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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another DaVinci Code link


By now, we've probably either seen the movie if we were going to, or given it a miss if we weren't going to go anyway. Predictably, the critics panned it as drivel, and it nearly set box office records.

But for those who are still pondering it as a cultural phenomenon and its relation to the church, Brian McLaren shares some great thoughts at Sojourners. He writes, in part:
For all the flaws of Brown's book, I think what he's doing is suggesting that the dominant religious institutions have created their own caricature of Jesus. And I think people have a sense that that's true. It's my honest feeling that anyone trying to share their faith in America today has to realize that the Religious Right has polluted the air. The name "Jesus" and the word "Christianity" are associated with something judgmental, hostile, hypocritical, angry, negative, defensive, anti-homosexual, etc. Many of our churches, even though they feel they represent the truth, actually are upholding something that's distorted and false.
I really appreciate his instinct to not just see DVC as dangerous or something to be refuted. Of course, fiction is powerful, and to the extent that DVC makes claims, it is worth making judicious, balanced responses. But the popularity of fictions or stories in our culture also gives us feedback on where people are at in their attitudes and lives, and they help us to reflect on the ways we are implicated in these. Are we content with a caricature of Jesus instead of the real thing? And how is this anything other than idolatry?

Read it all here. (Free registration might be required.)

(I only just found this article, through Melanchthon Sins Boldly (to whom, hat tip), but it was first published a month ago. In fact, I may have even seen the link before on another blog but failed to follow it.)

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