Research for this article was easy because of all the hype about Dan Brown’s new movie about the Da Vinci code. The question is simple. How can an educated public anywhere in the world take this novel or the movie it spawned seriously? I have found a few answers and some of them come from the bible itself which the Da Vinci code obviously does not take very seriously. There are those who would insist that if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it still may not be a duck but even this crowd could hardly deny that it at least sounds quacky.
The bible says that in the last days that people will not endure or allow sound teaching or admonition from the bible or just about any other source, 2 Timothy 4:3. It says people would rather scour the earth looking for teachers who will scratch their itching exactly the way they want to be scratched. Of course Dan Brown has repeatedly said that after all it is only a novel and is not meant to be a history or an immutable heretofore un-acknowledged truth. Against that claim I can remember the night I watched two of TV’s most prominent movie reviewers discuss all that we the public have learned from various movies over the past forty years. Let’s get real. Whether Dan Brown insists that his novel was meant to be didactic or not, it will teach the weak minded and those hungry for any new thing that’s hot off the secular media buffet.
Who would dare argue with three hundred million copies sold? Who has not noticed the great foul perched and proud sitting atop the New York Times bestseller list? I for one believe that all this acclaim still wouldn’t be reason enough for some people not to actually look at and compare Brown’s imaginative roll through an Alice in Wonderland style theology and come to the obvious conclusion that trash by any other name is after all… trash.
Opening scenes of The Da Vinci Code are weird and bloody as the curator of the world famous Louvre in Paris is killed by obsessed Opus Dei monk named Silas. It seems Silas is carrying on in the Monty Python tradition of finding the elusive “Holy Grail” But now the grail has changed from being merely the cup from which Christ and his apostles drank from at the last supper to something far more human. The grail is now the truth kept secret for centuries that the blood of Christ is kept in a bloodline created by his marriage to Mary Magdalene and their offspring. Modern secularism it seems will stop at nothing to remove deity from Jesus Christ including passing it on to Mary Magdalene. For those in the western society who have been drifting beyond just standing in awe of the feminine mystique it seems but a small step to move up to the deification of a women. We should not be surprised if new churches start springing up where Magdalene is the new and highest deity.
The movie conveys itself with a full range of characters psychotic, obsessed, possessed, mislead and misinformed but eventually winds up back in the Louvre where nothing at all is positively resolved. New York Times reviewers have said that Brown’s research was above question. Yet his historical errors are lavishly sprinkled throughout the movie with such profusion that if they were salt that serving of meat would be wholly inedible. One example is the inference that upwards of five million women were burned as witches during the inquisition. When does exaggeration pass the line from benign error to the malevolent? Brown s research and implied conclusions are at least as good as those used to find the answers to who actually killed Brer Rabbit but not much more.
More blatant are the errors that seem borne out of a lapse in common sense. Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Last Supper fifteen hundred years after Christ walked the earth and gave his life to ransom the sinful. Neither Da Vinci nor anyone else seemed to think that the effeminate person to the right of Jesus in the Last Supper was anyone other than the Apostle John. Yes, he is depicted in a somewhat feminine manner which is typical of all renaissance art and especially that of Leonardo Da Vinci. Brown interprets Da Vinci for us and ascribes to him some exclusive secret knowledge about who the person on the right really is. It is alleged that Da Vinci was homosexual. Let’s reason here, would a homosexual man really paint a woman into the picture or an effeminate man? As if insulting the Apostle John weren’t enough Brown goes on to insult Mary Magdalene but why stop there. While he’s at it why not throw in a grand slam against the Savior of the world. Where did Da Vinci and or Brown get this secret knowledge about Christ? In simple language they didn’t get it anywhere. It comes rather from the fertile minds of the modern secularists who will stop at nothing to insult, defame and un-deify the most dignified human being to ever set foot on this old ball we call the planet earth.
Da Vinci often referred to himself as “omo sanza lettere” or “man without a formal education.” Now the worshippers of science have raised the status of their revered high priest of empiricism close to that of apostle of science with notions of a secret knowledge that could only be derived from something slightly above genius. Sounds pretty much like revelation to me but no, this novel and this movie are no revelation.
The best description of this movie I have heard to date is that it is “Harry Potter for adults.” But I think it should be taken step further to warn those less versed and perhaps a bit weaker in heart. Brown begins his Novel with statements about the truth regarding the actual existence of the documents purported to have come from the Opus Dei and other sources. No need to argue here. The documents may exist but does the truth exist in the documents? Mein Kamph truly exists but not much useful truth exists in it.
Almost all the documentation Brown uses for his novel was derived from first century documents and other material not allowed into New Testament Canon. What does that mean? It means he derived the bulk of his material from writings that were labeled as false and spurious in origin. Plain language…not from God. Reviewers say the movie is fast paced and intelligent. I conclude that it needs to move fast so no one will notice the recurring inaccuracies and bumbling historical mistakes that are anything but intelligent.
The movie may provide fodder for the cannons of freshmen academia to incite waves of controversy but beyond that it has no upward levels. I doubt this juvenile presentation of magic and mystery could shake the faith of even a college freshman but it should also be said that those who produce both this book and the movie should be warned.
I will place myself on no platform to judge either the author or the movie producers but rather will leave only a clear warning of the scripture for them to peruse and ponder while we all wait for the final judge who will come and judge us all by the words he has spoken, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48 And what words did this judge say concerning making light of his holiness, making fun of his deity, disregarding the purpose of his shed blood as an innocent man. I’ll quote them here and I’ll meet you there where we will all be gathered soon.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:30-37