My sister, a friend of her’s, Alicia, and I went to see The Da Vinci Code (DVC) tonight. I’ve never seen Connersville’s theater so packed before, though the hype machine behind DVC did an excellent job in building interest, and Dan Brown is probably laughing all the way to the bank on this.
However, honestly, the movie was sub par, in my opinion. A lot of the acting seemed forced, I wasn’t too impressed with any of the performances, and for the last 45 minutes I simply wanted it to end, but it seemed to drag on needlessly.
The movie (and perhaps the book as well) ends in a very falsifiable way–i.e., if there is a conspiracy and if this story is at all based in fact, we can go to these places and find out the truth. Sophie–the lead female character–is apparently the last remaining descendant of the imagined Jesus/Mary union, and the body of the Magdalene is supposedly resting beneath a pyramidal structure at the Louvre. (If I just ruined the movie for you, then I just saved you $6.50. You’re welcome.)
And as Tom Hanks’ character repeatedly pointed out in the movie before the fiction was embellished too much, there is little to no evidence of any kind of grand conspiracy concerning a secret child of Jesus by way of Mary. I’d venture to say there is more evidence that man has never walked on the moon and that the Holocaust never happened and that Elvis is alive and living at Area 51 with alien caretakers!
The movie makes it seem like the early church would have been capable of a grand conspiracy, when the technology currently available would have made that exceedingly difficult. Also, you would have to ignore the fact that during the first several hundred years of its existence, the Church had no interest or need of a “greatest cover-up of all time.” It was sufficient for them to merely survive in the face of mighty persecution. What happened when the Romans took control of Christianity hundreds of years after its truths were already enscripturated and given to the churches of God has little bearing. Roman Catholicism can have and keep all the secrets it wants. It matters not.
However, a relatively small group of people trying to keep a secret has little chance of doing that. Anyone who has played telephone knows how that works. But a large group of people spread out over thousands of miles of land has a very good chance of passing down its teachings. Variations may arise, but in the end the original can be ascertained by comparison of the versions. That is what we have in the manuscripts of the Bible available to us from ancient days. Whatever variations there are (and though there may be “many”), they are minor and even if all varying passages are discounted, no doctrine of the church would fall away–truth has been static since it has been taught.
The DVC, however, plays off of the gullability of a public with nothing else to hope for, and like Satan has always tried to do, presents man a message that he is divine, and that all that matters is what we believe. (In fact, Tom Hanks’ character declared what we believe to be the only thing that matters, which perhaps inadvertantly justifies the actions of a decieved Roman Catholic Church, murderers, the Priory of Sion, Hitler, and anyone else who acts out of simple belief. Isn’t relativistic thinking fun?)
Also, the explanation given of Leonardo’s The Last Supper wasn’t satisfying. If the figure to Jesus’ right (in the “privileged” position) is not John, the beloved Apostle, then where is John in the picture? And why is Peter, who supposedly was at odds with Mary Magdalene, reaching to her as she looks quite affectionately at his hand? And one could argue all day about the figure to Jesus’ right looking like a woman, but honestly, looking at the painting, Leonardo’s depiction of Christ is quite feminine as well.
And I find it interesting that people are willing to look at a painting done over a thousand years after Christ for supposed truth about His life, whereas if we look at documents written within decades of His Ascension while the witnesses were still alive, they are decried as being written too late to be accurate and that myth could have already formed.
“Science” or whatever this is supposed to be shouldn’t be that hypocritical.
And I don’t usually link to Roman Catholic websites positively, but check out JesusDecoded.com for a decent reply to The Da Vinci Code. I like the point the introduction makes, that people will believe anything if it’s packaged as a thrilling novel.
A more concise reply can be found on CARM.
The movie was interesting, but if you believe it, believe it because you have weighed the issue from both sides, not because a bunch of actors tell you to.
(As a last thought, if there is a grand conspiracy that is apparently worth killing for that is protected by men of great power and influence, then why would they have let something as “truthful” and “accurate” like the DVC “is” get published? Why allow the winds of curiousity to be stirred up? Why not fight to protect the secrets? … Or maybe there are no conspirators, and maybe a cigar really is just a cigar. Maybe Jesus Christ really is God as prophesied throughout the Old Testament [which was conveniently ignored throughout the movie] and taught cover to cover in the New Testament.)