many of us, a kind of cynicism that we leverage to protect a lifestyle that we know wouldn't square with the teachings of the Bible, and that makes it very difficult for us to come and do an honest search, an honest quest, for what the Bible is really all about. I think that when we read something like what Dan Brown wrote—something that begins to question the authenticity and authority of the ancient moral guidelines we find in a book such as the Bible, we go, “Shew…good. Now I feel a little better about the way I’m living…"
Just a thought.
Consider the can opened.