I'm still thinking about the series of four sermons I want to do on the Davinci Code next May when it comes out in theaters. Looking at Amazon.com, the books that "oppose" the Davinci Code are:
-Exposing the Davinci Code
-Breaking the Davinci Code
-Unlocking the Davinci Code
The problem with these type of books is that unlike the Davinci Code, they will be completely forgotten. If someone were to read these books (and no, I haven't read them) and were to try and explain to a fan of the Davinci Code why it was wrong, they would have trouble.
The reason the Davinci Code is so popular is because it reveals a "code" through history, which reveals the real power of Christ. I didn't believe a word of it, but at the same time, I loved the book. Why? There is something about the conspiracy theory that is infectious.
Davinci lived 1500 years after Christ. He doesn't hold the code. If we try to break the code, we have to always start with the Davinci Code and then jump off. The Davinci Code jumps off very early in the story of Christ. It is hard to even compare them. Instead, my hope is to lay out the true code. Talk about a Conspiracy theory! Jesus was incredibly subversive.
The true question the code has brought up to me is how did this picture of a Jewish carpenter who was somewhat secretly the Messiah turn into a religion (the Catholic Church) with robes, collars, and tall hats? Brown doesn't seem to have any problem with Jesus. He has a problem with the Catholic Church.
Is the true subversive story the one of Martin Luther? It seems like McLaren has said Jesus didn't come to start a religion. Out of respect for the Catholic Church, what do we do with all this? I've got till May to think it through.
Updated Thoughts: What is the Christianity Code? What stories tie it together?
-The story of the New Testament becoming Scripture and the integrity of that process. For any story to be a good story, it has to have tension. Preachers usually like to take tension out of this story. They want it to be beyond question. But it wasn't beyond question. For 300 years, it was a living process not without conflict.
-The story of the beginning of the church. Much of this is in the book of Acts, but how exactly James became the leader of the church and why the Catholic Church considers Peter the first Pope and doesn't list James anywhere. These are issues of tension.
What needs to happen is I need to explain what I think "the code" is and then show where Davinci Code jumps off rather than showing Davinci Code and showing where Christianity jumped off. The Code of the Church is a compelling story. The key here is to note the very real tensions.