Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Duh Vinci Code

OK, Dan Brown wrote a potboiler/thriller about some super-secret conspiracy to suppress a story about Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail is really his blood line. This is supposed to be based on the history of the Gnostic heresy and has been covered up because everybody knows the winners write history and cover up whatever the losers said.

My church is overreacting to this. A couple generations ago Baptists overreacted by camping outside theatres, getting mad, organizing boycotts and generally doing the work of the movie's publicist. Now they're trying to make this into some kind of "outreach" thing. "People will ask questions, blah, blah, blah."

I have some observations:

1) If, instead of Jesus, this movie was talking about Mohammed, you'd see riots, etc. Dan Brown would be rooming with Salman Rushdie in some witless protection program. Imagine the HOLLYWOOD sign with flames wicking up the letters. This says that either Islam is a lot more childish or that Christianity is a lot more wimpy. You decide.

2) The gnostic heresy was 180 degrees out of phase with what the Duh Vinci Code claims in two critical points: a) the gnostics were not feminist-friendly, claiming a woman had to become a man to get to heaven. b) the gnostics were heretical because they asserted the Divinity of Christ, while denying the Humanity of Christ. Orthodox Christianity claims he was fully Divine And fully Human. Contemporary heresies including the Duh Vinci Code claims Christ was just a really good teacher, but not God. ((And if you're not God, but say you are God, how does that really good business work?))

3) The Duh Vinci Code's story about the Holy Grail is as historically accurate as Monty Python's Holy Grail. The Duh Vinci Code should be taken just as seriously.

It is ironic that the contemporary heresy tries to assert the sacred feminine in Mary Magdalene while ignoring the sacred feminine in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Trouble is that the BVM fails to deliver for contemporary heretics because she's not as cool and edgy as the demon-possessed hooker who was rescued by Christ.

There's an agenda and it's very simple: ABC. Anything But Christianity.

C.S. Lewis said in "Funeral For A Great Myth" that there was a pent up demand that reversed the normal flow of information from laboratory to popular culture when Darwin found a naturalistic explanation of origins. Here we're seeing another such inversion between pop culture and history. All the historians say that the Duh Vinci Code is bunk. But people want to believe something new and hidden and different that helps explain the phenomenon of Christianity without having to grasp the prickly bits of God's law and sin and redemption.

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