We hosted James Walker from The Watchman Fellowship last night at the main campus. He presented some incredible information regarding Dan Brown's novel and upcoming film version of his novel "The Da Vinci Code."
After hearing the presentation and discussing the story with some in the church, I am asked often "Why are we dealing with this book?" Great question.
When I was in college a film by Martin Scorsese titled "The Last Temptation of Christ" hit theaters. I was outraged by the teachings propogated by this film. I remember reading debated about it in our university newspaper. I remember churches boycotting the film and the news media interviewing well-intentioned believers in Christ about why they were protesting.
The message of that film was outrageous. It proposed that Jesus didn't die on a cross and was married to Mary Magdalene. There were other issues as well with the story.
Sounds like The Da Vinci Code, doesn't it?
I remember the result of all the Christian churches protesting. It backfired. The film, was by all accounts, a stinker. Though Scorsese is an accomplished director and the actors in the film (Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, and Barbara Hershey) are great at what they do, the film just wasn't very good. Left alone, it would have garnered little in the media and probably wouldn't have lasted in the theater very long.
Representatives from the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board have stated that we (the evangelical church) misssed on that one. Given an opportunity to respond to the messages in the film, we reacted and appeared to be afraid of the message.
So, with The Da Vinci Code, many Christian groups are seeing this as an opportunity, rather than a real threat. The truth is over 43 million books have been sold and the film will no doubt be a blockbuster. People will know the story. Are we ready as a church to answer the questions raised? We need to be.
I like what James Walker presented Sunday night. It made sense and as he compared our response to The Da Vinci Code to the response Paul had with the Greek scholars at Mars Hill, I am more and more certain that God is not threatened by the message of the film. In fact, He can handle it. I do believe He desires us, the church, to be prepared to dialogue with neighbors, friends, and even family members about the truths of His Word and how the book and film Da Vinci Code have missed the truth.
So, read the book. Go see the movie. Be missionary minded, like Paul and be prepared to answer the questions.
Each Wednesday, beginning May 17 and lasting four weeks, I'll be leading us through "Discussing The Da Vinci Code." We'll meet in the Worship Center. Bring a friend and discover the truth.