The Da Vinci Code

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.)


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Rick Beckman