Saturday, July 23, 2005

Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is a book by Dan Brown, and a movie to be released in May 2006 by Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. It portrays a Jesus and an early church that is more human. It does not jive with the New Testament Gospels.

But people are really interested. The church's reaction has been to scream, "That is not right! We have the answers. We have had them for 2000 years. If you want to know Jesus, come to us!" But yet they read Dan Brown.

I want to do a sermon series in the month of May 2006 on The Davinci Code and rather than debunk it, I want to use it to explore Jesus. I certainly don't think the Davinci Code is an accurate portrayal, but it has peaked the interest of people in Jesus and maybe we can use that as a bridge.

Below is a portion of an interview by PBS with Brian McLaren.

In GENEROUS ORTHODOXY you raise a provocative question: "If Jesus were physically on earth today, would he want to be a Christian?" Would he?

Well, in the book I give kind of an equivocal answer. But the question, I think, is really, really a worthwhile question. For example, there's been huge interest in the last couple of years in THE DA VINCI CODE. Now what's so interesting is THE DA VINCI CODE explores a radically different picture of Jesus than the church has portrayed. But it's fascinating that for millions of people, that picture of Jesus is actually more interesting and intriguing and in some ways morally compelling than the image that they feel they're given by the church. I'm not saying I endorse THE DA VINCI CODE image at all. But I am saying that people feel a huge disconnect between the image of Jesus that they get from reading the Bible and the image of Christianity they get from the media, whether it's in its more institutional forms or in its more grassroots forms. They just feel that those two don't match. What I think many of us are concerned about is, how can we go back and get reconnected to Jesus with all of his radical, profound, far-reaching message of the kingdom of God?

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