Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Davinci Code

A friend loaned me the popular Davinci code, which I have started reading. I overhear conversations a lot at the local coffee house about this book. It is about a secret society (which really does exist) that has a secret and if I understand right, part of the secret is that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children. Their descendants still exist today.

What has already bothered me about the book, whether good or bad, is the very awful depiction of Opus Dei, a catholic group (which really does exist). The book describes the real outward side of the group, but then takes you inside to the personal activities of the group's leader. They are involved in murder and politics.

This blending of the real with fiction, especially with a real group, is a bit bothersome. I guess we've done it for year with stories about how the Russians are trying to destroy America or terrorist or whatever. Clancy has done this with his books, and I've really enjoyed them.

But this book goes a bit further. I was telling my associate Gil about it and said it is like they could write a book and mention our group Midwest Church Planting, and then take you behind the scenes and show how awful we are. All fiction of course, but with a hint of reality.

The Davinci Code even uses a real website that speaks of the dangers of Opus Dei.

This is interesting, especially when there is concern about The Passion of the Christ being anti-semitic. Now this book has an anti-catholic flavor to it, though I think it is going to be anti-catholic politics, not anti Jesus, though I don't know yet. And it is clearly fictional, yet... with a flavor of truth.

Maybe the one thing we need to note is that many people watching The Passion of the Christ view the gospels that it was based on the same way they view the Davinci Code. They view the gospels as a fictional story with a hint of truth. We must learn to understand how more and more people will see the gospels.

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